Seeking the help of a debt relief company can be one of the best financial steps you take. Rather than facing each creditor on your own, these companies can make each call on your behalf. By helping you reduce your monthly payments to creditors and credit card debt balances, a debt settlement company can undoubtedly make life easier.
However, it’s important to steer clear of debt relief scams that could do more damage to your finances. To find out whether you’re dealing with a legit debt relief company, it’s good to do some research before signing up.
7 Factors To Consider When Seeking A Debt Relief Service
There are seven crucial factors to consider when seeking debt relief services. Carefully vetting debt settlement companies before you get started can save you thousands over time, so use these factors as a guideline.
How Do They Collect Payment?
The fees charged by debt relief companies can vary widely depending on your needs. Therefore, it’s important to understand exactly how they plan to charge you throughout the process.
In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule made it illegal for debtors to charge upfront money. Only once a debt settlement is complete can fees be charged. One exception is if the company clears debts individually.
Typically, however, fees are charged as a percentage of how much debt is settled, incentivizing the company to help you get more relief.
What Do Customer Reviews Say?
The reputation and customer reviews of a company are a great way to know who you’re working with. In this industry, a company’s reputation is the best indicator of what you can expect. By reading reviews written by actual customers, you’ll gain intel on the results you can expect, along with any shortcomings when it comes to service.
One place to do this research is Trustpilot, which has reviews and rankings of debt relief companies based on first-hand consumer experiences. Trustpilot uses a star rating system of 1 to 5, with 5-star ratings being the best, making it easy to quickly identify the best companies.
The debt relief segment on Trustpilot is fairly extensive, so be sure to read both the good and bad reviews for a full picture.
Do They Provide Debt Education?
Most of the quality debt relief companies out there will provide an overview of the services they offer on their website. But, they should also offer a wide range of content that fully explains how their services work.
Further, they should offer education on how to get out of debt and stay out rather than always making a sales pitch. The best debt relief companies will provide a full suite of financial education resources to help get you back on track rather than encouraging bad habits.
The company should also provide an extensive FAQ section on its website. This information will give you insight into how the company approaches debt relief while giving you a full picture of the process. It can also make it clearer just how much expertise the company has when it comes to getting results.
Look for FAQs about fees, how long their debt relief programs take to complete, and what factors are needed to qualify for each of their debt relief services.
Do They Offer A Range of Debt Relief Services?
Reputable debt relief companies provide more than one type of solution for getting out of debt. Seek out a company that customizes its debt relief plans based on your precise situation instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. Look for a suite of debt relief services such as the following:
- Free initial debt consultation call
- Debt management programs
- Debt settlement services
- Credit counseling services
- Help with bankruptcy proceedings
Is The Company Certified?
Next, always look into whether or not the debt relief company has certifications that ensure proper practices and treatment of clients.
Seek out companies that are accredited by professional trade associations like the American Fair Credit Council or the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators. These companies tend to rank the highest with their clients, helping ensure the best outcomes.
How Many Years Have They Been In Business?
Another great way to analyze a debt relief company is by checking how long they’ve been in business. An established company is simply more likely to provide exceptional results than those less experienced.
Being in it for the long haul is everything when you’re starting a business relationship that could last between three and five years. A long track record of success can provide assurance that the debt relief company will be around till the end of your debt settlement plan or debt relief program.
Are They BBB Accredited?
The Better Business Bureau has been around for over 100 years and provides consumers with a structured way of reviewing and comparing businesses. Their well-defined reviews and rating process is called Accreditation, and it’s a must when looking for a legit debt relief company.
These reviews will reveal whether the company makes good-faith efforts to resolve any issues its customers may have.
Finding A Trustworthy Debt Relief Company
Think you’ve found the right debt relief company for you? To know if they’ve got what it takes, look into these two additional factors.
Seek An Experienced Debt Relief Staff
Does the company have staff with many years of experience, or will they put someone new on your case? Established debt relief companies have deep experience and relationships that lead to better outcomes for their clients.
That’s why it’s essential to find a company that has established a solid reputation for getting results. Companies like Alleviate Financial that have years of experience will always deliver the best possible results.
Read The Reviews On The BBB Website
BBB accreditation alone isn’t everything. Also, be sure to read customer reviews and complaints registered with the BBB. These reviews will tell you a lot about how the company treats its clients. Generally, 5-star reviews are the best, which is why, at Alleviate Financial, we’re proud of our 5-star BBB rating.
When you need debt relief services that make a difference in becoming debt-free, contact the team of debt experts at Alleviate Financial. You’ll get a free and honest debt expert analysis of your financial situation, so your options are clear. Call us today to get started!