When struggling with debt, it is smart to look for a solution. But it is necessary to be cautious about debt-relief companies. Working with a debt-settlement company can leave you in an even worse situation than before.
The only reason debt-relief companies seem attractive is that they are not upfront about the risks and problems with the services they provide. Here are the secrets they hope you never find out.
1. It is a scary process
There are high stakes involved with the debt-consolidation process. A debt-relief program requires you to stop paying your debt. During this time, you rack up fees and penalties. You will keep getting collection calls. Creditors may even file lawsuits against you. It is a stressful game that does not always work out in your favor.
2. There is no guarantee
Once you stop paying your debt for a while, the debt-settlement company will try to negotiate a lower amount with your creditor. Regardless of what promises you get, there is no guarantee you will come out of the process with reduced debt. Creditors do not have an obligation to accept lower offers. Some lenders refuse to work with any of these companies altogether.
3. Your credit score is at risk
Debt-relief companies may try to convince you that their programs do not hurt your credit score, but the impact can be drastic. First, debt-settlement requires you to let your debt become delinquent, which negatively impacts your score. Secondly, if you settle the debt for less than what you actually owe, this fact will be on your credit report for as many as seven years.
Buying into the lies and deception of debt-relief programs can get you stuck in an even worse situation. Debt-relief companies do not want you to know the risks of their services or that bankruptcy is often a better option.