Beware the risks of working with a US debt settlement service.
Perhaps you’ve seen the ads from a US debt settlement service that offer to help you get out of thousands of dollars of debt by paying just a few hundred bucks. While this may work for some consumers, for many others who try to settle debt with a settlement service, the story ends much differently.
Here’s a short introduction to the pros and cons of working with a US debt settlement service – it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into before you sign any agreements.
FAQs: US debt settlement service.
What is a debt settlement program?
Debt settlement program is a strategy for paying off debt by offering your creditors a lump sum payment that is less than the total amount you owe. When you work with a US debt settlement service, you’ll stop paying your bills for a period of time – usually several months or more – keeping that money in a savings account for the time being. Once the amount of your overdue payments has become significant, the US debt settlement service will approach your creditors and offer to settle the debt. If the creditor accepts, you’ll make the lump-sum payment from your savings account, pay the settlement service their fee (typically 25%), and pay taxes on the amount of forgiven debt.
What happens if the creditor won’t accept a settlement offer?
Creditors are not required to settle your debt – they may decide instead to take you to court or to send a collections agent after you. In this case, you may have to pay penalties, additional interest, and legal fees on top of your original debt.
How does debt settlement affect your credit?
Working with a US debt settlement service will undoubtedly damage your credit. How bad is debt settlement for your credit? You may not be able to buy a car, rent an apartment, take out a loan, or get a credit card for years to come. And if your settlement wasn’t accepted, you’ll still have all that money to pay back.
Get free credit counseling and advice about US debt settlement service.
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit agency that provides free credit counseling to consumers just like you who are working to pay off debt as quickly as possible. Our professionally certified credit counselors can help you better understand the pros and cons of working with a US debt settlement service and what the debt settlement credit score impact may be. After helping you to evaluate your current financial position, we can walk you through all the options available to you including debt consolidation and bankruptcy vs settlement services. And we can direct you to other programs like a debt management plan that may help you pay off your debt quickly without ruining your credit.