Looking for help with credit card debt? Beware of these red flags

When you have bills stacking up and a lot of overdue bills, it’s easy to start feeling pretty anxious. The constant collection calls, increasingly insistent letters and other contacts from your creditors can make you desperate for a solution.

That’s exactly what some debt relief companies are counting on. While there are many genuine debt relief services out there, others are simply a scam.

How do you spot a debt relief scam?

A reputable company will offer you financial guidance, aim to negotiate with your creditors for a compromise payment and set you up with a plan that will gradually pay down your debts – if it’s possible. They collect their fees when they get results.

By comparison, scam debt relief companies will:

  • Demand payment for their services before they even do anything to help (which is illegal, according to the Federal Trade Commission).
  • Promise you miraculous resolutions to your debts for just “pennies on the dollar,” no matter what those debts may be – which is unrealistic.
  • Tell you that they can resolve even student loan and tax debt, even though that may not be possible.
  • Tell you to stop talking to your creditors and let them handle everything (which is generally bad advice and can be a cover so that you don’t realize they aren’t actually working with your creditors at all).
  • Promise that you can raise your credit score by hundreds of points in a very short period, despite your debts

If heavy debts are leaving you increasingly frustrated, it may be time to do something about it. Exploring all your debt relief options, including bankruptcy, is the wisest move you can make. Just be certain that you turn to a reputable source for information and guidance.

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