Here are some testimonials about me. I feel very honored that these people took the time to offer up their opinions of my work to share with you.
MSN Money Says:
Get Out of Debt Guy: Steve Rhode founded a credit-counseling agency and knows the debt management industry intimately. He answers readers’ questions, blogs about industry trends and offers scathing criticisms of companies that scam or deceive consumers. His Amazing Get Out of Debt Calculator is a good place to start. It analyzes the type and amount of debt you have and runs through all your options, including those (like bankruptcy or debt settlement) that other sources may shun. – Source
Here is the recent interview I did with Gerri Detweiler on Talk Credit Radio.
I first contacted Steve Rhode after my check started to be garnished for government student loans in default. I was contacted by Damon Day by telephone and advised that I could consolidate my loans myself (for free). This would take them out of default because the consolidated loans would be a new loan. I could apply for an Income Based Repayment due to my income level and pay from $0 to $50 a month possibly. Once consolidated, the garnishment would stop.
I did this and I now have new consolidated loans (one subsidized and one unsubsidized) with a monthly payment of $0 for the next year. After a year my income will be reevaluated. I now have no garnishment and no student loans in default (all have a current status). And, it didn’t cost me anything but a little of my time.
Thank you Steve and Damon!
Thank you so much for the research you did with this company. I got this letter and called. A very nice professional guy spoke with me for over an hour and took my name and personal information. At the end of the call he told me that he wanted 3 payments of 1300.00 for the lawyers to get my house back before it was foreclosed. He started using minor scare tactics at the end of the call which raised my flags. Thanks so much!
I want to commend you for what you do…it is a noble thing that you can certainly be proud of. So many people are taken advantage of in times of distress and it’s great to see that there are people like you out there fighting back.
I am now able to keep my kids my house and my car and get it fixed. and wanted to say thank you to Steve and Amanda for keeping me going and giving me your faith and support. I dont know what would have happened without that and I thank you both ever so much.
Steve, I just read your bio and I wanted to say thank you for what you do. Very inspiring and commendable. I’m grateful that I found this discussion…it has brought me a little peace of mind and your suggestion has at least guided me in the right direction. I’m having a little trouble getting information from the courts (all automated), but I’m going to keep at it. I’m sure this will get resolved… eventually. Just wanted to say thank you.
I want to seriously thank you, and this site, for helping me save thousands of dollars on top of already losing our home. Ive read every single word regarding this whole mess, from you, and others and I really want you to know that YOU always, always sound calm, smart, cool and collective on the matter even when others are lashing out and acting erratic. You have never once claimed you were here to take down anyone, only trying to inform and become informed yourself. I have a ton of respect for you and how you’ve handled this whole mess, and the truth shined through because of that alone.
You rock Steve!
I have followed your advice before and glad to see a great change in my credit report. I used to have a horrible score of 305, which is the low of the low. When I lost my job in 2007 and my high income, I defaulted on 2 of my credit cards and 2 cell phone companies.
Currently, I have a FICO score of 692, which I’m extremely happy about.
By the way, this website has helped me tremendously, and I’m forever grateful!
Your articles and advice are brilliant, and this article is spot-on. I’m in the middle of trying to get my money refunded after falling prey to Preferred Financial Services, and I’m following your list of suggestions to the letter. Just wanted to give you a well-deserved “Thank you!” for continuing to offer this valuable education and priceless advice to the masses. Knowledge is power!
A Big Fan
Thank god for people like you Steve. I know I’m in a hole, separated, supporting 3 kids and working my ass off to get out of debt but this really would of messed me up more because even though I’m in debt i still have a good Fico Score and that these days is all I have to speak for me. With creditors and with employers. Thank god I didn’t give them my bank account or verbal consent to anything.
so, an update as of last time i spoke to you, i signed up for my personal bank’s id safe program, it allows me to monitor my credit report and score every month for about 10.00 dollars a month and it monitors me whenever there is any activity on it. I have been paying off most of my debt, it has been very fustrating to get the documents i needed to pay them off, but i managed to get most of them. 6 out of my 9 bad accounts have been paid off and as a result my credit score has jump 100 points, i am now at 650-658 the highest. I haven’t been able to purchase the secure credit cards yet, that will be my next objective after August. We have moved our timeframe to buy a house from june of next year to november or december of next year due to getting ready for a new baby. With the new time frame, i believe that i should be able to raise my credit score even higher, i will keep you updated. Thank you so much for your advice.
