Debt is part of our financial lives, from our first car loan to the mortgage we take out on the first house we buy. Learning how to manage credit card debt is probably one of the first financial hurdles most of us have to overcome.
If you’re struggling with debt and aren’t sure where to turn, you’re not alone. American household debt hit just over $14.6 trillion at the beginning of 2021 and many households still struggle with paying down debt they’ve accrued.
The best debt relief companies can help you get back on track and turn your finances around. They offer customers a game plan that’s worked for numerous past clients to pay down debt and avoid devastating interest fees.
Are you ready to learn more about the best debt relief companies? Let’s get started!
What Does a Debt Relief Company Do
As you research debt relief companies, you’ll come across a few terms you’ll want to be familiar with if you’re not already. These terms are “debt settlement” and “debt consolidation.”
- Debt settlement: Debtors want every penny of the amount you owe, but depending on the circumstances, they may work with debt relief companies to settle your debt for less. The idea is that some money is better than no money, especially when it comes to avoiding having to come after you legally for the debt you owe (and any associated fees).
- Debt consolidation: Consolidating your debt into one lump sum can make your eyes grow wide at how much debt you have. However, it can be a better way to manage debt, since you’ve got one monthly payment to worry about and you can potentially get a better interest rate if you work with the right debt relief company.
Debt relief companies also work with creditors on your behalf to potentially settle your debt for less than you owe. This is not always a guarantee, but it is something these companies will advertise.
Any debt-free guide you research out there will have advice on how to pay off debt. It’s one of the best things you can do to improve your credit score, no matter how you go into debt.
Whether you choose debt settlement or debt consolidation, it’s always good to find a debt relief company that can do both. That way, you can compare the two plans to see which works best for you.
7 Best Debt Relief Companies
Reading debt success stories can help us dream about life after debt. Here are seven of the best debt relief companies you can work with to make that dream a reality.
Unlike some of the debt relief companies on our list, TurboDebt is a company that works with clients to connect them to the best debt relief company for their situation. Essentially, they are the middleman that takes a look at your debt and introduces you to a company that can make that debt disappear one way or another.
TurboDebt has a 4.9-star rating on Trustpilot and was founded in 2020. They’ve reported they can reduce their average client’s debt by 25% after the many fees associated with this service.
The minimum amount of debt you’ll need to qualify is $10,000. TurboDebt offers free consultations for unsecured debts such as personal loans, credit card debt, and medical debt.
However, TurboDebt does not work with clients who have mortgages, auto loans, or student loans. Their main form of assistance is debt settlement, which typically means a referral to National Debt Relief.
While you may end up paying more through TurboDebt, it is a great way to check to see if you’re working with the right company. TurboDebt does receive a commission for each referral, but it’s free to use.
National Debt Relief
Do you have too much debt to tackle on your own? National Debt Relief is one of the most popular debt relief companies out there, with over 10 years in the business.
National Debt Relief offers both debt management plans as well as debt settlement terms. Their fees range from 15% to 25% of the debt you begin with, which has to be over $7,500.
You won’t pay any upfront fees with National Debt Relief, though it doesn’t handle certain types of debt such as mortgages. At the same time, this company offers free consultations.
In working with a dedicated debt counselor, you’ll establish a plan of attack together. Typically, most programs last between two and four years, but National Debt Relief will work with your creditors to get your account settled.
Like many of the programs below, National Debt Relief will tell you to set aside a specific amount of money each month to use to pay off your debt in a lump-sum fashion later down the road. They may ask you to stop paying your debts, but that’s a decision you’ll have to make.
Freedom Debt Relief
Working on debt can feel like you’re never going to get ahead. Freedom Debt Relief offers a solution in the form of an interactive dashboard you can use to see your progress with each passing day.
Freedom Debt Relief offers both debt settlement and management programs, with fees ranging between 15% and 25% of your initial debt. There are no upfront fees and you can take advantage of a free consultation to get started.
There are over 2,000 trained debt experts at Freedom Debt Relief who are willing to create a personalized plan to pay off your debt. They’ll ask you to save a specific amount each month to get ahead.
As you save, you’ll be able to track your progress on the intuitive dashboard. Freedom Debt Relief will also negotiate with creditors for you and only ask for performance-based fees in return.
Accredited Debt Relief
Millennial credit delinquency is a real problem, but Accredited Debt Relief offers a solution. This debt relief company specializes in debt settlements, but also offers debt management programs.
Take advantage of a free consultation with Accredited Debt Relief to see what they can offer you. You’ll need credit card debt of at least $10,000 to qualify and you’ll pay anywhere from 15-25% of that debt if Accredited Debt Relief can get you results.
