BBB Business Reviews Grades Overview

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This article examines the rating system of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for debt consolidation companies and how their rating is determined before you make the decision to use one for your debt relief.

How Debt Repair Companies Receive Their Ratings from the BBB


For debt consolidation, debt management, and debt repair companies to receive accreditation from the BBB, they must purchase a membership. Companies must pay in order to receive a rating from the BBB. This rating is based on a grading system from A+ to F. The BBB uses the following criteria in order to rate debt consolidation companies:

  • What type of business is it? Debt consolidation, debt management or debt repair. This can even include credit counseling.

  • Length of time the company has been in operation.

  • Complaint history filed with BBB as determined by the size of the business.

  • Does the business respond to complaints in a timely manner?

  • Is there a failure to address a complaint pattern?

  • Are there unanswered complaints?

  • Have there been any serious complaints filed against the business?

  • Are there any unresolved complaints against the business?

  • Have any complaints gone to mediation/arbitration?

  • After a complaint has been filed, has the issue been addressed through analysis so that it will not occur again? Has customer service been restored from the business to the client?

  • Does the BBB have sufficient background information on the business? Although businesses are not required to provide it, the BBB often requests it.

  • Has the business honored its commitments to the BBB?

  • Does the business have any licensing or government actions against it that are known to the BBB? Has the business complied with all government requirements when obtaining a license to operate?

  • Are there any advertising issues the BBB is aware of?

  • Did the BBB have to take action and revoke the grade previously awarded? A business’ BBB grade is lowered if:

  • BBB does not receive basic background information on the business. The failure of a business to provide basic background information may lead to a lowered or revoked grade; however, companies are under no obligation to provide it.

  • All of these issues and considerations must be taken into account when a company applies to the BBB for a grade rating. These issues are investigated thoroughly and when the investigation is complete, then the BBB will render its grade. If a sufficient number of complaints are filed, the BBB will reopen its investigation into the company, and if cause is found, the grade previously given can be either downgraded or revoked.

In order for a debt consolidation, debt management or debt repair company to be highly rated by the BBB, the company must comply with all BBB policies. The BBB also consults the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ensure that debt consolidation, debt management and debt repair companies are in compliance with their regulations.

Research these companies and their BBB ratings thoroughly before you decide to choose one to assist you with your debt consolidation or debt repair.

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