You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


The Color of Money

There’s no fast, easy way to get out of debt

When I hear the words, “What do you think of debt settlement?,” I cringe. I gird myself for a frustrating discussion with desperate debtors looking for a quick fix. They want to get rid of their debts as easy as it takes to bake a potato in the microwave. They want the phone calls and letters to stop.

And so they want to believe — need to trust — the advertising from companies that claim a significant reduction of debt for just pennies on the dollar. One firm promises in its online ad that “if you owe $30,000, you could resolve your debt in as little as 24 to 48 months.” The statement comes with a fine-print caveat saying that including fees, clients still end up paying as much as 75 percent of what they owe. And there is no guarantee the program will work.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week