I saw an online ad about debt settlement, it was from creditsolutions.com. I called in and talked to a real nice guy who gave me the run down on the system. I wasn't intending to make a decision right then and there and I told him that. He said that I could wait and let him know next week if I want to go ahead or not...and he set me up with an account on their website. The website is very slick and nicely done.
However, as I reviewed the paperwork more and more, my wife and I went online and decided to see some reviews of creditsolutions.com. A simple Google search brought us to this site were we saw a lot of negative feelings. The reports seemed genuine. While there were some positive reports, the positive folks didn't seem to have been in the program for very long. One guy had been in for 13 months but only settled one account...so he/she prob didn't have the IRS Earned Income problem that others reported.
Truth be told, creditsolutions.com did mention that any money you save through their system may be considered Earned Income by the IRS. However the representative didn't go into details nor disclose how much of an impact that would be. I read on here one fellow had all his accounts settled then the IRS came after him and now he owes them all that money saved. He just traded one lender for another. After reading these reviews, I checked the BBB - and they rated Credit Solutions with an F. So I call in to cancel. It may be a good system, but I'm not comfortable with a company with a rating of F with the BBB.
I call on a Saturday and talk to a woman who decides she needs to save me from leaving. She argues, argues and argues. She even gets rude and obnoxious. Basically her point is, "we're not part of the BBB system, so when people complain our expert customer service handles it outside of the BBB - so the BBB will give us an F because we don't do the arbitration with them." I didn't buy it. When I made a couple comments she got rude and obnoxious. Really hostile and combative. At this point I had to just interrupt her and go "hey hey hey... just close the account already." Finally she says, "I can't do that. You'll have to wait 'til Monday."
So she wasted my time, and was combative and rude to me. I called in on Monday and talked to another person...who basically forwarded me to an account specialist. Basically someone trying to keep you from canceling. He gives me the big show. How great his company is. Everyone else is peanuts compared to Credit Solutions. No one else compares...it's so over the top it has to be false. Their ego is just too big. He goes on and on about how the BBB isn't relevant and reiterates what the lady said a couple days prior.
After he talks he wants to know if I agree with him, I say I don't and that I did find a debt settlement company that had a A- rating with the BBB...he got quiet. I mentioned I still want to leave. He then asks the typical, "what will you do with your debt situation without us?" I reply it's not his concern...and he puts me on hold. He comes back to throw a jab about how there are big companies like Walmart, and small peanut companies that try to compete...and how no one can really compete with a giant like Walmart (i.e. Credit Solutions is the Walmart of debt settlement).
Here I'm thinking, if you're so damn big why is it so important for you to retain a single customer? If I want to close an account with Walmart, they don't try this hard to retain me. They don't care because they're so big. My gut feeling with this company is: they may do what they say, their egos are huge. Customer service is a crap shoot - you can get a nice guy, or a hostile employee.
They are desperate to retain customers - which means to me, they are small timers. If another debt settlement company can get an A- rating with the BBB then they could too. Saying "we're not BBB certified" isn't an answer...as they should be able to get certified esp. if others have done it.
I wasn't "impressed with their amazing customer service" since I was treated with hostility and rudeness by one employee and over ego by the last one I talked with. All of the above makes me nervous to use this company. If it is a legit and great opp., then I'm passing on it for the reasons above.
Things that frustrated me about this company is that they added to my account a credit card from my bank, Wells Fargo and they didn't even ask me if I banked with them. And then they charged me 15% only to call me later and say, "oh we found out you bank with them so we can't do that card but we are still going to charge you 15%." Then when you settle they don't mention that you will count as income the money from the credit card you settle. They were very, very poor at responding and would always promise to get back with you and after about 10 different individuals I finally got one that was good named **!
One lady after, I was going to cancel because I ended up paying 150% of what the enrolled amount was because they never called the credit card company. I received a garnishment and this was after I already had dropped the program and re-enrolled because they promised me they would take care of it. When I received the garnishment, the guy said, "did you receive anything from this company?" I about fell on the floor since I had emailed literally about 40 or so times and spoken with individuals on the phone.
Then after dropping again I was foolish enough to stay with it again since it seemed I wouldn't get the money back from them. I paid and the lady again promised she would get back with me. I even said before I got off the phone, "I don't want to be a pessimist but I have been told that a dozen times from your people and they don't get back with me and I don't get monthly calls and I have an answering machine." She said, "oh I will and I will email you." Guess what - I never got the info back she promised over a month later.
If I had handled the credit card myself, I could at least have put the interest on hold and not ended up paying bank fees for the garnishment and 150% interest. Also be sure to ask them how they hold themselves accountable to the "Estimate" they give you because every one I get from them, they email and say is so great or on this last one, they even called and left a message (!) but it is 22% settlement and not the 60% they estimate.
