Overwhelmed by debt? Then, you might consider hiring a debt settlement company. Debt settlement companies negotiate paying your creditors. Then, you pay a monthly sum to the debt settlement company, who distributes your payment to your creditors. By doing this, you can get out of debt faster. Need help choosing a company? If so, here’s a breakdown of how the companies compare against each other and other debt relief companies.
|Rank||Debt Relief Service||Best For||Cost||Expert Rating|
|1||Freedom Debt Relief||Overall Debt Relief||15%-25% of debt||★★★★★|
|2||Accredited Debt Relief||Debt Management||18%-25% of debt||★★★★★|
|3||National Debt Relief||Debt Settlement||18%-25% of debt||★★★★|
|4||Payoff Loans||Debt Consolidation||5.99%-24.99% loan rates||★★★★|
Two of the most well-known debt settlement companies are Freedom Debt Relief and National Debt Relief. In short, these companies both assist customers with the debt settlement process. Want to know more? Here are quick reviews of the best debt relief companies (including our top-ranked Accredited Debt Relief review), followed by detailed reviews of National Debt Relief vs. Freedom Debt Relief.
Freedom Debt Relief Disclosure: Clients who make all their monthly program deposits pay approximately 50 percent of their enrolled balance before fees, or 65 percent to 85 percent including fees, over 24 to 48 months (some programs lengths can go higher). Not all clients are able to complete our program for various reasons, including their ability to save sufficient funds. Our estimates are based on prior results, which will vary depending on your specific circumstances. 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.
Get started with Freedom Debt Relief | (844) 752-5316
Freedom Debt Relief is a debt resolution company based in San Mateo, Calif. What does it do? The company focuses on helping people get out of debt in just 24 to 48 months. In addition, it negotiates to reduce the amount you are paying your creditors.
What is the process? First, they will create an FDIC-insured Dedicated Bank Account for you. Next, you deposit money into the bank account each month to fund your debt repayments. Then, Freedom representatives can use information from the bank account during their negotiations with creditors, but you retain full control of the money in the bank account.
Freedom Debt Relief’s number is 844-752-5316. A quick phone call will get you customer service.
National Debt Relief is a debt consolidation company. In short, it works with your creditors to resolve your debt. However, the focus of National involves consolidating your debt into one loan.
Ideally, by using a loan to pay your creditors, you can reduce the amount of your overall debt and simplify payments. For example, instead of sending payments to multiple companies each month, you make one payment.
In addition, National provides financial counseling services to help you avoid future debts. For instance, you may need to learn how to create and follow a household budget that lets you save money and avoid credit cards.
Freedom Debt Relief’s fees can be confusing. Essentially, debt relief clients pay fees of between 15 percent and 25 percent of the total enrolled debt.
While this is a pretty low interest rate, some debt relief programs only charge a percentage of the settled amount. Depending on the difference between your total enrolled debt and debt settlement amount, you may or may not get a good deal. Freedom also has no upfront fees.
Essentially, National charges 15 percent to 25 percent of your total enrolled debt. How much will you pay? Well, National has no upfront fees. Since the higher rate also applies to your enrolled debt rather than the settled amount, there is a good chance that you will pay more money for those services.
Freedom follows a fairly selective process. Why? It’s because companies can only help consumers with only unsecured debt. What does that mean? Basically, credit card debt, personal loans, medical bills and so on.
Who gets chosen? Freedom Debt Relief is much more selective than National Debt Relief. Every application is reviewed, and it only accepts clients it thinks it can help. Basically, this makes it more likely that your debt relief will be successful. However, the company does not appear to have criteria for who get’s accepted. Essentially, it works with clients who are struggling with their debt.
Every application is reviewed, and National only accepts clients it thinks it can help. Why? This makes it more likely that it will be helpful with handling your debt.
The company offers a range of services and products to help clients find debt relief.
Settle up. Freedom Debt Relief says that debt settlement is what it does best. What is debt settlement? The debt settlement industry involves negotiating to lower the overall amount you are paying your creditors. Therefore, if the companies can reach an agreement, money comes out each month from an escrow account that is set up for the customer to repay creditors.
Shoot for lower interest. Debt consolidation lets you take out a loan so you can resolve your debt. Typically, these loans have a lower interest rate, so you will save money. Also, you get the benefit of paying one lender instead of several.
