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Century Debt Settlement Reviews: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Heading: What is Debt Settlement?

Debt settlement – it’s one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot, but do you really know what it means? Basically, it’s a process where you negotiate with your creditors to pay off a portion of what you owe, for less than the full amount. Sounds pretty sweet, right? But hold up, there’s a lot more to it than that.Let me break it down for you in simple terms. You stop making payments to your creditors and instead, put that money into a dedicated account managed by the debt settlement company. Once you’ve saved up a decent chunk of change, the company tries to negotiate a lump-sum “settlement” with each of your creditors. If the creditor agrees, you pay them the settled amount and boom – that debt is off your plate.Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But won’t that trash my credit score?” You’re not wrong, debt settlement can definitely do a number on your credit rating. But for some people, it’s the only way out of a mountain of debt that’s just too high to climb.

The Pros and Cons of Debt Settlement

Like most things in life, debt settlement has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of the biggies:

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Pros

  • You could end up paying a lot less than what you originally owed – sometimes even 50% less! That’s a huge weight off your shoulders.
  • No more harassing calls from debt collectors. Once you enroll in a debt settlement program, the company handles all communication with your creditors.
  • It’s an alternative to bankruptcy, which can have even more severe consequences for your credit.

Cons

  • Your credit score is going to take a major hit, making it harder to get approved for loans, mortgages, etc. in the future.
  • You risk being sued by your creditors if they refuse to settle. Yikes!
  • Debt settlement fees can be pretty steep, often 20-25% of your total enrolled debt.
  • Any forgiven debt is considered taxable income by the IRS. Double yikes!

So as you can see, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Debt settlement could save you a ton of money, but it also comes with some serious risks and drawbacks.

Introducing Century Debt Settlement

Now that we’ve covered the basics of debt settlement, let’s talk about one of the major players in the game – Century Debt Settlement. These guys have been around for over 20 years, helping folks get out from under their debts.On their website, they make some pretty bold claims – like settling over $1.3 billion in debt for their clients. But what do real people have to say about their services? That’s what we’re here to find out.To get the full scoop, I did a deep dive into various review sites like the Better Business BureauTrustpilot, and even Reddit threads. And let me tell you, the reviews are all over the place!Some people sing Century’s praises, saying they saved them thousands of dollars and were super communicative throughout the process. Others, however, have some not-so-nice things to say – accusing the company of being unresponsive, misleading, and even causing more financial harm than good.It’s a real mixed bag, folks. But don’t worry, I’m going to break it all down for you in a fair and balanced way. That’s what I’m here for!

The Good

Let’s start with the positive Century Debt Settlement reviews, shall we? Here are some of the common themes I noticed:

  • Significant debt reduction: Many customers reported having 50% or more of their debts forgiven through settlements negotiated by Century. We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars in savings for some folks!
  • Knowledgeable staff: Quite a few reviews praised Century’s debt counselors for being knowledgeable, patient, and good at explaining the process. This can be really important when you’re dealing with something as complex as debt settlement.
  • Persistent negotiators: Several people mentioned how relentless Century was in negotiating with their creditors, not giving up until they got the best possible deal.

One happy customer on Reddit had this to say:

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“I enrolled with Century about 3 years ago with around $45k in debt. They were able to settle all of my accounts for roughly $18k. Yes, my credit took a temporary hit but it’s already starting to rebound. Totally worth it in my opinion.”

That’s a pretty ringing endorsement, wouldn’t you say? Stories like these make it easy to see why some people are so satisfied with Century’s services.

The Bad

Unfortunately, not everyone has had such a positive experience. In fact, some of the negative Century Debt Settlement reviews are pretty scathing. Here are some of the major complaints:

  • Hidden fees: Despite advertising “fee transparency,” many customers felt blindsided by extra charges and fees that weren’t properly disclosed upfront. Those extra costs can really add up.
  • Lack of communication: This was one of the biggest gripes – clients saying they had trouble getting updates or responses from their debt counselors. Radio silence is never a good thing when you’re dealing with financial matters.
  • Broken promises: Some reviewers claimed that Century made guarantees about debt reduction percentages or timeframes that never materialized. Setting unrealistic expectations is a big no-no.
  • Credit score destruction: While some credit score damage is to be expected with debt settlement, there were reports of people’s scores being utterly decimated – to the point where they couldn’t get approved for anything.

One particularly scathing review on the Better Business Bureau site summed it up like this:

“Century Debt Settlement is the worst company I have ever dealt with. They are unresponsive, dishonest, and completely incompetent. I wish I had never enrolled with them.”

Yikes, tell us how you really feel! Reviews like these are definitely concerning and show that Century’s service can be hit-or-miss.

The Ugly

Okay, now for the really ugly stuff. I’m talking about the horror stories and major red flags that came up in my research on Century Debt Settlement. Brace yourselves, folks:

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  • Legal troubles: It turns out Century has been slapped with quite a few lawsuits and government actions over the years for allegedly deceptive practices. In 2019, they were forced to pay $350,000 to settle charges brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Tax nightmares: Remember how I mentioned that forgiven debt is considered taxable income? Well, some customers said Century failed to properly inform them about this, leaving them with unexpected (and hefty) tax bills from the IRS.
  • Creditor retaliation: There were multiple reports of creditors getting fed up with Century’s tactics and retaliating by suing customers or refusing to settle at all. So much for avoiding those debt collector calls, huh?

One particularly harrowing story on the Reddit personal finance forum involved a customer who said Century’s actions led to them being sued by multiple creditors and having their wages garnished. Not exactly the “debt-free” outcome they were hoping for.Situations like these are exactly why debt settlement is considered such a risky proposition. When things go wrong, they can go really, really wrong.

So, Should You Use Century Debt Settlement?

After reviewing all the feedback – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly – what’s the verdict on Century Debt Settlement? Well, as with most things in life, it’s complicated.On one hand, there are plenty of satisfied customers who were able to get out of debt for a fraction of what they owed. Century’s longevity in the industry and reported $1.3 billion in settled debts is no small feat.But on the other hand, the negative reviews and legal issues paint a concerning picture of potential misrepresentation, poor customer service, and outright harmful outcomes for some clients.Ultimately, debt settlement is always going to be a gamble. Even with a reputable company like Century, there are no guarantees. It could save you a ton of money – or it could completely backfire, torching your credit and leaving you in an even bigger financial hole.My advice? If you’re considering debt settlement, make sure you go into it with eyes wide open. Understand all the risks, read the fine print, and don’t let anyone pressure you into making a decision you’re not 100% comfortable with.And of course, be sure to check out other debt relief options too, like credit counseling, debt consolidation loans, or even bankruptcy. Sometimes, those alternatives may be a better fit for your unique situation.No matter what route you choose, just know that digging yourself out of debt is never easy. But with the right plan and perseverance, that debt-free life could be closer than you think!

Key Takeaways

  • Debt settlement companies like Century negotiate with creditors to settle debts for less than the full amount owed
  • Potential benefits include significant debt reduction and relief from debt collector harassment
  • Major risks include credit score damage, tax implications, lawsuits from creditors, and high fees
  • Century Debt Settlement reviews are mixed, with some praising their services and others reporting negative experiences
  • Do thorough research and understand all the risks before enrolling in any debt settlement program

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