Frequently Asked Questions


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What is Debt Relief?

Debt Relief is the process of seeking assistance when a financial hardship has occurred in your life and you question whether you will be able to keep up on the bills.

The most common forms of debt relief are bankruptcy, debt settlement, debt management and doing it yourself.

Who do you work with in Debt Relief

Ascend works with Debt Consolidation Care because Debt Consolidation Care offers great customer service and lower debt settlement fees to help you get out of debt cheaper and faster.

How can debt relief affect my credit score?

Ascend's goal is to assist you to get out of debt as quickly as possible with minimal impact to your Credit Score. There are multiple factors that determine the exact impact a debt relief program will have on your Credit Score, so the exact impact will be difficult to calculate. However, it would be safe to assume that any debt relief or debt settlement program will likely affect your credit score negatively. This includes Ascend's program.

Ascend is a great avenue if in the short term you are more interested in getting out of debt than maintaining your credit score. After you have emerged from debt, we will work with you to rebuild your credit score.

Ascend is also a great avenue if you'd prefer not to file bankruptcy and would like to rebuild your credit once you are out of debt.

What is the difference between Debt Relief, Debt Consolidation, and Debt Management?

Debt Consolidation combines all your outstanding loans under a new interest rate. You are still responsible for paying the full balance of your debt, but you'll only have one creditor, and you may have an overall lower interest rate.

Debt Management is the process of renegotiating your interest rates with your creditors. You are still responsible for paying the full balance of your debt, but you will have lower interest rates.

Debt Relief / Debt Settlement is the process of renegotiating your total debt due and agreeing with your creditors on a new payment schedule. Usually, there is no more interest charged once a settlement has been agreed upon.

Is Debt Relief best for me?

Debt Relief, Debt Consolidation, Debt Management, and even bankruptcy all have their Pros & Cons, and what's best for you is based on your current financial situation and what your priorities are.

If you submit the survey on our homepage, we can review your data and help you determine which action would be best for you.

What services does Ascend offer?

While Ascend currently offers only Debt Relief consulting services, we would be glad to help you determine what is the best debt solution for you.

After you submit your brief survey, an Ascend consultant will contact you to better gauge your financial situation, priorities, and goals. We will then recommend for you what we think is your best approach, even if that means not using our services. We can also refer for you some good, honest companies to work with, or advise you on how to find a good service company.

If we believe Debt Relief is right for you, we will put together a debt relief plan for you, negotiate with your creditors to accept much less than the principal value of your unsecured debt, and assist you in avoiding future debt accumulation.

Will Ascend refer me to other businesses if Ascend isn't right for me?

We've been in this industry for a while, so we know who the honest players are. If Debt Relief isn't the best option for you, we'll gladly refer you to a reputable company that can better service your needs. Or if you want to find your own company, we can give you some helpful tips on how to find a good service company.

As a disclaimer, we want you to know that we receive referral fees from several of the companies we refer. However, we do not refer out to the highest bidder. Rather, we only sign referral contracts with the companies that we would feel comfortable using ourselves--companies that are known for their honesty, customer service, and reasonable prices.

Why does Ascend charge so much less than other debt relief companies?

We believe wholeheartedly that if we prioritize what's best for our customers, then success will come on its own. Industry standard rates (which usually start above 20% of enrolled debt) don't seem reasonable to us, especially if you're already in debt.

As such, we keep rates low by keeping our costs as low as possible. We automate all the tedious bureaucratic tasks that our competitors still handle manually. We also use historical data to better predict when each creditor will settle, how much they will settle for, and how your funds will best be utilized. This allows us to streamline the planning and negotiation process, as well as maximize your savings and reduce our correspondence and negotiation costs.

What does "Credit Score Centric" actually mean?

We are experts in understanding how Credit Scores work. Many debt relief companies only start negotiating after your debt has been written off, and they maximize their own profits by prioritizing their negotiations starting with your largest debts first.

Ascend realizes that all debt is different, so we prioritize your debts with consideration on what will have the least negative impact on your credit score, as well as what will maximize your savings and minimize your risks.

Will I be debt free upon completion of the program?

Yes! Ascend's program is focused on debt freedom for your unsecured debts (ones with no collateral). Once you complete the program, the money that you now have because you paid off the previous debts can now be used to pay down your secured debts more aggressively.

Will debt collectors still contact me if I enroll in the program?

Ascend works with your creditors to call Ascend, not you. This does not mean that there may be a call from time to time.

How does Ascend negotiate debts?

Unlike other debt relief companies, Ascend uses a proprietary, data-driven model to determine the lowest potential amounts that creditors will accept for payment, and when they'll accept those deals. This enables the lowest possible amount. However the percentages of the settlement will change from each creditor, and as each debt is unique, we cannot guarantee that you will get the same percentages.

What types of debt can Ascend help negotiate with?

Ascend helps to negotiate all of your unsecured debt (those with no collateral), including, but not limited to: credit cards, medical bills, department store cards, and installment loans. We want you to be completely debt free, so even if we cannot service them, we will consult with you on how to resolve loans such as mortgages, car loans, child support, and student loans.

Does Ascend give a loan to consolidate the debt?

No, Ascend's goal is to resolve all of your existing unsecured debt, not add more debt onto you.

Will I owe taxes on my forgiven debt?

It's possible. The IRS does consider forgiven debt as taxable income, but the IRS Form 982 may exempt you from this tax. Please contact your tax advisor for how debt relief may impact you.

Do additional interest or late fees accrue on my accounts?

Creditors generally continue to add interest and late fees onto your delinquent balances. This means your balance may increase until your account is in settlement. As such, we request your APR and the type of credit up front to forecast how the balances will change over time and how to minimize your total costs when determining your negotiation and payment strategy.

Can I negotiate on my own?

Absolutely. We'll even walk you through this process during our call, if you want. However, with Ascend's services, we will also track and analyze your credit data to make sure you get the best settlement amount while minimizing risks and your Credit Score impacts. Ascend also handles all communications with the creditors for you (including the unending collections phone calls).

Can you start negotiating with my creditors right away?

It's possible, though not generally advisable. While each case is personalized for the individual, we usually are able to negotiate better settlements after some savings have already accumulated. There have also been instances where the first settlement payment occurs six months after an agreement had been reached.

How does Ascend make money?

The debt comparison service is free to you. Ascend may make a small fee from the partners in our partnership network.

Ascend also offers debt settlement in a small number of states. We are selective who we choose to be a part of the program, and our pricing is transparent.

Will my debts be sent to a law firm?

Creditors may send the debts to collections agencies and/or law firms to collect your debt. Ascend usually settles with these firms earlier to avoid potential litigation, but we have also had success negotiating settlements even in the middle of legal proceedings.