The 6 Best Debt Relief Companies of 2021
|Company||Minimum debt||Average repayment period||Fresh||Types of debt relief|
|National debt relief
|$ 7,500||24-48 months||18-25% of registered debt||4|
|Accredited Debt Relief
Ideal for debt settlement
|$ 10,000||12-48 months||Vary||1|
Ideal for high interest credit card debt
|No minimum||36-48 months||Vary||Several personalized programs|
|New Age Debt Solutions
Best for customer satisfaction
|No minimum||28 months||Vary||1|
Ideal for tax debt relief
|Freedom Debt Relief
Best interactive program
|Varied||Varied||15-25% of registered debt||1|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does a Debt Relief Company Do?
Debt Relief Companies are for-profit organizations that help consumers pay off their debts for less than they owe. These companies direct their services to clients who are so deeply in debt that they cannot find a solution on their own.
While there are many reputable debt relief companies out there, it’s important to note that the debt relief industry is full of scams. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it is wise to be judicious about the companies you work with for this reason. You should also try to avoid working with debt relief companies that try to collect fees before you pay off your debts or those that announce a new government program that might help you.
What Is Debt Settlement?
Generally speaking, debt relief companies are turning to debt settlement as the best debt relief option. With debt settlement, these companies ask their customers to set aside a specific amount of money each month in a dedicated savings account. The purpose of this account is to build up a sum of money that can be used to pay off debts later.
Debt relief companies then negotiate with creditors on your behalf, which usually involves offering less than you owe on your balances. At the end of a debt settlement program, clients should be debt free and able to move on with their lives.
While paying less than you owe may seem like ideal, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) notes that debt settlement comes with risk. For example, debt relief companies will ask you to stop paying your bills while they work to pay off your debts, which can have serious consequences on your credit score. Also be aware that creditors are not required to pay off your debts for less than you owe, so there is no guarantee that your debt relief business will be successful.
What is debt consolidation?
If you’re wondering the difference between debt settlement and debt consolidation, here are a few things to keep in mind. When debt settlement involves working with a debt relief company to settle your debt for less than you owe, debt consolidation requires you to take out a new financial product (usually a personal loan or credit card). balance transfer) to consolidate all your existing debts.
With debt consolidation, you will transfer all of your old debts to the new loan with a lower APR or better terms. While the goal of debt consolidation is to save money, debt consolidation can also help you go from multiple debt payments each month to just one.
What Are Creditors Doing During COVID-19 To Help Debtors?
Since March 2020, major banks and lenders have deployed emergency assistance for customers who are having difficulty paying their bills due to the impact of COVID-19. According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), some creditors, including Chase, Capital One, Citi, and Discover, have extended deferral programs for their loans and credit cards, which may allow you to skip monthly payments for a period of time. limited time.
If you’re behind on your credit card bills or payments on other loans, it’s a good idea to check with your creditor’s website to see what programs may be available to you. While loan deferral programs don’t make your debt go away, they can save you time to get your finances back on track while helping you avoid late fees and damage to your credit score.
Are Debt Relief Companies Hurting Your Credit?
One of the main drawbacks of debt settlement programs is the fact that your credit score can take a hit once you stop making payments. This makes sense since your payment history is the most important factor used to determine your FICO credit score.
That being said, the FTC notes that damage to your credit score isn’t all you need to worry about. Stopping payments while you are saving money for debt settlement can also result in late fees and penalties that can increase your balances even further. You may also receive calls from creditors or debt collectors during your program, and you may even be sued.
How Much Does Debt Relief Cost?
Debt relief companies tend to offer free consultation to start the process. From there, they charge a performance based fee which is usually a percentage of the amount of debt you’ve taken out.
Based on the companies we have presented, ongoing debt relief costs represent 15-25% of the total debts in a program. This means that, if you sign up for a debt settlement program with $ 10,000 credit card debt, you could end up paying between $ 1,500 and $ 2,500 to resolve it. And don’t forget that this is in addition to the amount you pay your creditors to settle your debts.
We started the process by creating a debt relief methodology, and then we researched debt relief companies that have been in business for over five years. From there, we favored firms that offer a free, no-obligation consultation with a debt consultant. While debt relief companies don’t advertise or charge a flat fee that you can commit to up front, we’ve also given extra points to companies that advertise a range of potential fees on their accounts. Web sites. Finally, we compared companies based on their proven success in helping customers pay off debts for less than they owe.