Credit Card Debt & Loans

DIY Debt Settlement Versus Debt Relief Companies: Which One Is Better?

DIY Debt Settlement Versus Debt Relief Companies: Which One Is Better?
Reviewed by Nima Vahdat
Updated January 5, 2024

If you’re ready to lower your debt and are tired of annoying calls from creditors, you have multiple debt relief options. 

Whether you negotiate your own debt settlement or hire a debt relief company, the road to financial freedom is possible.


  • Knowing the balance of all of your debts and understanding your debt relief options is essential to taking control of your finances.
  • You can negotiate with creditors on your own behalf, but it’s very important to understand the correct steps to take.
  • Professional debt relief companies can negotiate a debt relief payoff for you and receive a fee for the services they provide.

Everyone hates dealing with creditors. The constant phone calls, letters, and emails cause stress and anxiety. 

In some cases, unpaid debts can result in garnished wages, which can set you back financially and strain your budget. 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to negotiate with creditors and collection agencies, which is key to avoiding additional harm to your credit, preventing wage garnishment, and ending bank levies. 

Understanding your debt relief options is the first step to reclaiming your finances, taking hold of your credit, and pursuing financial freedom.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Debt Settlement Versus Debt Relief Companies

When dealing with creditors, you have two options: seeking Do It Yourself (DIY) settlements or working with a debt relief company. 

While both options can lead to the same results, doing it yourself can save you money, if you are very disciplined with your finances, have time to personally negotiate with creditors, and do all the work. 

However, if you have a large number of unpaid balances or feel overwhelmed at the thought of speaking to debt collectors, a debt relief company can be a better option.

DIY Debt Settlement

When pursuing a DIY debt settlement option, there are a few steps you should follow. Before you begin, take time to sit down and list all of your outstanding debts as you will only be able to potentially settle unsecured debts such as credit cards, personal loans, and medical bills. 

Having a comprehensive understanding of what you owe and who you owe it to, arms you with the knowledge necessary for effective negotiations. 

Don’t Ignore Creditors

The first step in any debt relief plan is to stop ignoring your creditors. 

As annoying as they are, they won’t stop contacting you simply because you don’t respond. It is the job of debt collectors and creditors to use every tool and trick at their disposal to collect the money you owe. 

Depending on the amount of the debt, they can go to extreme lengths, like getting court settlements and levying your bank accounts or garnishing your wages. 

You don’t want to get to this point since it not only causes a strain financially but can completely destroy your credit score

Validate Your Debt

This step is where your work outlining all of your outstanding debts comes into play. 

Before making any deals or payments, have the creditor verify the validity of your debt in writing. 

They should also provide details on who originally owned the debt, the amount of the original unpaid balance, and the date when the debt was sold to their collection agency.

Avoid Giving Out Details

This step is more of a general rule, but it is crucial for protecting yourself. 

Never provide creditors with any of your details through email or over the phone; you should always do it in writing. 

Begin gathering as much evidence about your debt as possible to protect yourself if a collection agency pursues legal action. 

Negotiate A Deal

If, after you receive all of the paperwork in writing, the debt is valid, you can request the creditor settle for a reduced amount. 

Debt collection agencies purchase debts in bulk at deeply discounted rates, often for pennies on the dollar, so they are usually willing to negotiate a debt settlement deal with you because they can still make money on the purchased debt. 

These settlements can be a one-time payment or spread out over multiple months, making it easier on your budget. 

When To Turn To The Professionals

If you’ve followed the above steps and aren’t receiving the results you want, or if you’re not comfortable proceeding on your own, you can turn to a professional debt relief company like Americor for help. 

Because here are the facts of the matter…

As you may have experienced throughout life, doing something yourself brings with it a certain sense of satisfaction. 

Cooking a new meal you’ve never made before… painting the fence around the house… or even learning a new language on a smartphone app. 

But as you can imagine (or maybe even learned the hard way)… some things are best left to the professionals!

Like calling a lawyer if you have legal issues… hiring a plumber when your toilet is blocked up and your plunger isn’t working… and going to a mechanic when your vehicle starts making a loud clunking noise under the hood when you drive.

Similarly, when you’re drowning in debt and your financial stress is at its tipping point, it’s best to work with a proven debt relief company who will do all the work on your behalf.

Utilizing Debt Relief Companies

Debt relief companies are experienced in debt negotiations and can often completely eliminate your unsecured debt balance quickly, sometimes in as few as 20-48 months.

When choosing the one that’s right for you, keep these tips in mind.

  • Research the company to ensure they have at least an “A” accreditation through the Better Business Bureau.
  • Read customer reviews and ratings on review sites.
  • Reputable companies will never require you to pay an up-front fee for their services.
  • Ask questions about their debt relief process when you speak to a representative on the phone.

There are trusted and effective debt relief companies like Americor that will work with you to negotiate manageable payments so you can get your finances back on track. 

If you are unsure about pursuing debt settlement on your own, reaching out to a debt relief company can reduce stress and provide peace of mind. 

Understanding Debt Collectors

A debt collector’s job is to pursue you until you pay off your debt, which is why ignoring them will never work. 

In some cases, creditors that are the same as your bank (for example, you have a Chase credit card and a Chase bank account) may have access to your bank account, making it possible for them to access your bank funds to pay your debt. 

Dealing with your debt before it gets to this point is crucial so you don’t risk losing your money and being unable to pay your bills. 

Understanding how debt collectors work can help you take the right steps in your debt negotiation process and protect yourself and your finances. 

Speaking to Debt Collectors

When speaking to debt collectors, avoid talking about the details of your debt. 

At the end of the day, it’s their job to collect as much of the payment from you as possible, and they will do anything to make that happen. 

Simply ask them to send you all details on your debt in writing, which is required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), so you have legal evidence verifying your debt. 

The collection agency is legally required to send this information within a specified period, and if they fail to do so, you can request debt forgiveness on the balance. 

You can also send a cease and desist letter; however, this method doesn’t cancel the debt, so it can still negatively affect your credit. 

If you are unsure what to do, we’re here to help…

At Americor, we understand the importance of managing your finances wisely. 

As America’s trusted source for debt relief solutions, we aim to empower you with financial knowledge that can lead to informed decisions, whether it’s about savings, investments, or managing debt.

If your debt has become unmanageable and you have difficulty making your debt payments each month, then you should consider a free consultation call with one of our certified Debt Consultants, who can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.

By taking proactive steps today, you can put an end to your financial stress and work towards a brighter financial future. 

Remember, there is always hope for debt relief, and our team of experienced professionals are ready to guide you on your journey to regaining control of your finances.

For more information on Americor’s debt relief services, contact us today to see how we can help you eliminate your debts, and get on the fast-track to becoming completely debt-free!