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The Difference Between Debt Settlement and Credit Counseling
So, lets get beyond all the hype and really take a look at which program has better outcomes. From the article: TASC, the non-profit watchdog organization for self-regulating the debt-settlement industry, gathered the information from various sources, including the Consumer Federation of America and National Consumer Law Center, the Executive Office for the U.S. Trustees and testimony by credit counseling companies. Indeed, all credible sources.
As I have often pointed out, the main difference in the two approaches is that debt settlement companies work only for the consumer, while non-profit credit counseling works in the interest of the banks and credit card companies. As such they are usually only able to obtain lower interest rates, as pre-established by the banks.
Additionally, settlement companies do not receive any fees from the credit card companies or banks, they are solely paid by the consumer. Where as non-profits are supported almost totally by the banks they serve, by being paid what is called “fair share” or a percentage of all the money that flows through them.
Debt settlement programs are typically 36 months or less, while credit counseling programs are 60 months or more.
One of the big drawbacks of credit counseling programs is that the monthly payments are fixed and many times, even a bit higher than what the consumer was paying on their own. Debt Settlement, however, affords the ability of a customized repayment plan, to fit the consumers budget.
Because of the lower payment option, and shorter duration, settlement often has a higher probability of program completion than credit counseling.
So, which program is a utopia? Neither. Getting out of debt is never easy. However, the key is if you are going to do a structured program at least understand the real ins and outs of each, so your decision is not based on what the propagandists are saying.
If you would like to speak with someone who is knowledgeable and can present both options to you, and make full disclosure about each, then please visit: American Debt Enders. and while you are at the site feel free to subscribe to our Free Credit Counseling Newsletter.
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