Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people. Use this blog as a reference tool, not as the one and only view on the topic.
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There is an ever growing field of scumbags who want to “Help” you with your credit. I’ll warn you ahead of time, I have nothing nice to say about this particular group of people.
The commercials where they say they will “Help” you with your debt. They tell you that they will take all of your bills and then you’ll just pay them one low monthly payment. Yeah, those.
DO NOT WORK WITH THESE PEOPLE.
Before I go any further, I’ll say that there are some great people out there who really are there to help you with things like this. Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to tell the good ones from the bad. Let me tell you why I consider these people to be straight up evil…
The way this works is, you take in all of your bills. Current, past due and those in collections. They sit down and figure up what your monthly bill will be and you pay that each month. Sounds great, right? WRONG! These people literally prey on those they that are in desperate need of help.
This is what actually happens when you go to these people. You take them your bills, they sit down with you and work out a payment plan that you can afford-Ya know, ‘cause they care. Then you pay that amount each month. They promise you that the creditors will stop calling and you don’t have a thing to worry about except getting your payment in on time with them! Yay! While you’re breathing a sigh of relief, they are going to your creditors on your behalf and working out a “Deal.”
Remember last week when I talked about calling creditors? Yeah, that’s what they do.
Here’s the part where my blood starts to boil. They have no legal obligation to explain how this all works. So far, it doesn’t sound that bad, right?
Here’s where you get screwed. They take “ANY” deal. Which means, often times, they will actually give THEIR own number as the “Contact” number. The creditors DON’T stop calling, they just stop calling YOU. Why do they do this? Well, they are looking for a deal. Let’s say you owe $1,000 on an old credit card. It’s in the stage where it has been closed for non-payment but it’s in that grey area where it isn’t quite in collections yet. What they do is wait until it gets sold to a separate collection agency. Collection agencies usually have a “Let’s just get this account closed” deal that they can offer.
Still, this doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world, right? Well, being in collections with a credit card company has steps. You can be in “Collections” with the company itself or your account can be sold to an outside agency. Selling your account can take up to a full year. During that year, your credit report is showing month after month that you owe on a bill that your not paying, that you owe more than the total credit limit AND through all of this, you are paying this “Debt relief” agency.
What happens to the money you send to them? It depends. If your bill has already gone to collections and they can make some sort of deal, your money goes to the creditor. If they can’t make a deal and are in the “waiting” period, your money goes into an account. Yep, it just sits there until they can make the kind of deal that works for them. While your money sits in an account, it earns THEM interest plus they take a cut of the total amount paid as their fee.
I would call them loan sharks but frankly, they are not that ethical.
In short, do it yourself. You’ll know what’s happening to your money, your credit and your life. Don’t let anyone have this much of an affect you. Not ever.