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How do I evaluate the BBB ratings of debt relief companies?

The BBB ratings of debt relief companies are all over the map and in some states it is seemingly impossible to find one with good ratings. It makes you wonder….

Given the nature of the business and the fact that these companies have thousands of clients who are stressed out due to their dire debt situation, it is very likely that any debt company will have at least some complaints against them (and if they do not, it is probably because they are so small). Many people in debt want an instant solution but it does not exist so when it doesn’t happen, they blame the debt relief company, sometimes justified, sometimes not. There are no guarantees in debt settlement so of course some people will be disappointed in the outcomes and complain to the BBB.

Here’s what to look for:
1. The number of complaints vs the number of clients (if there are 30-40 complaints vs 5000 clients over the past 3 years, that is a tiny percentage of unhappy people and the BBB agency will still give them an F rating)
2. If the number of complaints has spiked recently
3. If your regional BBB office has good ratings on ANY debt help companies (many rate them all an F)
4. If the complaints are all the same
5. If the debt company you are speaking with provides you with an honest straightforward explanation about their BBB rating

So, since debt relief is much different than say a restaurant or an auto repair shop, the BBB rating should be one part of many that make up your decision process as to who to use.