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Saturday, May 28th
At first glance, you might look at the Debt Consolidation Care website and wonder if they're still in operation. The site looks outdated and has a copyright date from several years ago. But yes, you can still use this service to get help with your finances.
Not the smoothest website
It's still a little clunky, though. You start by filling out their contact form: just name, email, phone number, and the total debt amount you want to consolidate. From there a Debt Consolidation Care financial coach will get in contact with you via phone, to go over your current financial situation and decide on a debt relief plan. You'll be assigned a dedicated Client Relationship Manager who will negotiate with creditors on your behalf, reduce your total debt/interest, and decide how much you'll pay each month towards your debts.
Used by a half-million members... or not?
How does it really work, though? It's a little slippery trying to figure that out. On the one hand, the site proudly says that it offers free debt counseling and assistance through "internet's first get-out-of-debt community" (the weird grammar is theirs, not ours) and that they've helped over 470,000 community members to get out of debt. And yet, out of nearly half a million members, there are only 12 testimonials on the site?
Free... or fee-based?
It gets even stranger. Looking at the background of Debt Consolidation Care, we learned about how its founder went to law school "in order to make himself aware of the US Federal and State laws" . That's nice, but it doesn't make him an expert on debt relief. Their expertise seems to come through a partnership with an actual firm, Oak View Law Group. They're referenced as Debt Consolidation Care's affiliate when you call the toll-free number and they're mentioned by at least one of DCC's clients in the testimonials. That service clearly states that clients will pay fees when OVLG successfully reduces/consolidates their debts: so while DCC is free to use, it looks like they eventually pass you off to a service that is not.
Still manages an "A+" from the BBB
The Better Business Bureau gives Debt Consolidation Care their highest accolades: an "A+" rating and accreditation. Given what we learned about DCC, it came as little surprise that the company is listed as an "internet marketing service" rather than having anything to do with financial services or debt relief. There were zero complaints registered with the BBB - and no customer reviews either.
No reason to choose this company first
At the end of the day, you can use the community-based resources offered by this site without paying a fee, and we encourage you to check out Debt Consolidation Care's social media channels if you'd like to get a feel for the kinds of articles and advice they provide before signing up. But, there are much more straightforward debt relief companies out there, and we're pretty sure you'll have a smoother time with a higher-ranked service.
If you're facing an ever-increasing pile of "past due" notices, threatening letters from the IRS, and credit card statements where you're barely paying the interest, you're not alone. With unemployment rates reaching record highs, more people are struggling to make ends meet. The average American carries over $90,000 in debt, from student loans to mortgages, and it's easy to get in over your head.
Debt relief is the solution you need. It may sound like a gimmick or a scam, but rest assured that there are many reputable services that can help you reduce the amount of money you owe and help you get back on track financially. These programs typically work by negotiating on your behalf with credit card companies and other debtors, through strategies like debt settlement and repayment plans. Some of the best debt relief services work closely with you to create a solid plan for moving forward too, helping you to make sound financial decisions and hopefully avoid needing such measures in the future!
Are you eligible for debt relief? The criteria vary by provider, but you probably need to have at least $5,000 in total debt owed across all categories (taxes, credit cards, auto payments, and so on). Also, be aware that some "debt relief" is structured as a personal loan: you use the proceeds to pay off multiple accounts and consolidate what you owe into a single monthly payment. In that case, the ball is in your court and you won't necessarily get any financial coaching or have professionals working to renegotiate what you owe.
Which debt relief program is best for you? That depends on several factors, such as the type of debt you owe and how much, as well as your credit history and ability to qualify for a loan. Here are several features to keep in mind as you evaluate your options for debt relief:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular debt relief programs available today. We hope this information helps you get out from under your mountain of debt and gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're on the right track financially.
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