A Straight Talk on Debt

A Straight Talk on Debt gives you the real deal on debt, straight from our employees and personal finance experts. Learn more about debt relief plans and how to be financially fit.

Nothing But the Truth

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Lately there has been a lot of negative press centered around the debt settlement industry. It seems like every time I open up a newspaper or check out CNN.com some expert is writing about how terrible the industry is, and how every debt settlement company is taking advantage of innocent consumers who are desperate and don't know better. 

While I do agree with some of what is being said, I have a problem with the press referring to all debt relief companies as evil entities who take advantage of vulnerable people, and do not acknowledge the reputable companies within the industry.  

That's why I decided to address some of these wide-sweeping claims. I can only imagine how reading these horror stories and broad generalizations about the debt settlement industry make our customers feel. Part of the reason I wanted to post this blog was to make sure you understand why CareOne is different, and to offer some reassurance that you have made the right decision, and are well on your way to handling your unsecured debts. 

So what makes CareOne different? I could probably write a novel to answer that question however I am going to stick to the facts and try not to mix too much of my personal opinion in, because you know what they say about opinions... 

  • The press refers to this as the "settlement industry," because the majority of companies in the industry offer only ONE product to consumers: Debt Settlement. Such companies will automatically enroll you in their settlement program, because it is the only program they offer.  

CareOne, on the other hand, offers multiple options which enable customers to pay off their unsecured debt in a reasonable amount of time. We understand that everyone's situation is unique, and we want our customers to end up with the right solution to fit their needs. Because of this, we do not even refer to ourselves as a "Debt Settlement" company, but rather, as a "debt relief provider", which speaks much more clearly to the multiple program options we offer.  

In order to ensure we are matching each customer with the appropriate plan that works for them, we provide a free and objective financial assessment up front to determine the right solution for you, whether  it is a Debt Settlement Plan, a Debt Management Plan,  budgeting advice, or even bankruptcy. 

  • The media spends a great deal of time focusing on the allegations of unfair practices. A recent New York Times article stated that "Since 2004, at least 21 states have brought at least 128 enforcement actions against debt relief companies, according to the National Association of Attorneys General."  

At CareOne we work hard to maintain our outstanding reputation with both our customers and our business partners. We are licensed and authorized in every state in which we offer solutions, and comply with individual state regulations.  

  • I keep reading that consumers rarely emerge from debt settlement programs with their credit card balances eliminated, and oftentimes, they end up in even worse situations, with severely damaged credit, pending lawsuits from creditors, and less money than they started off with because they paid a large initial upfront fee to the settlement company.  

This may be true for many of the settlement companies out there, but for CareOne, it couldn't be further from the truth. We have helped over 4.5 million people with their debt. We are a well-respected industry leader with very positive relationships with over 249,000 creditors. In 2009, we processed over 9.1 million customer payments, and our customers were able to pay down their debt by $719 million. 

Okay, I think I've said enough. But do me a favor and check it all out for yourself. Go look at our media coverage and read the press we received for our new approach to debt settlement. Take a look at our Debt Consolidation Provider Checklist which lists the questions you should get answered before choosing a debt relief provider. We believe that whether or not you ultimately enroll with one of our providers, we'd rather you were educated and knowledgeable as you navigate the industry. That is why we also encourage you to view our blog on "The Questions You Should Ask Before Signing Up for a Debt Relief Plan." And to that point, spend some time in our community reading our expert blogs and money management tips, finding out answers to various plan-specific questions, and seeing what other customers are talking about in our forums. And please, if you have any other questions that have not been addressed in this blog, leave a comment and I will get an answer for you.

Rob Taylor

Rob is a contributing writer for the Straight Talk on Debt blog. Rob has been in the business of helping people get out of debt for the past six years. He is a product manager with the CareOne team and focuses on making debt relief plans even better.

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  • I agree 100%! I am half way through my program with Care One and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I do wish that people would stop blaming the industry and start looking at their own spending habits. The bottom line is that getting into credit debt is no one's fault but the consumer (eliminating extenuating circumstances such as medical illness, death, etc...) Care One has helped me stay focused in paying off my debt and helped negotiate lower interest rates with my credit card companies. That’s all that Care One can do - the rest is up to me to A) Not open additional credit accounts and B) stick to a strict budget which means spending only what I have and skipping the extra nights on the town or shopping sprees.


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