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Surviving Debt is available to all for free during the COVID-19 emergency. Navigate using the Table of Contents on the left sidebar to access the text. To purchase Surviving Debt (available in print or as an ebook) visit the NCLC bookstore.

Below are “quick money” strategies that you should avoid at all costs. An entire industry of unscrupulous businesses exists to pressure you into making costly mistakes. These businesses know that people in financial distress often make desperate or poorly informed choices. They also know that people who feel that their options are limited are likely to be willing to overpay for credit and other services.

Unfortunately, even reputable companies operate businesses that take advantage of consumers in financial trouble. You cannot assume that because a company is well known or because it advertises on TV that it will give you a fair deal. Also be suspicious of companies that use names which are designed to create confusion about their identity, such as using the name “United States.” Some companies use names very similar to legitimate organizations just to confuse you.

There are two cardinal rules to follow:

  • ● If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • ● If you are in financial trouble, be wary of anyone seeking you out and offering you a way out of your problems. Most legitimate options wait for you to contact them.

The following list warns you to avoid twenty practices that may increase your financial problems, not solve them. This is not a complete list of scams. New scams constantly emerge, and old ones change form. The main message is that services aimed at people with bad credit or other financial problems are often rip-offs. If the services seem too good to be true, they probably are.