Forbes Names Best Debt Settlement Companies

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After exploring your options, you’ve decided to pursue debt settlement to get out from under your crushing – and mounting – debt. After all, the strategy has helped scores of people like you return to solid financial ground.

However, there’s one thing that gives you pause: the apparent prevalence of industry scammers. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid unscrupulous types, including paying attention to who Forbes names as the best debt settlement companies. Read on for that and more.

Explain Debt Settlement

Also called debt relief, debt settlement is a financial solution that involves hiring a company to approach each of your creditors – usually credit card issuers – about letting you pay less than what you owe to “settle” your obligation.

Why would a creditor go along with this? Good question, since creditors – like anyone else – want every dime owed them. However, you’ve likely been making late payments or missing them altogether, so these companies already know you’re in a pickle. Also, they realize that a bankruptcy filing – your other option — could yield them zilch.

The debt settlement process usually takes between two and four years, although you’ll likely get your first settlement within a few months. In any case, it would take you much longer – decades, perhaps — to clear your debts through minimum payments.

What is This About Scams?

Wherever money, emotion, and desperation are involved, scams usually abound. These people know that you’d do almost anything for a fresh start short of bankruptcy, which could remain noted on your credit reports for up to 10 years.

Having said that, most debt settlement companies are on the up and up. But that’s small solace if you become a scam victim. These crooks often “guarantee” to bail you out, usually for pennies on the dollar. Some will take your cash and hightail it, while others will string you along while taking your money and not only not helping you, but likely worsening your situation.

How Can I Know a Company’s Legit?

You can steer clear of bad actors if the company in which you’re interested has the following qualities:

  • It provides program details. Scammers often ask you to first give up info such as your account numbers and balances.
  • It won’t charge you up front. In fact, billing you before at least one of your debts is settled is against the law.
  • It’s transparent. Before seeking your signature, a legit debt settlement company will explain the services it will provide and at what price, and how long settlement will likely take. It will also apprise you of associated risks and tell you about the savings account you must first set up to have money to fund your settlements.
  • It’s truthful. Scammers will often make false or unsubstantiated claims about what it offers.
  • It doesn’t “guarantee.” By their very nature, all negotiations are unpredictable. While you do have a great shot at gaining settlements, there are no guarantees. And remember, you don’t pay until settlements are reached.
  • It’s accredited. It’s a must that you choose a debt settlement company such as Freedom Debt Relief that’s accredited by both the American Fair Credit Council and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators

What Does Forbes Say?

The reputable outlet does cite Freedom Debt Relief, which was established in 2002, as a leader in debt settlement. After all, the company has resolved north of $10 billion in debt for some 650,000 clients and has a coveted A+ rating with the BBB. “Those clients seem to be mostly satisfied with their experience,” Forbes writes about FDR, an opinion borne out by debt relief company reviews.

“There’s a client portal on its website to monitor your progress,” Forbes continued. “The company also provides educational resources and the ability to email customer service directly, and while it doesn’t offer online chat, customer support is available seven days a week.”

So, that’s some of why Forbes named Freedom Debt Relief as among its best debt settlement companies. In this day and age in which scams abound, it’s crucial that you enlist the help of an accredited, experienced agency.

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