I just wanted to send a BIG thank you.. I was tangled up in a sea of debt due to cancer and a dead beat Ex husband not doing what was wrote in the divorce papers. I was with Freedom Debt relief for over a yr. them taking over $9000 from a single mom of 3 that dont have ANY help from anyone for care of my babys. when i checked my GCS acct they had only paid one bill off of $1987. and only started making payments on another of 425 a month for 3 months, long story short they took my money and did little. being face with lawsuit after lawsuit I finally talked to a atty about bankruptcy and it looks to be my best option. I stopped the program and 2 days later they took the money out of my bank acct. thank my lucky stars my dear friend works for the bank i use and called me right away. stopping the withdraw…. i read alot of blogs and ran across your about how to get some of the money back. I followed what you posted to a T and 20 days later i had a check in my mail box for 780.00 ( small amount for what they took but better then nothing) then this pass month i looked at my bank acct and was much to my surprise they a direct deposit another 450+ in my bank acct.. THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! I dont even want to know what would of happened if i didnt find you in this sea of confusion.
Thank you Steve. You are the most straightforward person I’ve ever read when it comes to these debt issues. You are very no-nonsense and still show empathy and sympathy to folks like me who have these issues.
I almost fell for it. $1350 now a $1000 in a month while we wait for investigation. The red flag was as I was clicking on address and googled it. The lawyer name was not there. I googled phone number it came up cell and the website is fake. We are strapped and I would have died to have fallen for that scam. I am so thankful for finding your page through further research. You saved our family from further hardship. You’re a hero!
You have done an incredible job exposing this clown in the past and here is another chance to show what he is up to. He moved offices but the games are still the same. BH has a recent ripoff report and I am sure more will follow. Keep up the great work and God bless you for truly helping your clients.
Dear Steve — I sent you the above email in September of last year and just wanted to up-date you on what I eventually did to solve my credit problems. I took your advice (after several months of procrastination) and contacted a bankruptcy attorney in Birmingham, and after talking with her determined that Chapter 7 was my best solution, that I would not lose my house or car but would get rid of the massive credit card debt. That was the best solution and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for steering me in that direction. I was very reluctant to make that decision because I have always paid my debt and filing bankruptcy seemed unfair to the creditor who gave me credit, but, I got over that!!! Anyway, I have been to my Meeting of Creditors, all went well and unless something from out in left field comes up, by June I will be out of bankruptcy and beginning a new chapter in my life. I am saving money every month, making extra payments on my line of credit on my house and doing what I should have been doing years ago, staying away from credit card debt. Your website is a lifesaver and I just want people who come across you with credit problems, to know that you offer sound and valuable advice. You certainly saved my butt!
I have been working w/ FBL & Associates and Lindner & Lindner, P.C. with no resolution what so ever for the last year. Their numbers and emails dont work etc. I have read a lot of you info and have found it useful. I especially found great use of the “How to get a refund” article. I will be sending out the certified letter tomorrow and will keep you posted on the outcome. I so wish I had read your info before I signed up. Thank you you have provided great consumer info.
“Thanks to Steve and GetOutofDebt, we were able to recover enough to pay our bankruptcy lawyer, leaving about $3500 in the hands of the company we trusted. As I look back, they caved in pretty easily, not wanting us to persue the letter writing to FTC, two state attorney generals, and others. It’s likely I could have pushed for more.
Steve, I can’t say this enough. The [education] you provide is of the greatest value to people like us. All of us.”
Do you recommend any other trustworthy resources online?
We suggest you contact Steve Rhode for advice and/or visit his site GetOutOfDebt which has valueable content. Steve provides debt help and advice to people for free and has a wealth of information on his website about every single debt situation. He’s always happy to help and probably the most knowledgeable person we know in the debt-relief world.
Ready for Zero
“Last fall, Steve Rhode finally said “enough is enough” and brought together some of the top groups in the debt relief industry in for an open discussion. Many years ago, Steve established and ran a successful national credit counseling agency and, though he left that business some years ago, he has since become an outspoken critic of harmful practices in both the credit counseling and debt relief industries.
