A Sucker Born Every MinuteJohn Sanders
“A Sucker Born Every Minute”
Avoid These Debt Consolidation Scams
As the pandemic issue plays itself out across America many agents may have created a higher than normal debt to income ratio. Some may seek to resolve the situation with the services of a debt consolidation service. Generally, I avoid these things entirely. Years ago, I was the director of Goodbye Bills a nonprofit credit counseling agency. As such I learned quite a bit of information about this interesting and murky business.
The web communications revolution has provided many unprecedented opportunities for commerce and unfortunately, quite a few opportunities for swindlers to prey on the gullible. This is just as true for debt consolidation as for anything else. Here are some debt consolidation scams to stay away from:
- Free Debt Consolidation Services – Why are these guys doing it for free? How are they making money? Do be aware, though, that cheap debt consolidation services are not always a rip-off, although it would be a good idea to take a second look at anything that sounds too good to be true.
- Consolidate Your Debts Using Free Government Grants – Yeah, right. The woods are thick with companies that offer information about free government grants. Haven’t you heard? Uncle Sam is giving away money like candy (which explains our high taxes!). And you can use this money any way you like for example, to consolidate your debts. It is true that the government gives loads of grant money, but I have yet to hear of a Citizen Lifestyle Enhancement Fund. It’s not easy to qualify for government grants, you have to spend the money for a particular purpose, and using it to consolidate your bills might just win you a free bonus a five-year vacation at the Club Fed.
- No Repayment Necessary – I do not quite know quite why I included this one, except for entertainment value if you can read then you are probably too smart to fall for it. Anyway, here goes: Did you know that banking laws prohibit the charging of interest, and that the Supreme Court has backed this up with several decisions? You can borrow money, fail to pay it back, and then retain a smooth attorney to get you out of paying it back after all, they had no legal right to lend you the money. Would you like to know how? Well, for the low, low price of $69.95.
If you fall for this one, then I have got some Ocean front property in Oklahoma I would like to sell you sight unseen. Oh, and by the way, even if banking law DID prohibit the charging of interest, you would still have to pay back the principal.
Most debt consolidation swindles are see-through because they aim to take advantage of somebody in financial and emotional distress. As P.T. Barnum said, there is a sucker born every minute.
I teach agents to do these simple things.
- Live within your means.
- Save aggressively for the rainy day.
- Pay your debts if you do not insurance carriers will not trust you.
- Work, work, work, rest, and repeat.
The future is unknown, so let us not compound it with potentially bad choices.