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As I am reading through the Q & A’s you say that a red flag is the settlement company telling me that they will clean up my credit at the end of the process. Janet H. is telling me her company includes in their negotiated settlement with the credit card company an agreement to remove all slow payments from my bureau upon final payment. Am I being oversold?

Good question. If the debt settlement company says that they will negotiate to have certain marks on your credit removed as part of their legal agreement with the credit card companies, then you can believe that. You can ask them if this is guaranteed or if it is just an effort they make on your behalf as part of the settlement.

What I caution against in the Q&A’s are the companies who tell you that your credit score will automatically return to normal after the settlement process is over without it being part of the settlement process. Basically, the companies who try and sweep the credit score issue under the rug without addressing how they may be able to help you fix it (if at all).

A settlement is a legal agreement so if a company can negotiate more than just reduced payments for you, then that’s great. Just be sure you understand exactly what they will be negotiating, what that will do to your credit report immediately after the settlement process, and what happens if they are unsuccessful in getting the slow payment marks removed as part of the settlement. Thanks.