His November 13, 2010 “Rally in Raleigh” meeting led to the resurrection of the American Association of Credit Counselors, a group that had disbanded in the 1980s. The new AACC is more of an alliance than a trade association. The stated purpose is to: “…first assist consumers to receive ethical, open and transparent advice and assistance. Second, to work closely with regulators and legislators and provide information and data to honestly understand the debt relief world.”
“The whole focus of the group is to produce some parity in the debt relief industry at large,” says Rhode, “because the goal of the organization is to put consumers first.”
Critics may still wonder if this isn’t just another case of the fox guarding the henhouse. It’s a fair question. And if I didn’t know Rhode and the members I’ve quoted so well, I would probably wonder the same thing. But they haven’t been afraid to speak up about problems in their industry before, so I can’t imagine that changing now.
“I’ve been able to silence that silent yet constant voice reminding me of the debt hanging over me and that I am much more than my debt. Let the banks do what they may what are they going to do give me cancer?
Your statements today affirming my decision to “let go” of this debt obsession might just be the best medicine I’ve received so far. I find myself clear headed, no nausea at all, no chills and most importantly a restful sense of peace. Bottom line you may have given me back my life and I can think of no better work than that. You understand that many people cannot afford even a minimal charge for expert guidance. What you give for free can and I am sure has changed lives.”
Fighting terminal cancer
“The world is lucky to have someone of your caliber & integrity out there talking about debt. It is so rare these days to find someone like you in the financial space. Thanks for being such a great role model!!”
Author / Speaker / Financial Literacy Advocate
“I’ve known Steve for years now. I worked with him when he built one of the most successful counseling agencies in the country, and consider him a friend and colleague ever since. I can unequivocally tell you three things about Steve:
1. He knows his stuff. He really does have answers when it comes to debt questions.
2. He’s not afraid to tell it like it is. He is not beholden to any particular viewpoint, company, solution etc. He’ll give you straightforward advice. It’s up to you whether you’re willing to listen.
3. He really cares.
In other words, he’s the real deal.”
Consumer Advocate & Author
“I have known Steve for over 10 years and have always been impressed with his knowledge of personal liability management. One of his unique talents is his ability to connect with the feelings and emotions that occur with people during difficult financial times; very often extremely stressful times. Steve is a true pro in his field!”
Paul Bennett, CFP®
Managing Partner, c5 Wealth Management, LLC
You can listen to the testimonial about me and the GetOutOfDebt.org site from Jeff Jackson, a bankruptcy attorney.
Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney
“I became familiar with Steve initially through our communication via Twitter about issues involving debt and bankruptcy. Since our first conversation, I have come to know Steve as a professional who really cares about average Americans who are struggling with debt. Steve gives practical, no-nonsense advice at www.GetOutOfDebt.org.”
Oklahoma Bankruptcy Attorney
“I had the opportunity to meet Steve in 2008. He was successfully operating his GetOutOfDebt.org site while I was busy operating a fairly successful consumer-credit blog. Our areas of concentration often overlapped. When they didn’t, however, Steve became a reliable and trusted source of information for me (he had information that I needed but didn’t have). His attention to detail is top notch and his work ethic is second to none. Because I trusted him, I sent several of my own readers — most of whom were struggling with debt — to Steve. I’m happy to report that my readers were thrilled with Steve’s work product. Indeed, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Steve’s services. If you have debt problems, and need help, Steve is your guy.”
Attorney & Consumer Debt Expert
“Steve is a non-lawyer who provides sympathetic and timely help to those seeking answers to financial problems. His GetOutOfDebt blog provides answers and suggestions with a heaping dose of kindness, empathy and motivation, and a pinch of humor on the side.”
Attorney and Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist
“Steve Rhode is a nationally known financial expert. He coaches individuals on how to get out of debt, regain financial footing and build a solid future. He’s perfect because he understands that debt is a very emotional issue.”
Rana Walker, M.Ed.
Co-Host of the NBC show “Starting Over”
“Steve is one of the smartest folks we know on the subject of personal finance.”
WHRO NPR Affiliate
“In the world of personal finance, a world too often filled with crooked analysts, lying CEOs, incompetent auditors, misleading columnists and self-proclaimed experts whose advice is more harmful than helpful, Steve Rhode is one of the good guys – and that’s really saying something.”