Bankruptcy is usually a last-resort option. Freedom Debt Relief will help you decide whether you want to file for Chapter 11, Chapter 13 or another type of bankruptcy. However, Freedom doesn’t handle bankruptcy directly. Once you have made your choice, the company will refer you to a service that specifically handles bankruptcies.
Need help with your credit? Freedom has counselors who will look at your finances to create a debt management plan that matches your unique needs. The process will help you resolve your debt. Perhaps more importantly, it will help you avoid future debt.
Give yourself a leg up. If you want to get out of debt on your own, you can use Freedom Debt Relief’s online tools for help. The tools will let you calculate payments and track your progress. A phone call to customer service will also get you help with your relief efforts.
National Debt Relief offers at least five debt relief programs that could help you eliminate debt and remain debt-free.
Settle your debts. National Debt Relief uses debt settlement as a way to lower its clients’ debt. How does it work? It lets the company’s debt lawyers negotiate lower outstanding balances with creditors. Also, settlements can also lead to lower interest rates and waived fees. Still, National says that some debtors will not negotiate in good faith, which makes it hard for settlements to work.
Lower your interest. Debt consolidation involves getting a loan that’s large enough to repay your outstanding debts. Ideally, your loan will have a lower interest rate. Why? Because, less interest means you effectively owe less money.
In addition, debt consolidation makes it easier to keep track of your repayment efforts. How? Instead of paying your creditors every month, you only have to make one loan payment per month.
Last ditch effort. National cannot file bankruptcy for you, but it can provide essential services that help you decide whether bankruptcy is a good option. If you decide to pursue bankruptcy, National will explain the steps you should take to file.
Talk it out. Negotiating with creditors can take a lot of time and effort. Most don’t have the time. So, many people decide to let companies like National Debt Relief do the work for them. That way, National will contact your creditors to discuss ways to resolve your debt. Some companies will agree to reduce the amount that you owe. Others will agree to lower their interest rates and waive fees.
Educate yourself. People who eliminate debt often fall back into debt. Why? They don’t change their spending habits. If you don’t change the reason that you have so much debt, then you will probably stack up more debt and need debt relief help again in the future. How do you change things? Learn from your mistakes. For example, National Debt Relief provides educational services to help you avoid this. If you want to remain debt-free, you need to take seriously the debt education services National offers.
Note that debt relief companies such as National can help you with your debt but don’t offer any assistance when it comes to your credit. Credit repair is a different service altogether. If you are looking to improve your credit score, check out one of the best credit repair companies to help.
Debt relief companies such as National also don’t help protect against identity theft. If you think you need identity theft protection, check our our Lifelock reviews or our comparison of Lifelock vs. Experian to see how the different identity theft protection companies work.
The debt relief company has had minor legal issues in the past, but it has overcome those obstacles to become one of the most popular accredited debt relief companies online. Despite negative reviews, it’s clear that Freedom Debt Relief isn’t a scam.
In fact, many Freedom Debt Relief clients credit the company for getting them out of debt and teaching them how to avoid future debt, which can be done with a quick phone call. You should always compare several companies before choosing a debt relief option, but this one stands out as one of the top debt management companies.
It’s important to remember that all debt consolidation companies receive negative reviews from clients who don’t feel that they got the results they wanted. Which reviews should you believe? You will always see a mixture of negative and positive reviews, so try to take an even-handed approach.
According to most people who have left National Debt Relief reviews, it can help you find medical debt relief, business debt consolidation and other strategies that quickly repair your financial circumstances. Some people just can’t be helped, but chances are you can get the assistance you need.
How long have these companies been around? Both Freedom Debt Relief and National Debt Relief are well-established companies that have been debt settlement industry providers for several years. Freedom was founded in 2002, and National was founded in 2009. This is important because there’s potential for scams in the debt settlement industry.
Hone your scam radar. Some companies claim to be debt settlement companies but are really just fronts for collecting debtors’ money and putting it in the company operative’s pockets. The longer a company has been in business, the more likely it is that it is legitimate.
