Consumer debts are constantly on the rise and are spiraling out of hand in recent times due to economic instability. More and more people are getting into debts, but are distressed as they are finding it difficult to get out of debts. Debt relief is the prime concern and is top priority today. The unstable economic scenario has compelled many of you to extend your income and survive in this competitive world by using credit cards. Thanks to credit cards, many of you have forgotten to live within your means as such, you are running into debts and mind you, the debts are constantly on the rise.
Due to the mounting debts you would find that consumers are experiencing financial crisis and they are looking for a way out of this. Of late, many consumers are taking recourse to debt settlement through some of the best debt settlement companies. These companies are helpful in alleviating your financial condition, but you must do ample research before you choose a reliable and competent company. Here are few facts that you need to verify before entering into an agreement with a debt settlement firm.
Find Out about the Fees or Costs Involved
It is a good idea to enquire about the fees upfront. All reliable firms would share all information regarding the expected costs and fees toward them. However, stay away from firms that are not transparent about these issues. Before signing an agreement, you need to be perfectly sure about how much you need to pay back the company and how often you need to do that.
Firms usually charge contingency fees, performance-based fees or per-transaction charges. You must try to work with a debt settlement firm that gets paid based on contingency. This is the best for you as the company would be compelled to put in their best efforts as they will get paid only if your debts are well taken care of.
Opt only for an affordable program that fits your monthly budget. If you are capable to paying back the company every month, then debt settlement program could work best for you. Debt settlement is the most effective way to tackle credit card debt. It is undoubtedly, the cheapest way out of your debts apart from declaring bankruptcy.
Accreditation is a Must
To make sure that you can rely on the debt settlement firm, it is best to find a firm that has been accredited by United States Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternative (USOBA) or by TASC (The Association of Settlement Companies). These accreditations minimize consumer risk. Accreditation implies that the firm has been assessed independently by a third party and has been found to be reliable and competent. Any debt settlement company that focuses on consumer interest will take reasonable time to assess your case and tell you how the process would be effective in your situation. It is best to remember that you cannot find any quick fix solutions of your financial problems.
Ask for Proofs
A renowned and a reliable company would be able to furnish adequate proof of their competence and reliability. Testimonials may not be authentic so it is best to look for solid proofs such as actual settlement letters. Do enough research and find out about the company’s experience in this line of work. A firm that has been there for a long time should be having a good track record in handling debt settlement issues competently for its clients.
Any Guarantees Assured?
Find out if the company is offering any guarantees for its services. Learn the precise nature of any guarantee offered. Find out if the debt settlement firm fails to settle your debts with your creditors, would you still need to pay the fee or the fee would then be refunded to you? Stay away from firms that make false claims that your credit rating would not be affected by debt settlement process. When you agree to a debt relief program, your credit score is bound to go down, but will go up again.
Any Certified Debt Negotiators?
It is best to choose a debt settlement company that boasts of debt negotiators who areIAPDA certified. These negotiators have a sound knowledge of the current laws and regulations that govern the debt settlement industry currently. They are well-equipped to evaluate your present financial situation accurately.
Check the Credentials
Find out if the debt settlement firm you have shortlisted is a member of the local Chamber Of Commerce. Also, check if the local Chamber happens to be an accredited member of Chamber of Commerce of the Unites States. Contact Better Business Bureau and find out if there are any complaints pending against the debt settlement company. Stay away from firms which have just entered the business scene and also, those who have unresolved complaints in BBB.