Best Selling Personal Finance Author and Financial Planning Professional
“When I first met Steve I immediately knew he was different. Steve cares deeply about the lives of people with money problems. But Steve doesn’t care only about their financial well-being. Steve’s compassionate and holistic approach is refreshing. And Steve is smart. His advice is clear, realistic, and intelligent.”
Financial Expert, Author, Attorney and Rabbi
“Steve Rhode is a visionary in providing financial and life guidance for those in need. He is a frequent, and one of the most popular guests, on our weekly radio show, Money Sense, that is heard throughout South Florida. When he is a guest, all of the phone lines light up immediately because he offers down to earth good advice.
Steve’s book, The Path to Happiness and Wealth, is a book that we recommend to callers on air, as well as to our clients in our tax law office. Steve is the driving force behind one of the most helpful and fastest growing Internet sites for financial and life success. You can find your path to happiness with Steve.”
Attorney, Money Advisor, Tax Planner & Radio Show Host
“I have been an Internet writer and lecturer on the subject of credit and debt management for over 8 years. In all that time my position has always been as a consumer advocate within my subject field. As such, I quickly learned there is only a very small group who can truly call themselves consumer advocates in this arena. Steve Rhode is one of those within that select group.
Steve was one of the very first credit counseling super heroes I met. As founder and CEO of the non-for-profit Debt Counselors of America (DCA), he offered me his services and assistances in the form of ideas for my own site and has never ceased being an inspiration since.
When DCA changed its name to Myvesta, Steve invited me to his radio talk show. I learned then that I was not as knowledgeable as I thought I was.
Steve was far and above more savvy and more advanced in his down to earth approach. What I did learn was that his ideas and mine were closely linked and I firmly believe his integrity is far ahead of the majority of so-called “credit counselors”.
Steve brings to Myvesta US and Myvesta UK this same integrity, savvy, and down to earth approach. But most important to me, Steve incorporates at his site and within his organization his desire to serve as one of the very few true consumer advocates within the credit/debt management field.
Keep it going Steve. You truly do good things for people.”
Michael T. Killian
Former Credit & Debt Expert on About.com
“Nowhere else can you get high quality no holds barred free debt advice. This guy may be the smartest person I know!”
@Josh_Smith from WalletPop
“Steve is an honest and knowledgeable man who has devoted his business to helping others with personal debt issues. He stays on top of current trends and all things related to debt. He speaks from personal experience and all the knowledge he continues to gain. You will not find many other people like Steve. I feel fortunate to know him.”
Jeff Jackson, Esq, Bankruptcy Attorney
“I just wanted to thank you for your advice, wisdom and insight into this very difficult process. If definitely helped my wife and I get through it with a better understanding and a better feel for it. What helped me in making this decision and moving forward was that I knew you personally and trusted your advice. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it is for people to take that step based on the advice of a person they don’t know. You do a great service for people like me and I can’t thank you enough.”
My old friend Lou
I am the one that originally posted this question. I wanted to thank you for your advise and for steering me in the right direction. I just received a discharge for my bankruptcy today. It feels like a huge weight off my shoulders. I have learned such valuable lessons through everything. I feel like a new chapter of my life is just beginning, now that I have closed the door to my debt. I just wish I had come across your site before I signed up for Court Mediation Services, I could have saved myself so much stress and just filed bankruptcy in the first place.
You answered my question about renting with dinged credit on the radio show and on the list last week. Just wanted to let you know, I used your advice and fell on my sword and was approved for an apartment last Friday with a higher (2 month rent) deposit. We actually broke a record with the management company, as the fastest approval ever. (application to lease signing about 3 hours).
Thanks for your Service
I called three bankruptcy lawyers today and found one that made me laugh — which is important to me right now — and i am going to meet with him tomorrow for a free consultation. I feel more confident that this is the right decision for me. And thank you for making me feel good about my decision and not like a loser — which is how i have been feeling. I do deserve a second chance and I plan on doing it the right way and with help from people around me. I suddenly feel like a lot of weight and stress has been lifted from my shoulders and that I am excited to start planning for an amazing future for myself!
Thank you so much!!!