National Debt Relief has one of the most comprehensive debt relief programs, offering a wide range of debt relief options for anyone who is drowning in debt. Here’s a detailed look at what they offer:
This is what National is best at. Why? It has been doing debt settlements for years and knows the ins and outs of the laws around the debt settlement industry. Keep in mind, while debt settlement is a good option for people who are drowning in debt, it does have some downsides, including wrecking your credit score. Be sure to know the risks before you start the process. National has all the information you need to know about debt settlement on its website.
This is a safer option to reduce the amount you owe. While debt settlement forces your lenders to settle your debts for a lower cost, debt consolidation does just what it says: it consolidates your debts into one loan with a lower interest rate. In short, this helps you stop paying high interest. While debt consolidation might not save you as much money, it can keep your credit score intact and is less risky than debt settlement or bankruptcy.
If you choose this option, National Debt Relief will negotiate with your lenders in order to either lessen your debt or make it easier for you to make payments without racking up a lot of fees and interest. Since the company has been around so long, they have a good track record with various lenders and have the relationships built for good negotiations.
National Debt Relief can’t actually file bankruptcy for you. However, it can help you through the steps you will need to take in order to file for bankruptcy. The first step is a detailed explanation of what bankruptcy is and if you should even consider filing for it. This information is all offered free on the National website before you even sign up. The next step is walking you through the procedure of filing for bankruptcy, which National has a lot of experience doing.
Learn from your mistakes. National Debt Relief has one of the best collections of debt relief information available to anyone on its site. It has common FAQs about debt, a detailed explanation of every debt relief option from consolidation to settlement to bankruptcy, and gives you tips to help you manage and deal with your debt all by yourself, for free. Most debt relief programs only offer this information if you sign up for their service. However, National makes it all available to anyone who is interested.
As in dealing with any debt relief service, there are risks and rewards to handling your debt. In addition, each debt relief service has its own pros and cons when it comes to debt relief. Here’s a detailed look at National Debt Relief’s pros and cons:
Pros: National is one of the most affordable debt relief programs. It has a plethora of options to choose from, depending on your debt. In addition, it is offered in 34 states, which is more than most debt relief programs. National also has one of the best reputations in the debt relief world. And the obvious pro, National can help you pay down your mountain of debt.
Cons: Specific to National Debt Relief, it is not available in all states, so if you are one of the 16 states it doesn’t operate in, you can’t use it. In generally, there are always risks to debt relief. If you choose debt settlement or bankruptcy, it can affect your credit score. Know the risks before you decide to go forward with any debt relief program.
Whenever you are dealing with a company that deals with debt or even money, people tend to have strong opinions. When you are dealing with risky procedures like debt settlement and bankruptcy, those opinions get even stronger.
Reviews: Generally, National reviews are good among debt relief services and it is one of the most trusted of the debt relief program services out there. On the flip side, there are a lot of people out there who feel scammed by National. Part of that is people who didn’t understand the risks involved. Part of it is people who didn’t get the results they were looking for. And part of it is probably National’s fault.
If you are seriously looking for a debt relief service, the best thing to do is get all the facts first, read the reviews, but take them with a grain of salt. In our experience, National Debt Relief does the best job with debt relief, but it is always best to make that decision for yourself.
Keep in mind, there is no magic pill to solve all their debt problems. Also, there are no guarantees when it comes to debt relief. These companies try to work with customers to lower their debt burden, but they aren’t going to work miracles.
With that in mind, we’ve found that many of the complaints against companies like Freedom Debt Relief or National Debt Relief are from customers who had unrealistic expectations. What does that mean? They expected results greater than any debt relief company could reach, so take the complaints you read about with a grain of salt.
The BBB has 260 customer reviews of Freedom Debt Relief. The majority of complaints filed with the BBB note problems with products or services. Presumably, this means that the some of the company’s customers (more than 115 of them) feel that the services may not have matched up to their expectations regarding the amount of debt resolved and so on.
How does National stack up? The BBB has 171 customer reviews for National Debt Relief. More than 40 of those reviews shared with the BBB are complaints. Most complaints refer to problems with products and services. Still, other complaints relate to billing and collection issues (12 complaints) and advertising and sales issues (eight issues).
Although National Debt Relief does not have as many complaints, you shouldn’t assume that it provides better services. For instance, it does not have the brand recognition of Freedom Debt Relief. Also, far fewer people use the company. The smaller number of complaints could just mean that National has fewer clients.
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