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why do debt settlement companies want give you a longer period of time to pay the debt back (84 month)

Debt settlement company programs are much shorter than 84 months. They are under 3 years. You may have them confused with a debt management program which is typically a 5-7 year program. Debt settlement is shorter beacuse they actually reduce the balance of what you owe on your debt whereas in a debt management program, the balance remains the same and your interest rates and fees are reduced.

Therefore debt management typically takes longer to complete.