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How to get out of debt I New FTC Laws I Does debt settlement work I Choosing a debt relief program I Debt Settlement or Debt Consolidation I Debt settlement and your credit I Can you settle your own debt I Understanding debt settlement fees I Debt settlement and your taxes I Can I be sued I Debt Help - Get Started today!

Debt Relief Programs

A 10 part debt relief guide

Part 3
- Go to Part 4

DEbt solutionsChoosing the right Debt Relief Program
You have surely seen the ads on the internet, TV and radio from debt settlement companies that promise debt relief programs for pennies on the dollar. For consumers that are struggling with debt, these ads are admittedly hard to ignore. Most of these companies offer up exorbitant promises that they can reduce your credit card debt by 70% or more and that you can avoid bankruptcy! They usually claim that this can be done in 36 months or less. These ads are really very convincing that debt help is real! But is it?

As a consumer, you should realize that behind these ads is one of the fastest growing industries that assuredly bloomed in no small part to the declining economy. Although debt settlement has existed for decades, only a handful of companies actually existed as little as just 10 years ago and many of them did not have sound effective debt relief programs or strategies.

The baby boom of new Debt-settlement companies claim that they offer valid debt relief programs and that they can negotiate on the consumers behalf to significantly reduce the amount of debt they owe. It is no surprise that many other business verticals like retail for example are struggling during these tough economic times, but because of the demand, debt relief companies are flourishing.

The question is are they preying off of consumers that need real help?

The answer is yes and no.

The debt relief companies that are not legit or that are shaking and moving without solid roots in the ground are definitely preying off the economically weak. Before the new FTC DEBT SETTLEMENT LAWS, these companies were slipping through the cracks and flourishing during the current economic downturn by charging high up-front fees to consumers to settle their debts.

But...there are certainly quite a few legit debt settlement companies. The good debt relief companies that have helped thousands of consumers are fighting back. They are having a hard time being recognized as legit when there are so many companies that are still using smoke and mirrors and deceit.

The coalition of debt-settlement companies (Consumer Credit Rights Campaign) has tried to help this cause by stating that there are some very good companies out there that offer an effective and legitimate option for consumers who are simply unable to fully repay their debt. 
But which of these debt relief companies can a consumer really rely on? Well, has done extensive research and we have found that there are surely more than just a hand full of reliable debt relief companies out their. Our local geo-targeted research has found a gem among gems in the debt settlement field. And little to our knowledge, this NJ based company is quickly becoming one of the most widely recognized reputable debt settlement companies nationwide. That company is DebtConsolidationCare.

Choosing the Right Debt Relief Program

To re-cap. In a nutshell, here is what you need to know about choosing the right debt relief program.

1. Make sure that you are not getting charged any upfront fees. The really good legitimate debt settlement companies will build their fee into each settlement (but only after it is settled) so that you won't even hardy notice it. Make sure that you get it in writing that the company that is offering you the debt relief program agrees to only charge you if it successfully renegotiates, settles, reduces, or otherwise changes the terms of at least one of your debts. This is mentioned in PART ONE OF OUR 10 PART DEBT RELIEF GUIDE.

2. Make sure that there is a written settlement agreement, debt relief plan, or other agreement between you and the debt settlement company. Make sure you fully understand how the program works and how your creditors will get paid during the debt settlement process and how the fees will be paid to the debt settlement company. Make sure you as the consumer agrees to all terms.
3. Make sure that the debt settlement company will set up a dedicated account (that you will have full control over) and make sure that account is maintained at an insured financial institution. Make sure that you control the funds completely and are able to withdraw funds if need be without penalty and that the debt settlement company has no control or affiliation with the account. 

4. Make sure that the debt settlement company discloses everything about their services and that you fully understand the debt relief program completely. It is important to note that the debt settlement company by the new rule of the FTC must tell you the exact potentially negative consequences of you going through their program. They should warn you that the debt settlement process may affect your credit score and there are still chances of you getting sued. Understand the pro's and con's before committing yourself to anything.

5. Lastly, remember that the NEW FTC DEBT SETTLEMENT LAWS are there for your protection and that these rules prohibit any misrepresentations from your chosen debt relief service. The company you choose should be able to provide you with the cold hard facts about their service. Some great questions to ask them are... "What will happen in the short term to your credit, what are their company success rates, what are their drop-out rates, are they making a profit or are they a nonprofit service"?

OK, so now that you have a better understanding of how to choose a debt relief company, lets move on to part 4 of our 10 part debt settlement guide.
Go to
Part 4 - Learn the difference between debt settlement, debt consolidation and debt counseling. Learn which is the right choice for your unique situation.  
10 part debt guide

Part 1 - New FTC Laws
Part 2 -
Does debt settlement work
Part 3 -
Choosing a debt relief program
Part 4 - Debt Settlement or Debt Consolidation
Part 7Understanding debt settlement fees
Part 8 -
Debt settlement and your taxes
Part 9 - Can I be sued
Part 10
Debt Help - Get Started today!
There is no shame in seeking help. Look at our list of debt settlement companies for options. If you're looking to relieve some stress as far as credit goes, we also have a list of credit repair company reviews. Stop drowning in debt.


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