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Is it worth risking working with a debt-settlement company?

You got in over your head with debt, and you want to pay off what you owe. You simply owe too much, and it's overwhelming.

You saw that there were companies that would negotiate for you, so you thought that might be a good idea. However, you should know that there are risks to working with debt-settlement companies.

Should you work with debt-settlement companies?

Debt-settlement companies can be good, but they can also be terrible. That's why it's generally advisable to speak with your attorney if you're considering having your debts consolidated or paid down.

Debt-settlement companies have to make money, which is one of the downsides of working with them. They expect a payment each month to help pay down what you owe after a new amount is negotiated, and they add their own charges on top. If you do plan to work with one, you should make sure that any contract you have is reviewed by your attorney and is favorable.

Debt settlement programs also have the potential to hurt your credit. So, while you are making some payments, the reality is that you still won't be paying all you owe on the full debt. As a result, your credit may be hit and show that you settled for less than you owed. Whether that hit to your credit is greater or less than a hit from bankruptcy or other methods of debt reduction fully depends on your personal situation.

On top of all this, you can negotiate with your creditors directly. You don't need a third party to step in for you, and if you decide you do, then your attorney could play that role.

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