Many people who are in debt often don’t realize that there are services designed to help them get out of debt. Not all of these services are legitimate, and some would try to take advantage of those in debt, especially if you have bad credit. However, the top debt consolidation and settlement services can legitimately help you get out from behind a mountain of debt. We’ve done some digging to determine which are the best companies around, including top pick Freedom Debt Relief. Read on to gain a better understanding of debt consolidation services, as well as to see an overview and definitive rankings of which debt relief companies are a good fit for whatever your credit status may be: bad credit, good credit, or average credit. Don’t trust just anyone to help you consolidate your debts; you deserve to know which are the best companies.
|Rank||Debt Relief Service||Best For||Cost||Expert Rating|
|1||Accredited Debt Relief||Overall Debt Relief||18%-25% of debt||★★★★★|
|2||Freedom Debt Relief||Affordability||15%-25% of debt||★★★★|
|3||National Debt Relief||Debt Settlement||18%-25% of debt||★★★★|
|4||Payoff Loans||Debt Consolidation||5.99%-24.99% loan rates||★★★★|
Debt consolidation and debt settlement are two different services. Debt consolidation services help you get a loan that will consolidate all of your debt, so you are only making one payment a month toward all of your debts. They often will negotiate a better interest rate on the loan so you aren’t paying extra interest to consolidate. The best debt consolidation companies also provide debt management and education, so you can learn how to handle your own debt.
Debt settlement services work a little differently. (Check out our review of Accredited Debt Relief to see how the services differ.) Debt settlement services will try to help you negotiate with your debtors so that you can settle your debts for less than what you owe. This can be a dangerous option, since some debt settlement services can use some tricky schemes to try to settle your debt, so it is good to research who you are working with before you commit to a company.
Keep in mind that neither debt settlement nor debt consolidation will help your credit score immediately. If you are looking to breathe some life into your credit score immediately after handling your debt, you can either use some credit repair techniques to do it yourself or hire one of the trusted credit repair companies to help, like the two top-rated companies Sky Blue Credit Repair and Lexington Law.
Picking a good company can be tricky, but the first thing you should do is figure out your credit score. If you have good credit, you are more likely to find a debt consolidation loan with a low interest rate. If you have bad credit, your interest rate will probably be higher. Here are the best debt consolidation services for each credit class:
People with bad credit have fewer options when it comes to debt consolidation, which can make it harder to find a good company. This is because while the loan services above for Good and Average credit will allow you to use a loan for any type of debt, debt relief companies for those with bad credit generally only approve those with large amounts of credit card debt. In general, the companies require at least $10,000 in credit card debt, although some require larger credit card debts, and some will work with people that have smaller credit card debts. If you have bad credit, it’s especially helpful to undergo loan counseling before signing on with any debt relief companies; loan counseling will help you better understand how paying off your debts through loan consolidation will impact your day-to-day financial situation. Here’s a good breakdown of the best debt consolidation services for people with bad credit:
Freedom Debt Relief Disclosure: Our estimates are based on prior results, which will vary depending on your specific enrolled creditors and your individual program terms. Not all clients are able to complete their program for various reasons, including their ability to save sufficient funds. We do not guarantee that your debts will be resolved for a specific amount or percentage or within a specific period of time. We do not assume your debts, make monthly payments to creditors or provide tax, bankruptcy, accounting or legal advice or credit repair services. Our service is not available in all states and our fees may vary from state to state. Please contact a tax professional to discuss potential tax consequences of less than full balance debt resolution. Read and understand all program materials prior to enrollment. The use of debt settlement services will likely adversely affect your creditworthiness, may result in you being subject to collections or being sued by creditors or collectors and may increase the outstanding balances of your enrolled accounts due to the accrual of fees and interest. However, negotiated settlements we obtain on your behalf resolve the entire account, including all accrued fees and interest. C.P.D. Reg. No. T.S.12-03825.
Best for: All around debt relief service. Freedom Debt Relief offers a solid debt settlement service that is faster than most debt relief companies and doesn’t require a loan to settle your debt.
Price: Like National Debt Relief, Freedom Debt Relief charges 18 percent to 25 percent of whatever debt is settled, and there are no monthly fees.
