Who is Debt Free/How long has Debt Free been in business?
Debt Free’s debt servicing partners have been in operation for over 35 years. Debt Free has helped hundreds of thousands of consumers move toward their goal of being debt free.
Why do you need to know my Social Security Number?
Your Social Security Number (SSN) will serve as your client ID number while you are on the program. To expedite processing, please include your client ID on all correspondence to us. Using your SSN as your client ID helps us to ensure proper posting of your payments to your creditors.
How do I track my debt management progress?
You will receive monthly statements from us showing your payment disbursements. You will also receive monthly statements from your creditors showing balance reductions, payments, and any concessions. Remember, it is your responsibility to review your creditor statements and confirm that payments have been properly credited and that any and all concessions offered by your creditors (which may include interest-rate reductions and late-charge waivers or other benefits) are reflected on the statements. If you have questions or there appear to be inaccuracies on your statement, it is your responsibility to call us. We do not receive copies of your statements from your creditors and will not know about any problems unless you bring them to our attention.
What do the fees provide?
Fees paid entitle you to receive the many benefits the Debt Free program offers, such as access to possible creditor concessions, maximum five-year payoff plan for debts you enroll in the program, toll-free credit and debt counseling and customer service, online assistance, monthly statements showing disbursements, missed payment notices, and bankruptcy avoidance.
What kind of debt reduction or debt elimination concessions do creditors offer?
Concessions vary depending on the creditor. Many creditors offer debtors on our program concessions such as lowered or eliminated interest rates, removal of late fees, and/or re-aging of your account. However, keep in mind that most creditor concessions do not go into effect until you have made at least three to six consecutive monthly payments on the program. The creditors want to know that you are serious about eliminating your debt and that you intend to make consistent, on-time payments. If you still are not seeing concessions on your statements from your creditors after you have made several payments on the program, please contact our Customer Service Department so that we can contact your creditors.
Are the monthly fee or the funds handling contribution tax deductible?
Given the tendency of the tax laws to change, we recommend you contact your accountant or the IRS for that information.
How does the Debt Free program affect my credit report and FICO score?
We do not report to the credit bureaus. However, through creditor reporting or otherwise, for credit counseling customers, a notation may appear on your credit report stating that you are in a debt management program. For debt settlement customers, a notation may appear on your credit report stating that a balance settled. In either case your credit report may indicate that a balance was paid off for less than what was owed. We suggest you check with your creditors to determine how such a notation will be interpreted and whether it will affect your FICO score. More information on this topic may be available at www.myfico.com.
How long does the debt management program status remain on my credit report?
This depends on your prior credit history and how your creditors report to the credit bureaus. Therefore, it is difficult to give a definite answer to this question.
When will the debt collection calls stop?
Upon your enrollment and receipt of your first payment, we will notify the creditors for the accounts you have placed in the program. Once notified, some creditors will stop collection efforts immediately, while others want to see between three and six consecutive payments before stopping, if at all. If you receive a call after you have made your first payment, please refer the collector to us.
Will the credit accounts that I place in the program be closed?
Yes, all accounts included in the program will be closed and will no longer be available for use. We do recommend that all of your unsecured debt be placed on the program and that you avoid incurring additional debt.
Can I make a one-time payment that is more than my usual monthly payment?
Yes, however, please contact our Customer Service Department to make arrangements before doing so.
How will the program affect my ability to buy a home, buy a car, or refinance my existing mortgage?
Because lenders view debt management programs differently, we suggest you contact your lender for additional information. For major loans, some lenders require that you have been in the program for at least twelve months and that all payments were made on time.
Can I include secured debts (home, car, boat, etc.) on the program?
Unfortunately, we do not accept secured debts on the program at this time.
Is this a loan?
No. We do not lend money. Our goal is to help you pay off your existing debts as quickly as possible without incurring additional debt. We work with your creditors to obtain the concessions they are willing to offer you. This allows more of your monthly payment to go toward reducing your balances.
Can you help me if I am close to bankruptcy?
Yes, our program offers you a positive alternative to bankruptcy. Remember, bankruptcy remains on your credit report for at least seven to ten years and can have many adverse consequences.
What if I am unable to make my minimum payments before I am enrolled in the program and have sent you my first monthly payment?
If you are unable to make a payment, your creditors may charge you a late fee and consider your account delinquent. Keep in mind that you are not officially enrolled until we have received your first monthly payment.
What happens if my payment is late?
If you are going to be late with your payment to Debt Free, you should advise our Customer Service Department immediately. Most creditors require payment every thirty days or concessions may be lost or suspended. Our Customer Service Department may be able to contact the creditors and have your concessions reinstated depending on the circumstances.
What happens if I terminate my participation in the debt management program after I have started?
We cannot control what your creditors may do if you terminate your participation in the program early, before your balances are paid off. Some creditors may increase your interest rates, reinstitute late charges or enforce other penalties, some or all of which may be retroactive to the date you started in the program. Also, we do not know when or if you would be eligible to participate in another debt management program. We suggest you contact your creditors with any questions you have regarding the effects of termination.