When you’re trying to decide what type of debt relief assistance is right for you, it can be challenging to determine the best course of action. If you’re thinking about getting help with a debt relief program, the search results can be overwhelming, with many similar-sounding claims in the headlines. So how do you find a legitimate debt relief company that will look out for your best financial interests when negotiating on your behalf with your creditors? And once you find a reputable debt relief specialist, what kind of results should you anticipate?

Are There Legitimate Debt Relief Companies?

There are plenty of reputable debt relief companies out there that strive to do an excellent job for their clients. However, some bad apples can give the industry a bad reputation, so it’s wise to research the debt relief companies you’re considering.

Companies that provide legitimate debt help have proven reputations over a long history of successfully serving clients. They also won’t require large up-front payments to start getting debt relief and won’t charge an arm and a leg to help you pay off your debt.

How Do I Find A Reputable Debt Consolidation Company?

Reputable debt relief companies should have accreditation by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with a high rating and few complaints. The BBB rates companies on an A to F scale, so look for companies with A or higher ratings to be sure you’re dealing with a solid team of experts who can genuinely help with debt relief.

Are Debt Consolidation Loans Worth It?

Depending on your credit, a debt consolidation loan might be a good debt relief option for you. If you can get approved for a much lower interest rate loan than the rates on your credit card and unsecured debts, you can potentially save money every month by using this method to pay off your debts.

How Long Does Debt Consolidation Stay On Your Credit Report?

If part of your debt relief strategy is to get a debt consolidation loan and use the funds for debt settlement negotiations, the settled accounts may remain on your credit report for years as not paid in full. This can hurt credit scores for a couple of years or more, so if you’re going this route, it’s good to get an agreement from the creditor that they’ll note the account “paid in full” in return for the settlement payment.

What Debt Can I Pay Off Using A Debt Relief Company?

Debt relief companies are good for alleviating unsecured debts like credit cards, personal loans, and medical debts. If you need to change your terms for secured debt like home loans or student loans, it’s best to contact the lender directly to develop a plan to maintain timely payments.

What Debt Should I Pay Off First To Raise My Credit Score?

If your main goal of debt relief is raising your credit score rather than financial debt help, your best option is coming up with a game plan to repay your highest-interest debts first with money saved through smart budgeting. While still paying your minimum payments on your other debts, keep paying the highest interest debts off one by one until you’re debt-free. This is the fastest way to reduce the credit utilization rate––a critical factor in credit scoring––because it uses your money most efficiently.

Does Debt Relief Work?

It’s important to note that the phrase “debt relief” entails various methods for alleviating the stress of debt. Examples include credit counseling, debt consolidation loans, debt management programs, debt settlement assistance companies, and bankruptcy. Each has its own set of drawbacks and benefits, and not every option is smart for every situation. 

How Much Does Debt Relief Cost?

Again, debt relief comes in a variety of forms, so the cost of getting relief for your debts will depend on the methods you choose. For people with high credit scores still, the costs are lower, while more extreme methods like bankruptcy can cost thousands in legal fees when everything is said and done.

Do Debt Relief Companies Get Better Results Than I Can Alone?

The reality is, debt relief companies have established relationships with a long list of unsecured credit debt companies, which means they know the ins and outs of how each creditor is best approached and what they’ll typically agree to. This underlying knowledge is certainly an advantage, but it doesn’t mean people aren’t technically able to achieve the same results for themselves. There’s just a learning curve involved, so getting help from a debt relief specialist like Alleviate Financial can often speed up results.

What Are The Alternatives To Debt Settlement?

Debt settlement shouldn’t be the first option for debt relief, as there are some significant drawbacks and credit consequences. Debt consolidation loans, balance transfers for interest savings, and direct negotiation are less impactful options to consider before debt settlement. That said, if your financial circumstances are nearing the point you’re thinking about bankruptcy, debt settlement is an alternative with fewer negatives.

Dealing With Debt Relief Services Companies

Have you decided unsecured credit debt relief services are suitable for your financial situation? Substantial credit card debt can get to the point it feels there’s no way to come to a reasonable agreement with creditors. Fees and interest pile up quickly, making it tough to get ahead while negotiating. Debt relief specialists like Alleviate Financial can help you navigate out of your high-interest unsecured debts.

Before signing up for a debt relief program, be sure you’ve done your research on the company and check their Better Business Bureau rating. If it’s above an “A” rating and there are little to no complaints, you can be confident the company has your best interests in mind when helping you get out of debt.