Dear Mr. Rhode:
Yes! Please send future consumer alert/newsletters to me – I have benefitted from the advice you gave about cancelling a contract I had just made with a debt settlement company, FIRE, Inc. As a result of following your advice on how to write the letter and to send it certified mail, they responded via email this past Friday that they terminated my participation in their plan. I have responded to their email requesting when the first and only payment they received from me would be refunded. I will follow through with your advice on contacting attorneys general and other agencies if they do not reply within a week.
I have been able to settle one of my credit card accounts with Chase on my own, and am actively pursuing relief or settlement from five others.
I thank God I found your website, and thank Him for sending you out on the net! God bless you, and keep up the good work in being an advocate for people who are desperate and don’t know where else to turn!
I’m not sure if you remember me, but I have written to you twice before. The first time I had been out of work for almost a year and the second time I was working part-time jobs on a regular basis. I want to thank you for your sound advice, your care and concern.
Anyway, I almost lost my home, my car, etc. but I made it. I had to work (at times) up to 3 part-time jobs at once to survive. I gave up my home phone, Internet service and went to the library to check my email (yes, while job-hunting and unemployed), gave up cable television and other little things. I would go to the library to rent DVD’s and old VCR tapes. I networked, networked and networked as much and as effectively as I could and finally was hired by a large insurance company and am now a licensed Property and Casualty agent. I am still not making the salary or receiving the benefits I was getting a couple of years ago, but I AM WORKING and I SURVIVED! I somehow have been able to keep my car payments up (my car will be paid for in Summer of 2011 and I am keeping it!) and keep my insurance paid. I didn’t (and still don’t) have health insurance but fortunately am very healthy (I am in my 50’s) and except for a few things (some unexpected surgery, etc.) I have come through things basically sound and healthy. I am going to school and have just been awarded a scholarship to finish, which I am VERY thankful for. Each Sunday when I go to church, I put a small amount in the collection plate because I remember how the churches helped me keep a roof over my head and my lights on. I know it COULD have been much worse. Those things I could never forget. Our church, as many do, helps many people in the community with various types of assistance. I have realized I am truly a fortunate woman, but of course when going through all of this, never did quite see that. I am reminded of something you told a reader once…you told him/her that debt is just debt and never worth even considering anything drastic like suicide. I believe this reader thought he or she would never survive their situation and did not see a reason to go on. You were SO right, and if I may, Steve, would like to tell your readers just how much your column helped me. I read the letters and I could could identify with many of them. Many times I was so depressed, I would read them and start to cry. At one point, after many months of unemployment, I thought I would never work again or be able to keep my car and apartment. I was wrong. I have learned that if you think things are bad now, realize that you will be able to look back one day (I promise) and wonder how you ever got through it. I see more and more homeless people near my workplace each week, and think “that was almost me.” Well, that could be ANYONE of us. We always HAVE much more than we think, more strength, more determination, more faith than we ever thought possible. We also have the faith to go on because we all have people who know, love and care about us. Find those people and cherish their friendship, they will be there for you if you are there for them. This will keep you sane and centered. Don’t let bills or mounting debt choke you. There is ALWAYS an answer. It m ay not be the one we want, but it’s there. Finally, know that even if you lose a home, a car, a job, empty the bank accounts, or can’t pay the bills, it’s NEVER as bad or as painful as the loss of a family member or friend. By the way, earlier this year I met the most wonderful man and instead of worrying about what he might think about my situation/debt, we had an honest talk about money, credit and debt. We are now planning a life together. I do feel that almost anything can be worked out between two people who are honest with each other. Who would have thought I would meet someone who would be able to understand? You are right, Steve, when you said to “not wait to be debt free” to get married. If that was the case, would anyone be able to marry?
Again, thank you, Steve, so much for all the positive things you have to say,the straightforward manner in which you say it and the caring way that you help readers.
God Bless and Please Keep up the Good Work!
If someone is reading this and doubting whether this site is legit and the people are ‘real’ all i can say, is please dont struggle alone. These guys care and will give you A+ advice at a time when you need it the most.
Thank you so much!!!
GetOutOfDebt.org is cited twice in a report by Consumers Watchdog, a nationally-recognized, California-based, non-profit consumer education and advocacy organization. The citations were for debt relief issues we reported on. – Source