Virtually every single debt relief company offers a “free consultation” where you can call a toll-free number and speak with a counselor about your situation. Depending on whether you’re seeking debt settlement advice or information about credit counseling, there may be different titles for this position, such as “debt counselor,” “certified debt consultant,” or “senior debt advisor.”
Buyer beware! After 16+ years in the industry, I can tell you firsthand that such titles are meaningless. The reason is because there is no government agency certifying the credentials of individual debt consultants.
This is not the case with most professions involving financial products or advice. If you want to sell insurance, for example, you have to get a license from your State’s Department of Insurance. Yet there is no such corresponding license for the people who dispense debt settlement advice or make debt-related financial recommendations.
As a result of this lack of oversight, what prevails in the marketplace is a SALES mentality.
Even at many so-called non-profit credit counseling agencies, counselors are expected to “enroll” a sufficient number of callers, or they lose their job to someone who’s better at signing up new clients. And of course, a number of large debt settlement firms utilize aggressive high-pressure sales tactics via boiler-room operations. (Fortunately, this approach has been largely squashed by an October 2010 rule-change by the Federal Trade Commission which banned advance fees for third-party debt settlement firms.)
So whether you’re looking for debt settlement advice or information on other approaches like credit counseling or bankruptcy, be wary of the “free consultation.” Too often, you’ll simply be speaking with someone who has a financial incentive to sign you up for an expensive program or service. With thousands of dollars in potential commission income at stake, can you really trust a “debt consultant“ to provide you with objective advice?
Here at ZipDebt, we provide free consultations too. And while this might seem like a contradiction to what I wrote above, there are three key reasons why our consultation process is totally different from the sales-driven approach:
Our training course (“Charles Phelan’s Debt Settlement Success Seminar™”) includes a thorough discussion of ALL legitimate debt relief options, and provides a decision-tree to assist consumers in choosing the mathematically correct approach for their financial circumstances. We first educate you so you can make a fully informed decision on which course of action that makes the most sense given your particular situation. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to debt relief.
We offer our program with an ironclad 365-day moneyback guarantee. This gives consumers an opportunity to fully review the training material before making a final decision on whether or not to implement a debt settlement strategy vs. other approaches like bankruptcy or credit counseling. And of course, our refund policy makes it totally pointless for us to “sign people up” just to make a sale, as this would just lead to refunds requests based on the decision-tree information provided in the training program!
At ZipDebt, we do not employ sales representatives. Consultation requests are handled ONLY by a seasoned professional. Further, we do not pay any form of commission or incentive compensation for “sign-ups.” This ensures that the advice you will receive is unbiased.
The key point here is that you should beware of “free” debt settlement advice, or free debt-relief advice in general. Make sure it really is free, meaning with no strings attached (like a big fat commission for enrolling you!), or it may just be the most expensive advice you ever receive!
If you would like to discuss your financial situation with us and get some good solid advice (minus any sales pitch), please go to the consultation request page and follow the simple instructions provided there. We promise to give you a straight answer on whether or not debt settlement is right for your situation.