How Do Debt Relief Programs Work? A Guide for Borrowers

how does debt relief work

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by your debts recently, you may find yourself wondering, “How does debt relief work?” While, truthfully, every debt relief program is a bit different, they all tend to follow the same general process in helping you to settle your debts. In light of that, we’ve created a guide to this process below. Keep reading to learn what debt relief is, how it works, and how it can help you become debt free.

What is a debt relief program?

Debt relief programs make it easier to pay off your outstanding debts by negotiating with your creditors and, in some cases, reducing the total amount that you owe. While many programs primarily focus on reducing your total outstanding balance to a manageable percentage of your total debt, they can also help you to reduce your interest rate or create a simplified payment plan in order to make your payments more manageable for you. 

Notably, debt relief is different from debt consolidation. For its part, debt consolidation involves taking out a new loan or credit card with a lower interest rate and transferring your existing balances to it. On the other hand, debt settlement involves negotiating with all of your existing creditors and asking them to accept a lesser amount than you currently owe in exchange for receiving a lump sum payment.

How do debt relief programs work?

The way in which debt relief programs work is fairly simple. Although no two debt relief programs are really the same, we’ve laid out a step-by-step guide for you below. Read them over to give yourself a better idea of what to expect if you decide to hire a debt relief professional to help you.

  • Find the right debt relief professional: Whether you decide to go with a debt relief program or a debt relief attorney, the first step is doing your research. You will need to look into each program or attorney to make sure that they are reputable and capable of delivering you the results you want.
  • Decide on a monthly payment amount: Once you’ve found the right person or group to help you, you’ll likely meet with them and decide on a monthly payment amount. Put simply,  you may agree to send them a predetermined payment amount each month while keeping up minimum payments on other debts not included in the program. In some programs the attorney can hold the funds in escrow or an account for your benefit.
  • Undergo the negotiations: The next step will be for the debt relief program or attorney to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. They will act in your best interest to come to an agreement with your creditors and any collection companies.
  • Settle your debts: Once an agreement has been reached, you will use the funds from the lump sum to settle your debts with your creditors once and for all.

What are the pros and cons of debt relief programs

Like any other financial decision, the decision to work with a debt relief company comes with its own pros and cons. With that in mind, it’s important for you to weigh them carefully before deciding if it makes sense for you to move forward. To that end, we’ve laid them out below for your further consideration.


  • They’ll help you navigate this process: Navigating your debt relief options can be tricky, especially if you have never found yourself in this type of situation before. A debt relief professional can help guide you through the process and give you a better understanding of what to expect.
  • They’ll handle the hard part: Negotiating with your creditors is often the hardest part of the debt settlement process. With a debt relief program or attorney, you’ll have a professional on your side who is charged with negotiating in your best interest.
  • They’ll help you pay less overall: Debt settlement is unique in that you’ll be able to pay your creditors less than the full amount of your outstanding balance. In some cases, you’ll be able to pay a fraction of what you owe, which can save you time and money in the long run. 


  • They’ll charge you fees: Like any other service, you will be expected to pay your debt relief program or attorney. According to, a legal website, attorneys can either charge a contingency, an hourly, or a flat rate. However, those fees can be well worth the cost if you save a significant amount on your outstanding debts.
  • They’re not all reputable: Not every debt relief organization truly has your best interest at heart. That’s why it’s extremely important to do your own research into each program or individual attorney that you are considering before you enter into any legally-binding agreement or give money to a company that is offering to resolve your debts. 
  • They can’t guarantee results; Unfortunately, the results of a debt settlement can not be guaranteed. Since this process is based on negotiations with individual creditors and debt collectors, the final results of your debt settlement can vary greatly.

Does debt relief work?

At the end of the day, debt relief is a solid option to help settle your debts once and for all. While some others may be better suited with a debt management plan or even bankruptcy, if you have some assets to pay your creditors, but cannot afford to pay off your entire outstanding balance, debt relief may be a good option for you.

If you’re ready to explore your debt relief options with a reputable legal debt help, call Tayne Law Group today at (866) 890-7337, or fill out our short contact form, and we’ll respond as soon as possible. We’ve been in the debt relief business for over twenty years and, in that time, we have won countless awards for our service. Rest assured, our experience speaks for itself.

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I just wanted to thank your entire staff at The Law Offices of Leslie H. Tayne, for helping me get out of debt. If it wasn’t for your firm, I would have never been able to resolve my $13k worth of debt in less than 3 years. Your staff did a great job, I was finally able to buy myself a brand new car without using a cosigner. I can’t tell you again how happy I am. I would recommend your services to anyone.

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