Debt settlement can be a great way to get your finances under control and to get out of debt. However, it’s important to understand that there are some debts that can be settled and some that can’t. It is possible to negotiate settlements on what are called unsecured debts, such as credit cards and personal loans. However, it is not possible to settle secured loans or those that have been secured by an asset such as your automobile or house.
Debt settlement isn’t for everyone
If you owe less than $5000, it probably doesn’t make sense to hire a debt settlement company. You could be better off trying to settle the debts yourself as the cost of using a debt settlement company might be prohibitive vs. the amount of money the company would save you. Also, if you owe so much it seems unlikely that you will be able to make any payments at all in the near future, filing for bankruptcy might be a better option.
Third, how much you could save through debt settlement will depend on who are your creditors, how delinquent you are, the types of purchases you have made, whether or not you have payday loans and if you have made any credit card balance transfers.
17 top debt relief companies
I reviewed 17 of the top debt relief companies based on these criteria:
- Can provide different programs tailored to your personal needs
- Up to date membership in a Chamber of Commerce
- Belongs to the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) or the Associate of Settlement Companies (TASC)
- Membership in the Worldwide Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators
- Provides fast customer support
- Has a high customer satisfaction rating
- Offers flexible programs according to what you are able to pay monthly
- Works with personal debt, mortgages, taxes owed and loans to provide the best possible help
CuraDebt – 9.9/10
This company was founded in 1996 and is an up-to-date member of TASC. It has affiliated itself with some of the best lawyers in the US that specialize in debt settlement. CuraDebt offers online access to customer support with representatives who can help you work through the entire debt settlement process.
Debt Consolidation Care– 9/10
This company offers both debt consolidation and debt settlement. It has good customer support and a number of satisfied clients. The only reason I rated it a 9 is because its services tend to cost more than some of the other debt settlement companies.
Of the 17 debt settlement companies I analyzed, Credit.com definitely made the top three. It is located in the Bay Area of California and presents its information in an easy-to-understand manner. It can definitely save customers money and is actually owned by various consumer organizations. I rated it just a 7 because it was not able to deliver as much in savings as the top two debt reduction companies.
I personally think that the #1 rated company, CuraDebt could save you more money and probably offers better customer support.
Watch out for shysters
If you are an individual or the owner of the company looking for help with your debts, there are companies out there that can help you reduce them and get control of your finances. But it is important to pick a reliable and trustworthy debt settlement company such as the three I have listed here. It is unfortunate but true that there are debt settlement companies that just cannot be trusted. They will take the money you have paid them and, instead of using it to pay off your debts, will simply keep it. And by the time you learn what’s happened, it may be too late for you to do much about it.