5 Things Debt Settlement Companies Won't Tell You: Get the Facts on Negotiation!
How to Choose a Debt Settlement Company
As consumer debt continues to spiral out of control, debt relief is becoming a major concern for many of us. Although getting into debt is quite easy, getting out of debt will be hard and long, for all concerned. Unfortunately, in today's unstable economic conditions, many of us are using credit cards just to survive and to extend income. As a result of operating this way, consumers have pushed the envelope. Pick up any newspaper, turn on the television, go on the internet, and you get more information than you need. It seems everyone is in a financial crisis, and most are wondering where to turn. Lately consumers are turning to debt settlement companies for help to turn their finances around. However, before you can make a wise decision, you need to do your research. So before you agree to a debt settlement company, make sure you check for the following, ask them the needed questions, and pay close attention to their responses.
Find out if the company is accredited by USOBA or possibly TASC.Is the debt settlement company you are considering accredited by or ? USOBA and TASC accreditation reduces the risk to consumers and gives overall confidence for consumers, because the member company has been independently evaluated by a third party for its competence and performance capabilities. And any company that has the consumer’s best interest in mind, will take the time to inform you about how the process will work for you. Keep in mind that there is no quick fix, and that the process will take some time to accomplish for you to become debt free. Remember one association isn't necessarily better than the other, as long as the company shows that they are active in one of the trade associations, then that's a step in the right direction for the consumer.
Investigate the cost.How much money will this process cost you? When considering a debt settlement company make sure that their program is affordable for you and your monthly budget. Don’t fool yourself if you can’t afford the program and sign up for it anyway, this is just escalating your debt problems further. If you are able to afford the monthly payments for the debt settlement program to work for you, this is the best answer out there. Debt settlement is the best way to handle credit card debt, and the least expensive way out of debt, other than bankruptcy.
See if they offer any type of guarantee.Does the debt settlement company offer any type of guarantee for their services? And if they do, what is the guarantee? If a debt settlement company is unable to settle your accounts with your creditors, you should not have to pay a fee or the fee should be refunded. Also be aware to stay away from a company that promises you that this process will not affect your credit rating, and that they can fix your debt problems quickly. When you sign up for debt relief with a debt settlement program, yes your credit score will go down before it goes back up. This is the price you pay when your debt gets out of whack, but since you have been given major debt relief by using a debt settlement plan, at least you don’t have to file for bankruptcy and that is the good news. It is important to understand that if you do want to have a stable credit rating, you have got to pay your bills on time, because if you don’t, your credit score will drop significantly.
Find out if they have debt negotiators.Does the debt settlement company that you are considering, have IAPDA certified debt negotiators? IAPDA certifies debt negotiators who have a solid understanding of the laws governing the Debt Settlement industry and who will fully understand your current financial situation.
Check on whether or not they offer bankruptcy assistance.Does the debt settlement company that you are considering offer any type of bankruptcy assistance if debt settlement is not going to work for you? For instance, some debt settlement companies will offer you a refund of some of the program cost to help pay for a bankruptcy attorney of your choice. Of course this payment is not given to you, but to the attorney. If a debt settlement company offers you this, you are a concern for them, and they have your best interest in mind.
Check your local Chamber of Commerce.Does the debt settlement company that you are considering, belong to the local Chamber of Commerce? If so, is the Chamber an accredited member of the Chamber of Commerce of the Unites States? This type of affiliation will help ensure that the company is conducting business in a proper manner for the consumer.
Contact the BBB (or the ) to see if they are a member.Is the debt settlement company a member of the Better Business Bureau? Debt settlement companies are not recognized by the BBB, so that doesn’t really mater. In some states the BBB has not allowed debt settlement companies to join the BBB because the BBB has a rating scale that has altered the rating of debt settlement companies between a grade of D or F, just because of their industry. This could have assisted some consumers in verifying the reputation of qualified debt settlement companies. For consumers who are truly interested in doing research to select a qualified Debt Settlement company, a great resource is The Association of Settlement Companies website. TASC is the group which enforces a strict code of standards and accountability on its' member companies. Companies are monitored through a third party program to make sure they are consistently upholding the high standards that TASC stands for.
Video: Why Choose A Law Firm Over A Debt Settlement Company?
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