They have never been able to give me numbers when I ask what the percentage rate of people that actually settle at 60% of their estimate. They won't even tell me half or a third. They might as well tell it will be a dollar you will settle since they don't keep their own word by contract.
"8. Service Guarantee. If COMPANY is unable to settle an enrolled account, COMPANY will refund to CLIENT, an amount equal to 15% of that particular account balance at initial enrollment. CLIENT must have sufficient funds to settle the account in order to be eligible for service guarantee."
Well one would think after paying a 150% of enrolled debt that would be evidence enough and they should at least refund the amount of the 15% and I had to spend over an hour on the phone and several emails disputing how they didn't do their job and thanks to **, I was able to finally get 13% refunded. However again I paid way more and hours and hours on the phone and email when I could have just handled it myself and had much better results.
This company has been a pain for the most part to deal with although the people are really friendly. My favorite thing is almost all of them have said to me that, "yeah I am really good friends with person X at this company or they know them well", which must be part of their training to instill confidence.
Being in debt is a pain in the head in the first place and it kills me to not be able to pay my bills. I have called all my credit card companies and told them my situation and a few of them lowered my interest rate but I got in over my head and didn't know what else to do. In hindsight I have to say it has brought some peace of mind knowing that at least I have a company that has power of attorney, even though it seems like everyone I have worked with is probably in between 18-30 and doesn't have much of a clue about what they are doing (I will not go on because I can).
Trying to work like crazy and deal with creditors was more stress than I could take and as much stress as it has been dealing with Credit Solutions - at least they have bought me some time to get some money together. My advice: don't get in debt unless you MUST (really helpful advise, I am sure). Being in debt STINKS and I figure that is the price I pay for not being able to pay back my debts at the crazy high interest rate of credit cards. For what it's worth...
Also if anyone wants I made a handy Excel spread sheet that shows the savings and amount of savings and what rate you should be quoted the difference etc. with a call log page and many other helpful info. Email me at **. I don't want to have to explain it but you are welcome to.
Before agreeing to sign up with this company or any company that is offering to settle your debts, make sure you understand they can only help settle your accounts when you actually have the money to pay it off...whether it's in one lump sum or over a 3-month period. Keep in mind that you are also paying Credit Solutions a monthly fee for what they claim their service is to you. The monthly fee is determined by a certain percentage of how much you actually owe the credit card company/companies.
Also, once all of the accounts are settled and paid, you then have to pay whatever you owe Credit Solutions within a 3-month period or so time frame, not within 36 months or whatever program you agreed to. I was not told this upfront. This is important information that was left out when when I agreed to use them. Even after repeating the terms I was told, their customer service person failed to tell me that and I wish I knew this because it would have made a difference for me.
Did they help settle my accounts...yes, they did. However, I still received many daily annoying, harassing and even seemed like threatening calls from the creditors...even after I explained to them I was on the program, they didn't care and continued to do so. Credit Solutions cannot stop those annoying creditors from calling all phone numbers found for you (including family/friends/current & previous employers). The creditors or 3rd party company will also mail you at all addresses found for you.
Overall, if you have the money to pay off your debt, and understand by defaulting in your monthly payments that your credit score will decrease, then do it. However, if you live paycheck-to-paycheck, strongly think about it before agreeing to their terms. Hope this helps.
I have been with Credit Solutions for a year and a half, they have settled three out of four of my credit cards for less than 60% of what I owed. The fourth credit card I got a threat of a lawsuit against me for "breach of contract". I called Credit Solutions about this and they took over, transferred me to "special settlement departments" reassured me they had experience dealing with this, stated they had good contacts at the prosecuting law frim and within the next day had a settlement for this card.
Four out of four cards paid and I am satisfied. They helped me pay off debt which would have taken a lifetime to pay off in less than two years. Yes, this did lower my credit score, but now I am debt-free. I can begin to build credit again, although I do not want to get in that credit card trap again!!! I am fortunate that I already have a home, car, etc. and I have no need for loans in the near future and I can work on rebuilding credit. This service is not cheap, and I known that settling debt can be done on your own, but I did not have the time and Credit Solutions saved me more than you can imagine.
You have to make the commitment to make it work, you have to save your money to settle these debts. Most people are not happy with Credit Solutions because they have not made the effort on their part to really commit to getting these debts paid off and instead spend the money they should be saving to pay off their debts.
I do not know why some people say they have been with them for a year and no debts settled, you can call customer service and let them know I am ready to settle another debt and they have been on it. I think the people who have complaints have made no efforts on their parts or have other situations that they are not disclosing. It worked for me and I would use them again, but I hope I don't have to!!!
TEXAS -- I have to refute the comments I have been reading. I am under contract with Credit Solutions and after 13 months have just settled my first account very satisfactorily. Reduced almost 60%. The second account is still pending as I do not have enough for the CC company to make an offer. My experience is that the representatives are Right ON whenever I have called my questions have been answered &/or resolved.
