Note: We receive a commission for purchases made through the links on this site. Our sponsors, however, do not influence our editorial content in any way.
Most people have been exposed to plenty of advertising promising to help people get out of debt from things like credit cards or loans while making vague and absurd promises. There are no shortcuts to make debt simply disappear as some of these companies claim. However, debt is a very real problem for most people and there are legitimate businesses that provide help to those who need assistance with their finances.
Here are some warnings signs that tell you a company may not have your best interests in mind.
In these situations, there is no guarantee that the company will actually provide any kind of legitimate service for the initial amount that is being paid. Also, common sense would tell you that most people who are in financial trouble are not going to be helped by spending more money right away. The Federal Trade Commission has stated that a large up front fee for re-negotiating debt is the main sign of a scam.
Legitimately increasing a credit score is a process that takes time through proper payments on all open accounts. Negative information can also only be removed if it is false, disputed, or the relevant time frame (seven years for most things on a report) has passed. Offers of a quick fix for these problems should be viewed with suspicion, as should any claims about fictional new laws or government programs that allow debt to be removed easily.
If a debt relief service is making automated phone calls or placing ads on the internet and television that sound like sales tactics, they are trying to profit off of distressed consumers rather than help them. When the people you contact through these ads want to know account numbers or other sensitive information right away, that is a huge red flag.
A legitimate debt relief service will help people with things like budgeting, basic financial management, saving for payments, and talking to creditors to see if they offer an legitimate options to help reduce or better manage your debt. A good option like Freedom Debt Relief is more like a planning a budgeting service than one that claims to take all of your debt away through tricks and shortcuts. Accredited Debt Relief is good for those who don’t have huge sums of debt. You can usually check a company’s reputation online through some simple searching.
By following these basic guidelines you can avoid losing money through debt relief scams.