Debt relief companies are available to help you reduce your outstanding debt with a regulated plan. These companies consolidate or pay off your debts then charge you a new cumulative monthly payment including interest. Some debt relief companies are legitimate while others attempt to scam you out of more money. Even the legitimate companies are businesses, however, and charge you fees for their services.

It is important to understand the fees and terms debt relief companies charge, including hidden fees. A good first step is to compare how much money is saved in interest and over the long-term before agreeing to any plan. 

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How do you know if a particular debt relief company plan actually saves you money?

Numbers do not lie, which is why it is important to look at and fully understand all the numbers involved in the plan proposed to you. For example, a lower APR spread out over an additional twelve or more months of installments might not save you money in the end. 

What is the most important aspect of a debt relief plan to you? Some people need instant reprieve in the form of lower monthly payments and are therefore agreeable to paying more over the long-term.

Other people need debt relief to protect or repair his or her credit rating. 

Regardless of your reason for hiring a debt relief company, never pay any fees upfront and make certain all terms are presented, transparent and agreeable to you prior to signing any contract.