To many people, the harsh economic times are still a reality. Consequently, many folks continue to suffer in debt. As a result, they are turning to debt relief plans. It can either be to remedy their credit card debts or general bills. Individuals also turn to these programs to repair their credit score. Today, many credit companies exist. Each of these companies is competing to prove that its debt relief service stands out among the rest.

The million dollar question is, how can you tell which company is genuine/trustworthy and which is a fraud.

The First Step: Ask Around

Before engaging with any debt relief company, always exercise caution. Never be in a hurry. Conduct an extensive background research to verify the authenticity or otherwise of the company. Ask your friends and family for their opinion. Make calls to the AOG (State Attorney General Office), gather as much information as possible, talk to the Federal Trade Commission. Check with the Better Business Bureau to have a clue on the number of complaints raised against the company. This bureau will also tell you the exact kind of issues lodged against your prospective debt relief company.

The Second Step: Keep Info Private

The mistake most individuals make is sharing too much information with strangers. This is how many folks end up falling victim to scams. You do not need to share your social security number or account numbers. Always restrain yourself from sharing any personal information. To provide a quote, a company only needs to know your interest rates, balances and creditor’s names, period! If it tries to seek any other information, run and run very far.

The Third Step: Instead Of Comparing Monthly Payments, Compare Fees

Of great importance to know is that debt companies get similar deals from creditors. Consequently, you should always receive similar rates from each one of them. If a debt company is giving you a deal with lower monthly payment, probably it is because you will receive a high interest rate charge. In the end, you will pay more than you should. Therefore, instead of making comparisons of monthly payments, your focus should be on comparing fees.

The Fourth Step: Read As Many Reviews as Possible

Today, if a company is a swindle, you will know effortlessly, by reading the numerous national debt relief reviews online, you will surely be able to tell whether a company is a fraud or legit. Yes, it is that simple!

The Fifth Step: Always Be Aware Of Extra Fees

You should never pay for an analysis or quote. Most debt relief programs or services normally charge very high upfront fees. If you are not careful, you will also pay high hidden fees after starting. Some of the fees are usually part of the monthly payments. The companies take one or many payments from you and send to creditors. When this happens, know that the company is exploiting you are.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].