Are you wondering if you can do your own debt settlement? The answer is yes, you probably can. Will you achieve the desired results? Maybe. Will you encounter stress, frustration and difficulties along the way? Definitely, in our experience.
Here are some of the pros and cons of settling your own debt.
Pros of Do-It-Yourself Debt Settlement
- You do not have to share private information with a third party if you deal directly with creditors.
- You avoid having to pay someone fees to settle your debt.
- Some debt collectors have minimum debt amounts, so you may be able to settle a small amount on your own.
Cons of Do-It-Yourself Debt Settlement
- Certain creditors will not settle directly with consumers.
- Each creditor has different processes and procedures; understanding them can save you valuable time.
- Consumers may say or do the wrong thing, leading escalating their case to a legal situation or a much higher settlement rate.
- Consumers may negotiate a less advantageous settlement rate than debt settlement companies, which have experience and relationships with creditors.
- Settling debt on your own takes energy and time and can be an emotionally draining and difficult process.
- Some creditors become aggressive, requiring aggressive negotiations on behalf of the consumer.
- It may be hard for consumers to get through to decision makers.
- If an account does escalate into a legal matter, the consumer probably should pay to get an attorney involved.
- All correspondence, proposed settlements or agreements from creditors should be reviewed in detail.
Now you may say that we are biased, since we only came up with three “pros” and nine “cons”! These pros and cons have been our experience since 1963. Debt settlement is a service much like tax preparation, divorce, and bankruptcy. Many people are uncomfortable preparing their own taxes for fear of an IRS audit. Likewise, many people hire an attorney to file for divorce to protect assets and to ensure the best settlement possible within the law. A consumer can file their own bankruptcy case, but most don’t because they run the risk of not filing it properly and having their case dismissed or worse.
The same applies to debt settlement. While you can attempt to settle on your own, and you may even succeed, the results you get will likely never compare to that of a professional who has the specialized knowledge and years of experience working with creditors and settling accounts. By all means, try to settle your debt yourself. Just make sure that you have any settlement agreements reviewed very carefully to make sure all terms are those agreed upon.