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Caution! There are sharks in the water!
The tremendous demand for debt management services today has created a national opportunity for unscrupulous operations. They are exploiting consumer credit card debt problems to their advantage and damaging many people's credit in the process. It is extremely important that you understand the different types of debt management services available today. BEWARE OF ALL SETTLEMENT PROGRAMS. SETTLEMENT ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING AND DESTROYS YOUR CREDIT.
Common Warning Signs, Avoid Firms That...
DO NOT OFFER A GUARANTEE!Accelerated offers a WRITTEN GUARANTEE
Require payment by money order or cashiers check or try to get you to allow them to debit your checking account immediately.Be especially wary of this because it is not necessary to make a payment immediately. In many cases Accelerated will have most of your accounts accepted on the program before you even make your first payment.
Require you to close and include ALL ACCOUNTS.You should be able to keep a credit card for traveling and emergencies.
Retain your first payment as a set up fee.This is not something debt management firms should be doing due to creditors policies. Look at any contract carefully.
Require account numbers before providing you with a quote.Account numbers are not necessary to provide a quote. All that is needed for a quote are the names of the creditors, the balances and the interest rates.
Offer many services like debt negotiation, IRS Help, credit repair and seem to be "jack of all trades" firms.Debt Management is a specialized process when done properly. Firms that have branched out into all of these related services are most likely offering a "Plan B" in order to charge you for some kind of service even if you don't need it.
Do not take steps to determine if you may need to maintain an account out of the program before you get started.For some excellent credit card offers try Cardratings.com
Have you hold or call back to see if you are "approved".There are no approval requirements for Debt Management Plans other than determining whether the creditors that you have are "Participating" creditors that will offer better terms, and whether you can afford the required payment.
Use "servicing associates."
These firms advertise on the internet and elsewhere and are just marketing or lead generation firms, they sell your name to other companies.
Advise you to include accounts that already have low rates.See chart on PAYOFF CALCULATOR.
Advise you to include Student Loans in your management.Student Loans already have low rates, usually 7.75% to 8.25% and do not offer more favorable rates for debt management plans. If you need help with student loans click here.
Advise you to include credit union accounts with rates that are already low.This only benefits the debt management company, NOT YOU!
Advise you to include the IRS.IRS debt must be handled separately from the rest of the accounts in the Debt Management Plan. Accelerated, Inc. can advise you on how to handle your IRS problem through the proper source.
Quote a set interest rate like "between 0% and 10%" instead of quoting each creditors rate individually.Each creditor has their own requirements and interest rates will vary accordingly.
Quote payoff times of "4 years" or "53 months" instead of giving you the individual payoff time for each creditor.Each credititor has their own interest and minimum payment requirements. When you have 7 creditors with 7 different balances and 7 different interest rates an answer like "4 years" or "53 months" is obviously coming from a telemarketers sales script not a Debt Management Professional. See the Payoff Calculator.
Offer "Cash Back Awards".This is a common practice from firms that keep your first payment as a retainer.
Quote an unusually low monthly payment.Especially if you have gotten higher quotes from other companies and have substantial balances totaling $30,000 or more. See How Your Payment Is Calculated
Debt Settlement Or Debt Negotiation Services.This Is An Entirely Different Service Than Debt Management. These firms negotiate with creditors to reduce the total amount that you owe. This is NEVER a viable alternative for consumers that wish to maintain their credit. What most debt negotiators don't tell you is that when they negotiate a reduced payoff amount, it is reported as a paid charge off or R-9 on your credit report and you will pay income taxes on the amount that the creditors let you off the hook on. In other words if a creditor settles a $10,000 debt for $5000, the $5000 is reported as income and you will be taxed on it. In addition, the account/accounts will be R-9 charge offs on your credit report. Debt Settlement is never for consumers who are current on their accounts or just slighty behind and want to maintain their credit.
Avoid these potential problems by submitting our FREE QUOTE form