Consumers should begin by understanding that there are differences between credit counselors and credit repair companies. A credit repair company will probably have some person or persons who act as counselors in that they will explain the options a consumer has as well as some of the issues that may have caused the debt problem in the first place. Accredited credit counselors, on the other hand, usually do not offer loans to help get the consumer out of debt. Instead, they offer budgeting help and often will be able to assist consumers to communicate with lenders through the use of preprinted letters.
Debt repair companies come in two basic flavors: Those that are reliable and legitimate and those that are out to con you and take your money. This is the main reason consumers have to be careful when selecting a debt repair company.
Any debt repair company that request you send them a large fee in advance of their doing work on your behalf should be suspect. It is true that most of these companies are out to make a profit and that is fine. However, if you are already in a financial bind, sending off what might be the last of your money before anything has been done for you, might be a mistake. If you are tempted to do so, you owe it to yourself to first ask the company to tell you precisely what they are going to do for you. Then you need to investigate other companies to see if you can get a better deal. The sad truth is there are several online companies making big promises that they have no intention of keeping. Their profit is in duping you out of your money. Do not fall into that trap.
Speaking of promises, any debt repair company that makes big promises to get your credit in tip top order should also be examined carefully. Again, the truth is simple. There are only so many things that any credit repair company can do for you and there are no secret methods that will get your credit back to stellar level overnight. It just does not work that way.
Reliable and affordable debt repair companies can work with you to help get some useful information into the credit reporting agencies. They can also help you with contacting lenders to make alternative payment options. They can often refer you to a qualified debt consolidation company that may be useful in getting a loan to help offset your monthly payout on bills.
Honest debt repair companies will avoid trying to tell you a story about your credit that is above and beyond the truth. Their job is to help you find a way to manage your current debt issues and those that are honest will do this without telling you lies and without charging your high advance fees. If you are considering the use of a debt repair company, invest the time needed to work with a company that you can trust.