Anything in life worth doing is worth doing right — and the debt settlement is no exception. After all, you want to maximize your chances of eliminating your unsecured debts for the most favorable terms possible. Here are four tips for getting the most out of the debt relief process.
- Work with a Reputable Relief Program — Avoid Scams
The first and most basic rule of debt relief is to work with a reputable program. Perhaps the biggest sign a debt settlement offer is a scam is if the company attempts to charge a fee before settling or reducing your debt. Similarly, treat any program unwilling to offer free and transparent information with suspicion. Real companies with proven results will never try to conceal anything from potential clients.
- Understand Possible Risks and Rewards Before Enrolling
There’s a popular proverb that sums it up best: Look before you leap.
Say you’ve decided to take a plunge from a diving board into a pool on a hot summer’s day. What’s the one thing you always do before jumping? Look down to make sure the landing area is clear of other swimmers and debris, of course. Only then could you safely cannonball or swan dive into the water below.
It’s similarly important to understand all the possible risks and rewards of debt relief before jumping into a program. Doing your due diligence ahead of time can help you avoid surprises.
Here are just some of the facets of debt settlement you’ll want to understand thoroughly before enrolling:
- How much you can expect to pay in fees per resolved debt
- The estimated amount of time it could take to save up and negotiate debts
- Which of your debts are eligible for settlement and which are not
- The consequences for falling behind on monthly deposits
- What happens if a creditor refuses to negotiate on a certain debt
- The effect missing payments to creditors can have on your credit rating
Another way to get a feel for what it’s like to pursue debt settlement is by learning from others’ experiences. For those considering working with a top company, a resource like candid Freedom Debt Relief reviews could help you get a feel for what prior and current enrollees have gone through.
The more you know going into the program, the more realistic your expectations will be and the easier time you’ll have navigating the process start to finish.
- Make More Than the Minimum Payment When Possible
You’ll be responsible for making a monthly deposit into a special account, which will eventually go toward satisfying your end of settlement negotiations. But there’s no reason you need to stick to the minimum due if it’s financially feasible for you to pay more. The quicker you fill up your dedicated account, the sooner negotiation proceedings can begin. It’s worth overhauling your monthly budget to free up as much cash as possible to expedite settlement.
- Keep the Lines of Communication Open with Customer Service
Finally, make sure you’re actively communicating with customer service specialists at every turn. Never be afraid to ask questions and check on your progress frequently. If something seems incorrect, bring it to the attention of whichever agent is assigned to help you navigate the settlement process. And even after you receive word a debt has been settled, take it upon yourself to check your credit report to make sure everything looks current and accurate.
Getting the most out of the debt settlement process is mostly a matter of choosing a legitimate program, doing your research, asking questions and making payments as expediently as your budget allows.