How Debt Reduction Companies Make Their Money

Debt reduction companies charge you a fee in order to generate a profit. There are some nonprofit debt reduction companies, but these companies still must charge a fee in order to keep operating. The basic fee structures include:

  • Fees up front: If a debt reduction company asks you for an up-front fee in order to work with them, you can take this as a red flag that they are not disclosing all the proper information. The FDIC warns not to pay any up-front fees for this service.
  • Recovery-based fee: The company may offer to collect a percentage of the total amount they recover on your behalf. So, if the company settles $10,000 in debt for you and asks for a five percent recovery fee, you would owe $500. This is a good option if you are seeking only a small recovery or are unsure how much debt you can settle.
  • Flat fee: You may have to pay a reduction company a flat fee regardless of how much they recover. This is a good option if you are seeking a very large settlement that could lead to a big expense if the percentage model is used. However, you should make certain that you will owe the fee only if the debt is actually settled.
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