Now you are up to your eyeballs in debt. Your cards are maxed out, the interest rates are high, and the only new credit you can get is tiny and expensive. It's time to get scammed with sleazy "debt relief" or "credit counseling" services. While there are some reputable companies in the debt relief industry, there are far too many who will just prey upon you. While these companies certainly can reduce your interest and lower your payments, it's not free
Not only will they get a percentage of the collected debt, there may be an counseling fee, an account set up fee, and a monthly service fee. Sometimes these fees are all charged up front before any of your creditors get a dime. These fees are on top of the interest and finance charges you will still have to pay to your creditors. Some companies will simply pocket your first payment, meaning ha you are already a month behind before your first payment is made to the creditor.