Tiny Living and Money Matters

How to find a trustworthy debt relief program

In 2015, Jay and I fell into a credit card debt. We maxed out our credit card limit and we knew paying off the minimum wasn’t going to work. So we agreed to give up the credit card and struck up an arrangement with the bank on a monthly payment term that we can afford so we can finish paying it off in two years. I’m glad that we were over that financial stump and I hope we will never find ourselves in that situation ever again.

I’ve been reading up on debt relief lately. A debt relief program is simply making it easier for the creditor to pay his debts by slowing down or stopping the increase of the debt and rescheduling payments in such a way that it meets the ability of the borrower to pay his dues. This is what helped us to become debt-free.

But, wherever money is involved, scams are not far behind. We were protected because our bank had an in-house debt relief program so we knew from the start that they can be trusted, but other people are not as lucky. I’ve seen on the news stories of people who sunk into more debt because they sought help from the wrong companies.

debt-relief-program

Investopedia lists 6 of the best debt relief programs in 2021 ranking National Debt relief as the best in overall. Each of the other debt relief programs have a specific specialty, with Accredited Debt relief ranking best in Debt Settlement, DMB Financial as best for High-Interest Credit Card debt and CuraDebt as best for Tax Debt Relief.

I think that looking into these companies will give us insight on what makes a trustworthy debt relief program. Here are some of the things that I found that you may consider if you are looking for a company to help you:

1. The company has more than 10 years in business

While arguably, companies with less years doing business can be just as competent as their more senior competitors, it helps to know if a company has been providing the service for at least 10 years. It signifies experience in the field and quite possibly, they have ready templates in how to handle different cases successfully.

2. They charge no upfront or monthly administration fees

A legitimate debt relief company will already include the fees in your monthly payments. The goal is to help ease the borrower’s burden in paying off his debt, not load him with more.

3. They have a good track record

It’s always smart to check on a company’s track record, perhaps read reviews on them or check feedback of previous clients on their experience with the company.

If they have happy clients, chances are, you’ll be happy too.

4. They have no legal issues

While looking up on reviews and feedback on the company, it would also be good to know if they have no issues with the government or with their previous accounts.

If a company has been sued more than once or have an existing legal case, that can be a red flag that you may want to look into.

5. They do not make promises that are too good to be true

A debt relief program usually reduces the value of nominal debt payments and can even reduce the debt down to 50%, but these must be backed by results of careful analyses of data presented to them.

If the company is assuring you that your debt will go away easily, you may want to think twice about working with this company.

Truth is, settling debts, even with help, will not be easy and missing your dues has its consequences. The debt relief company must be able to spell that out for you before making you agree to anything.

Debt Relief programs can provide a solution

I think that if we have good debt relief programs around, more people will want to pay their debts instead of running away from them.

Because of the pandemic, many people found themselves out of work and unable to pay their dues. We’re trying to get this house near my parents’ and the agent told us that a young couple was supposed to buy it already but had to back out because the wife lost her job and her husband’s salary couldn’t afford paying off the house loan if they pushed through with it.

It made me think of how many people are struggling to pay their housing, medical, student or other loans nowadays because they lost their jobs or had pay cuts that affected their income. Finding the right company that offers debt relief services may just be the solution they need, it’s just a matter of finding one that you can trust.