You’re up to your ears in financial obligations and you’ve finally settled on debt relief to give you a new start. First, congratulations. Scores of folks just like you have done the same, quite successfully. And, now that you’ve done so, here’s what to expect from credit card relief services.

What Are Debt Settlement Companies?

This is a firm you’ll hire to negotiate with your creditors – usually credit card issuers – to accept a portion of what you owe as payment in full to “settle” your debts.

Why Would A Creditor Agree To That?

Good question. In fact, no creditor wants to accept a nickel less than what’s owed. However, creditors understand that if they don’t work with you, you will likely file bankruptcy, in which case they could get zero.

How Are My Creditors Paid?

Instead of paying them directly, you’ll deposit funds each month into an escrow-like account that you control. Once a settlement is reached, the creditor gets a one-time payment from that account of the agreed-upon amount. The process continues until all your debts are settled and you can begin your new debt-free life.

What About Risks?

Debt relief programs can last three years or more, so you will need the patience and wherewithal to endure (hey, you didn’t get in trouble overnight). So, before you sign up with any company, examine your budget to make certain you are financially able to set aside the necessary monthly amounts for the program’s entirety.

You also should beware of debt settlement scams. It’s a sad fact, but there are some bad actors out there who are all-too willing to take advantage of your vulnerability and eagerness to get out of your situation. You need a legit company such as Freedom Debt Relief that’s accredited and has been around for years.

Stay clear of firms that want to bill you before they’ve settled a single debt on your behalf – that’s illegal, by the way – or that promise you the moon before they’ve even looked at your finances. Some agencies “guarantee” settlement success for pennies on the dollar, or breathlessly apprise you of “a new government program” that doesn’t exist.

How Do I Know If A Company’s Legit?

Check out credit card relief services at That’ll give you a great idea of what a legit company looks like. For one thing, you want a firm that’s accredited by the American Fair Credit Council and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.

You also want a program that’s transparent about the kinds of debt it accepts and gives a realistic timeline and estimate of your prospective savings. And, as we say, run away fast if a company tries to charge you before any work is done. To check for consumer complaints, run the name of the company you’re interested in by your state’s attorney general and local consumer protection agency. You can also Google to check for complaints and reviews. It shouldn’t be difficult to find testimonials that are for or against the company in question.

How Much Does Debt Relief Cost?

It depends on your debt load, but a company may only charge you part of its full fee for each account it settles. Every time the company successfully settles a debt with one of your creditors, it can bill you another portion of its full fee. If the agency’s fees are based on a percentage of how much it saves you, it must disclose both the percentage it charges and roughly the dollar amount that percentage represents.

Now you know what to expect from credit card relief services. Not bad at all, right? Don’t live with that debt another day. Get going on your new life now.

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