ZipDebt was found in 1997 by Charles J. Phelan, a former debt specialist and industry expert on settlement. This company does things a little differently and provides a do-it-yourself approach to debt settlement, one that is aimed at both individuals and businesses and is supposed to help with all types of debt.
The question is, how much of this is true, is ZipDebt effective?
The About section has to be a little different here as ZipDebt is not like any company we have reviewed before. They are not accredited by many authorities, and they are not even accredited by the BBB. In fact, they don't even need to be, as they are basically an education portal that sells guides and tuition regarding debt settlement.
These guides are at the heart of the site and they are behind everything they do. Their goal is to sell you them, and they do this on the promise that those guides can then help you to settle your debt. Sounds simple, right? Well, it might be, but whether it is effective or not is a different story and that's what we're going to look at here.
Our ZipDebt Review
Now it is time for the honest truth. We asked our researchers to look into ZipDebt and their unique approach and to see if it was worth anything or if it was oversold. Take a look at our ZipDebt review below to discover what they learned.
The Do-It Yourself Approach
ZipDebt’s foundation is built on a do-it-yourself approach to debt settlement, and in theory, this works incredibly well and it appealed to our need for quick, cheap and easy fixes.
Simply put, the ZipDebt system is a step-by-step program that aims to give customers full control over their financial future by negotiating their debts with their creditors. If you have ever looked at a debt settlement program and thought, “I wonder if I could do that myself”, then this might be the program for you.
ZipDebt offers customers three different products, and these range in price from a respectable $197 all of the way to $777. On the plus side, even this higher amount is less than what you would pay a debt settlement company, and it's also less than you would pay for a debt management plan.
Take a look below to gain a better understanding of the products that are offered by this company:
- Basic Package: Debt settlement CD’s, forms and letters, and three other “bonuses”.
- Enhanced Package: This includes everything in the basic package plus 6 months of electronic coaching and document review, and access to recent settlement percentages of major credit card banks.
- Premium Package: This includes everything in the enhanced package plus additional 6 months and 1 year of telephonic coaching.
Clients are offered a free 20-minute consultation with the founder ofZipDebt. Free consultations are not unusual in this industry, but we were surprised to see them offered here considering how ZipDebt differ, and we were very surprised to see that it was the founder himself stepping up to the plate. In many ways they are similar to other small companies like Trinity Debt Management, as opposed to the likes of Best Egg.
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 ZipDebt will then call back during normal business hours.
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 is at all dissatisfied with the tools provided in the packages, or with the results (or lack thereof) that they bring, they will be issued a full refund.
Alongside 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, and it's probably not the right option for the majority of debtors.
The program does guide the customer through step-by-step, but there are many more skills required to be successful at settling your debt. If it were that easy then everyone would be doing it and no one would be hiring debt settlement companies like DMB, or debt management companies like Credit Counseling.
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. They also have a lot of knowledge of the industry and the process, and this is nothing something you can acquire overnight.
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 about debt options. The problem with this is that most of the info in the basic package is already widely available online, while the premium stuff is likely wasted on anyone who isn't already knowledgeable or well connected in this industry.
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, and even someone who sees themselves with a future in this industry, however, negotiating is a process that takes up a lot of time and is not as easy as it is made out to be.
And you also have to ask yourself if it is worth it, and if you're actually going to get what you pay for, especially where the basic materials are concerned.
It's like any book out there. How many times have you been directed to a landing page for an eBook that promises to tell you a secret, how many times have you fallen for it, bought it, and then discovered that the “secret” was always just a Google search away? We're not saying that ZipDebt is that bad, but it's not that far off.