This company, founded in 2011, is one of many accredited by the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and offers a money-back guarantee. Accredited Debt Relief advises you to stop using your credit cards and save money each month instead to potentially save you up to 50% on your monthly payments.
Those with high-interest credit card debt should look into DMB Financial as well. This debt relief company does not disclose its fees but does offer both debt management and settlement options.
DMB Financial is also a member of the AFCC and was founded in 2003. Use the free consultation to see what DMB Financial can offer you, as there are no specific eligibility requirements in terms of debt amounts to enter a program.
If it’s not credit cards or an auto loan, most people struggle with tax debt. It’s an expense that’s often hard to budget for, especially if you don’t work with a tax advisor to estimate your taxes for the year.
The good news is that CuraDebt has your back. They offer both debt settlement and management programs you can use for tax debt relief.
After your free consultation, the experts at CuraDebt will work with you to come up with a debt program that suits your needs. There are no monthly fees but the flat-fee pricing comes out to about 20% of your initial debt.
Though in-person consultations are only available in Hollywood, Florida, there are tax experts available for all 50 states. Whether it’s federal or state taxes you have questions about, CuraDebt can help.
New Era Debt Solutions
National Debt Relief claims a long history of helping people relieve their debt, but New Era Debt Solutions has been in the business of managing and settling debts since 1999. The reason it doesn’t claim as much popularity as National Debt Relief is likely due to the limited availability in certain states.
However, New Era Debt Solutions only charges performance-based fees to the tune of 14%-23% of your initial debt. There are no upfront fees or monthly fees, just the amount you’ll need to set aside each month to use in the future to pay your debt off.
New Era Debt Solutions employs a large staff of attorneys who can help you settle your debt in two to three years at most. They’ve helped past clients lower their debt balance and only pay 50% of the debt they owed.
One of the biggest perks of working with New Era is that they handle everything in-house. This means you won’t have to worry about markups or delays in your debt relief service.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Debt Relief Companies
Rising interest rates can definitely sway your decision about debt relief companies. Here are a few pros and cons to consider before you make a move:
- Debt settlement plans can potentially save you money on your existing debt
- Debt consolidation can help you manage your debts with one payment
- Debt relief companies work directly with creditors so you don’t have to
- Working with a debt relief company can give you a resource and partner to rely on in paying off your debt
- Debt relief companies can advise you to stop making bill payments
- Your credit score can take a massive hit as late payments are a factor
- You may lose certain services if you quit paying your bills
- Creditors can potentially sue you for not paying your bills
- Any forgiven debts must be reported as income in the same year they were forgiven, potentially increasing your taxable income
If you’re not great at handling debt collection calls, a debt relief company can be your go-to source. At the same time, working with this type of company comes with certain costs you should be ready to pay.
Debt Relief Company Alternatives
There are many money lies we tell ourselves, and one of those is that we know how to pay off credit card debt. Knowing how to do so and actually following through are two very different things.
If debt relief companies aren’t the right fit for you, there are several other options. You can pay off debt living paycheck-to-paycheck, but it’s a lifestyle change you’ll have to commit to.
One source of assistance is a loan you take out specifically to pay off debt. Trading one debt for another might seem silly, but if you can reduce your interest rate in the transfer, you’re already doing better.
Taking student loan success stories as a prime example. With thousands of dollars of debt on the line, all it takes is a plan and the motivation to stick to that path until your debt is paid off.
Yes, debt settlement and debt management programs can affect your credit score. Some debt relief companies will tell you to stop paying your bills to save up a lot of money for a lump-sum payoff.
If you stop paying your bills, you will suffer the consequences, which include a lower credit score, late fees, and potentially a lawsuit against you from your creditor(s). Consider these risks before you follow through with this type of game plan from a debt relief company.
Debt relief companies cannot erase all your debt. Instead, they work with your creditors to potentially settle your debt for less than you owe. However, you still end up paying for that debt, whether it’s a larger percentage of it or by paying taxes on the difference as income.
Yes, debt relief companies will charge you for managing or settling your debt. They are offering a service that they expect to be paid for, which is most often part of their terms agreement.
Breathe Easier with the Best Debt Relief Companies
Dealing with debt can be a hard financial lesson to learn. With the best debt relief companies, you can get out from underneath your debt to improve your overall financial health.
We hope this article has helped you to see what options are out there when it comes to debt relief. Though debt relief programs may not be for you, they can help you figure out a way to get out of debt yourself.