The booming debt relief industry has put us face to face with a very important question – how much credible the consumer debt relief programs actually are?
The doubt has been further triggered by the fact that thousands of consumer complaints regarding debt relief scams are lodged with the FBI, the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Debt Council every single day.And that makes it extremely crucial for you to ensure the credibility of the consumer debt relief program you want to opt for.
Now the million dollar question is, “how to judge whether debt relief programs are trustworthy or not?” Distressed debt stricken consumers are the ideal preys for companies conducting scam debt relief services. Such consumers in their desperate attempt to rid off debts often overlook small things that would have otherwise helped them evaluate the true nature of the debt relief service. Therefore you have to be absolutely conscious, while signing up for any debt relief program.
Your choice should be careful and logical. All that glitters is not gold! So, in the very first place, do not make the mistake of fathoming authenticity by the glitzy appearance of the debt relief company. You must thoroughly get yourself informed about the company’s reputation and its debt relief programs before you decide to hire its services. You can gather references on the company's history and debt relief services or you can ask for your friends’ and acquaintances’ opinion about the company. You can also check out the company’s services and testimonials on the Internet.
Also you must check the following things:
•Is the company providing complete information?
If the company hesitates to provide complete and accurate information on the debt relief programs they offer, then it is better you step back immediately.
•How much is the upfront fee?
Many companies demand a lump-sum as upfront fees for services like debt settlement and debt consolidation. It is advisable that you avoid services offered by such companies.
•Is the company demanding very low monthly payment?
If the company demands exceptionally low monthly payment for the program, then its debt relief services are likely to be fraudulent. It may be possible that the company will raise the amount after you have enrolled for the program. This can push you into further debt and worsen your situation. Hence, do not get lured by a meager monthly payment. It will be wiser if you check the whether there is any potential for hidden charges that you might incur later.
•Is the company asking for redundant personal details of yours?
A debt relief company should only seek your creditor’s names and contact details, your debts and the interest on it. But if you find the company to be over inquisitive about some redundant information (such as your account numbers, social security number, or other personal details) before providing the quote, it is better you reconsider their services.
•Is the company affiliated to the BBB?
Debt relief programs offered by companies affiliated to BBB or any other pro consumer group can surely be trusted.
You must carefully judge these aspects before you take your first step towards debt relief. These are important. A little mistake on your part can put into a never ending maze of debts and liabilities. So, be well informed about everything you intend to do about your debts. After all a good debt relief service is the remaining lifeline, that can pull distressed debtors out of their liabilities and lead them to a happy debt free life!