Time frame: Like all the other debt settlement programs, it generally takes between 24 to 48 months for Freedom’s debt settlement program.
Other highlights: Freedom Debt Relief has good customer service, as well as solid online tools and a dedicated personal advisor to walk you through the debt settlement program.
Available states: Like National Debt Relief, Freedom only offers debt settlement in 34 of the 50 states,which is the max number of states that allow debt relief.
You can call Freedom Debt Relief for a free consultation at 844-752-5316.
Price: National Debt Relief is one of the more affordable debt consolidation services. First, it doesn’t charge a monthly service fee like most other debt consolidation and settlement services. Instead of fees, however, they charge 20 percent of whatever you end up saving by using their services. So if your debt is $10,000, and you end up paying only $9,000, they would receive $200. On the plus side, you can get a quote and a consultation for free with National Debt Relief.
BBB Rating: A (Also accredited by both the American Fair Credit Council and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.)
Features: National Debt Relief has the most features of any other debt consolidation and settlement service that we saw. It includes a free quote, no monthly fees, flexible payment schedule, services for secured and unsecured loans, professional advisors, self-help tools, mobile access to their site and budget planners. They also allow you to have a co-signer, which is important for most people who are stuck in debt.
Guarantee: One of the reasons we like National Debt Relief is because of their 100-percent money back guarantee. This apparently is fair game if the debts consolidation service doesn’t work for you or if you are not completely satisfied with the service, although we did not test to see how easy it is to get your money back with the guarantee.
Customer Service: The site also has a comprehensive customer service program, including access to a representative by phone, chat, email and social media. Although not always the speediest, the customer service answers to our questions were always helpful and informative.
You can get a free quote and consultation from National Debt Relief here or you can call them at 844-732-1190.
Price: CuraDebt is a little more expensive than National Debt Relief. They charge a $59 monthly fee plus 20 percent of what you save on the initial debt. It’s a little cheaper for debt settlement; there is no monthly fee, but they still charge 20 percent of what you save on the initial debt.
BBB Rating: N/A (Accredited by both the American Fair Credit Council and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.)
Features: CuraDebt was founded in 1996, which means it has been in business for more than a decade longer than National Debt Relief. CuraDebt offers most of the same features that National Debt Relief does, including free quote, flexible payment schedule, services for secured and unsecured loans, professional advisors to offer counseling, and self-help tools. One of the things that CuraDebt doesn’t offer that National Debt Relief does is the option of having a co-signer. They also don’t offer mobile access to your account. If you are having issues with identity theft wrecking your credit score and leaving you in debt, it might be a good idea to check out an identity theft protection service to help before you do debt consolidation. Check out our Lifelock review to learn more about identity theft protection.
Guarantee: CuraDebt doesn’t offer a money back guarantee.
Customer Service: CuraDebt only offers phone and email customer service options, which limits your options. It can be difficult to get an answer, but the customer service representatives are usually helpful and friendly, according to CuraDebt reviews.
You can get a free quote and consultation from CuraDebt here or call CuraDebt for a free consultation about your debt at 888-753-3619.
People with good or excellent credit can usually be approved for a great debt consolidation loan that should help them pay down their debt quickly. It’s also much easier for people with superb credit to find one of the best companies to work with. Most loan companies offer lower interest rates with higher loan amounts to people with good or excellent credit, giving them more options than those with average or bad credit. Even if you have good credit, it’s a smart idea to make sure you go through loan counseling and understand exactly how the process to pay off your loan will work — after all, you don’t want to do anything that might put your good credit score at risk. Here are a few of the best online loan companies that offer debt consolidation loans for people with good credit:
Having average credit usually puts you in a better spot than people with bad credit, even if you’re not in as good a place as you would be if you had really great credit. With average credit, you have more options for debt consolidation loans that won’t restrict your qualifications based on debt amount or type of debt. That being said, you won’t be able to work with the top companies, and you will probably have to pay a higher interest rate on your debt consolidation loan than those with good credit. As we advised those who have either bad or good credit scores, it’s very important to take advantage of loan counseling before making a decision or committing to working with any debt relief companies. You want to make sure the terms are going to be in your best interest and that you fully understand how the process to pay off the loan will work. Here are a few online loan companies that offer debt consolidation loans to people with average credit:
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