You have a structured settlement annuity. You have decided to sell some (or all) of your payments. Deciding which company you should consider selling to is one of the most important choices you can make. Remember, these are your needs, so you should shop around to find the best fit.
The structured settlement market is a competitive place. A quick Internet search will prove this. The sheer number of financial companies that advertise their services—either on television or the internet ads—can be overwhelming.
But don’t despair. The trick is knowing where to start your search and what to look for. Here are some things to consider when choosing a company that will give you the best value when you sell your structured settlement payments.
Read the Rankings
Start with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This is a great resource for researching a structured settlement company. The BBB calculates a company’s track record by counting up all the positive reviews and complaints. It then assigns each company a score, similar to a grade in school.
A company receiving an “A” generally provides excellent service, while a company receiving a “C” provides mediocre service. SenecaOne is proud to have earned an A+ rating from the BBB. It was also ranked in the top 6 Structured Settlement companies by AdvisoryHQ
Consumer Affairs keeps a ranking of the top 10 structured settlement companies nationwide. SenecaOne is among those top 10 performers. You can read the rankings, a brief description of each company and its reviews here.
Know What Structured Settlement Companies Are Assessing
The amount you can expect to receive from your settlement is not set in stone. There are a lot of factors that go into determining what a company is willing to pay for your payments. Things like:
- the interest rate,
- the cost,
- the anticipated costs of completing a transfer,
- the credit rating of your insurance company,
- guaranteed or life contingent payments,
- the cost structure of the purchasing company.
The factors differ from one company to the next, resulting in different pricing from one company to the next—which is why shopping around is recommended.
Assess the Structured Settlement Companies, In Turn
The decision to sell was likely not an easy one. It almost certainly came with some amount of nervousness and stress. An ideal structured settlement company is going to be able to guide you through the process of a structured settlement sale while making you feel at ease.
A quality organization allows you to feel in control of your decisions. It will not rush the process or bombard you with suggestions and demand immediate answers.
If the company is really worth its salt, your financial needs or concerns are their priority. The right company will leave you feeling hopeful about the future and confident that you are making a sound financial decision. It will allow you to speak with a number of experienced representatives, as well as attorneys, who will help guide you through the process.
An honest company will always give you a fair look at your options. Be wary of anyone who tells you that selling is your only option and you need to do it right now.
One suggestion is to make a checklist of all the items you think a financial company should know about structured settlement annuities, or questions you would want to be answered, such as:
- Has the company purchased a significant number of structured settlements prior to mine?
- How long has the company existed?
- What certifications and licenses does it have, and what agencies authorized them?
- Is the company authorized to do business in your state of residence?
- Does the company have a large and/or loyal customer base?
- What fees will it charge in the purchase process?
- When does my free quote expire?
- Will I have the opportunity to consult with a lawyer and/or financial advisor?
- How long will the selling process take?
Consider Your Time as Money
A company seriously interested in purchasing your structured settlement, and that truly cares about its customers’ interests, should not be too fast or too slow. If you find that the account representatives are rushing you into an immediate decision, you should slow the process down.
However, be just as wary of a company that takes too long to give you the essential information you need. Your time is valuable, and having to leave multiple messages for an account representative, or having to wait several weeks to get a quote is not acceptable business.
A qualified firm will understand the urgency you might be faced with while taking just enough time to make sure all the information passed to you is useful.
Review Multiple Offers
Often, the reason you are selling your settlement stems from an urgent need for cash due to an important purchase you need to make, such as paying an unexpected medical expense or to purchase a home.
Don’t allow your timeline to cause you to rush into a decision without having all the information at hand. Your best chance of getting a great value for your settlement is to sit down for consultations with the purchasing company (SenecaOne offers these for free), and allow the company to assess your circumstances. Once an account representative reviews your settlement, the amount you’re looking to receive, your intended use of the funds, and your need for continued payments in the future, you will receive an offer, which you can then compare against other offers from different companies.