The pitfalls of a debt settlement agreement.
When you have too much debt, a debt settlement agreement can look very attractive. After all, settling your debts by paying a fraction of what you owe seems like an easy way to get out of debt fast.
Trouble is, a debt settlement agreement comes with a lot of risks. Typically, debt settlement negotiation involves paying someone a hefty fee to negotiate with your creditors, offering a lump sum amount that is less than what you actually owe. But during the negotiation period, you’ll have to stop paying your creditors, which can have a disastrous effect on your credit rating. And your creditors aren’t obligated to accept the debt settlement agreement – they may instead file legal action against you, adding additional fines and legal fees to your total bill.
Before jumping into a debt settlement agreement, it’s important to consult with consumer debt counselors about your options for credit solutions. That’s where American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) can help.
ACCC offers alternatives to a debt settlement agreement.
ACCC is a nonprofit organization providing free credit counseling and low-cost debt management services to consumers nationwide. Our goal: to help you take back control of your financial life and make a plan to get out of debt for good.
As one of the nation’s leading credit counseling companies, we offer lots of financial services to assist consumers with financial matters like debt management, bankruptcy, student loans and housing. Our highly trained counselors are certified experts in helping individuals and families to find the best path out of debt.
Your credit counseling session that ACCC provides is always free. During this meeting by phone, or in person, our counselors will help you document and analyze your financial situation. We’ll prepare a list of personalized options for you based on your financial goals, and help you decide which approach is right for you. We’ll also answer questions for you about the pros and cons of different approaches to paying down debt, including debt consolidation and a debt settlement agreement.
Advantages of debt management over a debt settlement agreement.
A debt management plan is a highly effective approach to paying down your debt that involves neither the risks of a debt settlement agreement nor the additional loans and costs of a debt consolidation plan.
At ACCC, we offer a debt management plan with fees that are among the lowest in the nation, and that can be waived in cases of financial hardship. Under our debt management plan, we’ll help you develop a budget you can live with while you pay down your debts. Rather than writing checks to multiple creditors each month, you’ll make a single payment to ACCC, and we’ll pay all your bills on your behalf. We’ll also work with your creditors to ask for reductions in interest rates and monthly payment amounts – a more effective approach than with a debt settlement agreement. And we’ll provide the support you need to stick with your debt management plan until you have reached your goals.