There are no really free debt relief services. There are always free debt relief ads or false commercials, claiming there are free debt relief services, but you already know better. Paying back money to a lender is never a crime, even when unscrupulous debt collection agents claim so. But a judgment against you can result in wage garnishes, bank levies, or even liens on your property.
The government is aware that many people are struggling to get out of debt, and that many of those people have at least one or more debts. A recent study showed that almost half the American population has some form of debt problem. One in five adults have between one and twelve unpaid unsecured credit card bills. In some cases, these bills are so bad that the debtor’s credit may be damaged.
For an individual or business that is interested in finding a free consultation, there are many non-profit organizations, including faith-based ones, that will work with you to reduce your debt. These non-profits usually do not charge you for their services. But they may suggest a debt relief near you. They may include an assessment of your financial situation by an agency trained in negotiating settlements and consolidating debts. They will talk to you about your options, including the pros and cons of your debt settlement or consolidation.
If you have several debts, you may be eligible for a consolidation or settlement of all of those debts. If your credit is damaged and you do not own property to provide for creditors, the government may offer free debt relief services through the Federal Trade Commission. In this case, you will be able to consolidate or settle your debt through the agency. If your credit score has improved since the negotiations began, the agency will allow you to keep your unsecured accounts open.
When choosing between debt settlement or consolidation, you should check with more than one organization or company. Not every company offers financial situation advice, but if you need advice regarding improving your financial situation, you should get at least three different opinions. You can get the advice you need from your counselor or from a company specializing in debt relief solutions.
The goal of the free debt relief program is to help you save money. The agency may require you to pay a fee for the financial situation evaluation, and you may be asked to agree to certain terms before they will pay for it. If the agency collects money from you to repay the evaluation, it does not mean that they are profiting. They are just offering a financial situation solution. In order for you to save money, you will have to take control of your financial situation.
While searching for the best debt relief programs available, ask the counselor at each meeting about their strategies for debt consolidation. If you are familiar with a debt consolidation firm, it can be helpful to know what their approach is. You can get debt help from a non-profit agency, which will help you save money on fees. If you decide to use a for-profit company, make sure they offer the best possible rates. Since the fees paid by many people are just too high, you will probably save money by contacting a company that charges a lower rate.
Be prepared to answer a lot of questions during the debt assistance program. You will probably be asked why you are having problems paying your bills. Tell them you are experiencing a temporary financial hardship and ask them how you can qualify for a loan or a settlement. During the process, you will learn about budgeting, debt management, budgeting advice, debt consolidation, as well as free debt relief program resources. The financial adviser may also offer you information regarding credit counseling, loan modification, and foreclosure prevention.