The company has been in business for 7 years and having been in the corporate world all my life, I do know that the BBB does not yet have a "category" for this type of company as it is not a debt consolidation company as many people think. Debt consolidation firms were developed by the credit card companies. Credit Solutions is a debt settlement company. However, if you speak to the BBB in Texas they will tell you all complaints were addressed and resolved by Credit Solutions. Not something most companies can claim.
Credit Solutions is also working with the Attorney Generals in all the states to obtain a "category" under which they can be listed. This company's awards are many and irrefutable and the people who have complaints I believe, were not honest and forthright with the information they initially gave to Credit Solutions from the onset.
To address one complainant...this company cannot settle an auto loan and this is made clear from the beginning. It might be useful if all of you would learn how to READ, this way you would have picked up on these little facts. Unfortunately we live in an instant society and people "assume" where they should listen and read. This company successfully settles millions of debt for consumers every year.
I recommend Credit Solutions to those of you who need help. All I can offer to you is to ask questions, read the contract before you sign and be sure that what you are asking them to do is indeed within their capabilities! Good luck and understand that not even Credit Solutions can take on every type of debt situation out there. Sign me, Satisfied.
I always had sterling credit and paid all my bills. It was a shock and caused high anxiety to find myself in terrible debt after losing two jobs and funding a business start-up in a worse than slow economy. I read about Credit Solutions one evening when I was feeling fairly desperate and decided to sign on. I wonder how many of the negative comments have more to do with not understanding the role that Credit Solutions and companies like it play in resolving debt situations?
I paid Credit Solutions for a service -- and the service was to handle the creditor and collection calls that were driving me to distraction, to provide me with a program to follow so that I could feel hopeful of getting out of my situation and to settle on some debts as I had money available. They did a superlative job on all three counts -- and their customer service was great. They always explained issues to me and helped me avoid being taken advantage of as a result of panic.
When my debts had been whittled down to the point that it was no longer cost-effective to stay with Credit Solutions, I left and settled the remainder on my own, not without hitches, I must add. These collectors are often rapacious and dishonest -- Credit Solutions made sure deals were handled properly. I never had trouble with settlements they made, and they made some excellent settlements, one at 40% on the dollar. Bottom line: Credit Solutions is one tool you can used to get out of debt. You still have to do the work. I did, and I will soon be out of debt.
I signed with Credit Solutions with their bogus promises of saving me 60% to 70%. I never even got 45% off, but they collected all their fee from me. When I got the best offers from credit cards, they never even let me know and declined on behalf of myself so they can collect more money while I am waiting for another settlement to come.
Finally I ended up paying more with this company than the credit card itself offered me plus their bleeding fees. Now I am done with my credit cards and their fees. They still constantly calling my husband and I saying I still owe them fees. I sent them e-mails saying I paid everything. These people costed me my marriage with harassing phone calls and still night and day - they calling after 10 months later also. If I went with the credit cards itself for a deal, I wouldn't have been paid these scumbag company 7000 dollars and still harassed by them.
DO NOT waste your money with Credit Solutions. They tell you they will help reduce your debt by 50%. They don't. It took soooo long to get any settlement offers through them. In the mean time my credit was getting worse. I finally found out from a credit collection agency that I could negotiate my own debt payments which I did, and paid off all my debt sooner than Credit Solutions said I would.
I started negotiating all my debt through the collection agencies myself and they were all very helpful. They worked out payments I could afford and did not charge me any extra finance charges. In the long run, I paid Credit Solutions a lot of money for not much help. Lesson learned. I plan to stay debt-free from now on.
You pay your monthly fee to these people, and they tell you to stop making payments on your credit card. They guaranteed me that I'd have payoff offers within 60 days. Six months later, I had one that I initiated myself with the credit card company. I kept getting one excuse after the other from these people about why they haven't settled my accounts.
I had a hard time getting someone to answer the phone, and was placed on hold for 10 + minutes quite often. You can call these people 10 times, speak to 10 different reps, and get 12 different answers to your question. This company is a rip off. The BBB gave it an F, and I pulled my business from them. Fortunately, I was able to cut my losses at under $500 before they suckered me out of over 2 grand in fees.
This was a really bad decision to make. All they did was take my money and make me go to court with my creditors and owe court cost. I called them numerous times to help and all they said was that they called out creditors and they know I'm with Credit Solutions.
I was in court with one of my creditors, they said they never heard from them. Credit Solutions kept $1,000.00 dollars of mine and said that was there cost for helping me. HELPING ME - HA! They never did anything. Please don't ever use them, you won't get nothing accomplished. I have contacted all my creditors and now they have helped me tremendously. But I'm still out $1,000.00. BE SMART, DON'T BE LIKE ME!!