ZipDebt was found in 1997 by Charles J. Phelan, a former debt specialist and industry expert on settlement. The company offers a unique do-it-yourself approach to settle debts for both individuals and business in need of help.
Do-It Yourself Approach
ZipDebt’s foundation is built on a do-it-yourself approach to settle debt. The company created a step-by-step program allowing customers to have full control over their financial future by negotiating their debts with their creditors. ZipDebt works by providing customers with three product options ranging in price from $197 to $777, which is less than what some pay to hire a settlement firm to negotiate debts for them, with fees ranging anywhere from 15-30% of the debt they enroll or the amount saved.They allow for customers to pay towards their higher end products, allowing them a little space to breathe financially. Below is an outline of the DIY programs:
- Basic: Debt settlement CD’s, Forms and letters, and three other bonuses.
- Enhanced: basic package plus 6 months of electronic coaching and document review, and access to recent settlement percentages of major credit card banks.
- Premium: enhanced package (+ additional 6 months), and 1 year of telephonic coaching.
Potential clients are offered a free 20-minute consultation with the founder. Note that the company will ask you to make a list of all of the creditor’s names, the amounts due to each creditor, questions to be asked, and a completed form that can be found on their website. The form will include a description of each client’s debt situation and financial background. Typically the company will call back during normal business hours for they are unable to schedule callback appointments.
We are impressed by this company’s 365-day money-back guarantee policy giving customers a peace of mind knowing they can back out at any time. If the client becomes dissatisfied with the results or with the tools provided in the packages, they will be issued a full refund of the purchase price. In addition to the packages, the company provides consumers with additional tools and resources to aid them through their journey to financial stability. These tools include an insolvency calculator, DIY audio seminars and videos, and debt relief document reviews are all offered for an additional price. Among the free resources offered is a Credit Relief Guide and a $100k relief guide.
There are a few concerns with the approach ZipDebt takes to debt settlement. Although this is a great choice for those who are highly motivated and independent, this isn’t the best approach for just anyone to take. The program does guide the customer through a step-by-step program, but there are many more skills required to be successful at settling your debt. In the end, those who aren’t ready may take on more stress on top of their debt issues. Typically, financial lawyers and professional negotiators have built relationships with some of the big creditors giving them leverage when it comes to negotiating debts. Inherently, the customer lacks this and may have a harder time negotiating with the banks. Another concern with ZipDebt is in regards to their packages. They state that it is highly recommended for those with debt exceeding $50,000 to take the Premium Package to receive the 12 months of email coaching and document reviews. Additionally, the Basic Package is recommended for those who are just looking to inform themselves on debt options. This kind of information can be attained for free by utilizing the internet or by taking advantage of debt settlement company’s free consultation.
Consultation or Sales Pitch?
Our reviewers also don’t like the 20-minute consultation. It sounds more like a sales pitch than a consultation to offer the customer the best advice and information necessary to relieve their financial debt.
The Bottom Line
ZipDebt offers a do-it-yourself settlement program for individuals willing to take on the task of negotiating debts with creditors themselves. This could very well be a fitting option for someone who is motivated and aware, however, negotiating is a process that takes up a lot of time. Some may see this as an added stress to an already stressful situation, others could see it as fun and fulfilling. It completely depends on your personality. For those looking to use a professional, we suggest looking into our top rated companies.