Debt Relief Industry Forecasts and Trends

Continued Downward Pressure In Debt Relief Demand

Written by Steve Rhode

The latest round of statistics is out showing what consumers are doing when it comes to debt. On the surface it appears the amount of debt is going up and that’s good news for credit counselors and debt settlement companies.

A closer inspection though continues the gloom forecast for such services. While consumer debt is up, revolving debt, the bread and butter of bankruptcy attorneys, credit counselors and debt settlement companies, continues it’s slow, tiny, inconsequential growth.

The increased burden non-revolving debt is putting on consumers is creating little room for taking on more unsecured credit which results in debt relief services.

Here is where many debt relief companies will misinterpret the chart below. While the amount of consumer debt has crept up, so has the population. Total debt alone is not an indication of per capita debt.


in the past I’ve used Google search trend charts to show past, and current demand. Google has now added a new feature showing future estimated demand as well. It’s the dashed line at the end.

Debt Settlement Search Demand

Debt Settlement Search Demand

The credit counseling industry has placed a significant amount of blame on the debt settlement industry for stealing demand. That’s been nothing more than a misdirected blame game from the start.

While debt settlement did intrude into the space primarily served by the credit counseling industry they both declined. The bright spot is interest in bankruptcy has not declined as rapidly.

Google search demand for debt settlement, credit counseling and chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Google search demand for debt settlement (blue), credit counseling (red), and chapter 7 bankruptcy (yellow).

What amazes me over and over is how badly the credit counseling industry is at understanding their own vertical and projecting the future. It seems they continue to be wildly delusional which constantly sets them up for future failure.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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