When it comes to dealing with your finances, there’s always going to be someone out there who wants to take advantage of you. It might be a lender who wants to convince you to take a high interest rate because they’ll profit. Or, it could be someone trying to commit cyber fraud and wipe out your bank accounts. It should come as no surprise, then, that the same concept applies to the world of debt relief programs.
With that in mind, it’s reasonable to ask, do debt reliefs programs really work?
Only Some Debt Relief Programs Are Worthwhile
The short answer is yes — with caveats. The problem is finding a legitimate program that actually has the consumer’s best interests at heart. The first place to start, however, is typically with a consumer credit counseling service.
Seek Credit Counseling as a First Step
Some people confuse credit counseling and debt reliefs. It’s not entirely obvious how the two differ unless you’re familiar with the industry. Credit counseling is a more general service that can help consumers with a variety of things. You don’t even need to be in debt to work with a credit counselor, as they provide services that are helpful to all people, such as providing free copies of credit reports and assisting with budgeting.
But for people who have a lot of debt, speaking with a credit counselor is absolutely something that will help you. Even if they can’t fix your debt, they’ll give you useful information and send you down the right path.
It’s important to note, however, you need to be wary of credit counseling services in the same way you consider a debt reliefs program. Not all credit counselors are legitimate. One easy way to tell if there’s something off with an agency is if they try to make you pay before providing assistance. Many credit counseling services operate as non-profits, and most definitely give free materials and advice to consumers. Walk away from any organization claiming credit counseling status that tries to tell you otherwise.
Make Sure to Research Debt Relief Programs
Research is essential to ensure you don’t end up stuck in a bad debt relief program. Reading online reviews for American debt relief programs can give you a much clearer idea of which ones are legitimate or not. Reviews are a great source of information when evaluating debt relief programs because they cut through the company-provided rhetoric and tell the story from a consumer’s perspective.
As with credit counseling, you want to be aware of debt relief programs that try to charge you for services before they’ve actually provided them. In fact, it’s actually illegal for debt relief programs to charge upfront for debt settlement cases unless they’ve effectively settled at least one debt on your behalf. This is both an essential consumer protection, as well as knowledge when looking at different programs. If a debt relief program is telling you to pay them before settling your debt, there’s something wrong.
Freedom Debt Reliefs is one of the most respected names in the world of debt relief. If you are having some trouble finding a legitimate program, you’d do well to see if they have something that fits your needs. Regardless of how you got into debt, finding a safe and effective way out is what’s important. Debt relief absolutely can work for you, but it’s crucial to find the right debt relief program and see it through.