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Compare Debt Settlement Firms

For consumers drowning in debt, bankruptcy often seems like the only solution. But bankruptcy represents one of the most negative items on a credit report, and it can take years for your FICO score to recover. Debt settlement also has a negative impact on your credit report, but not as drastic as bankruptcy. And if your debts are relatively small, debt settlement can allow you to obtain significant relief while signaling your willingness to satisfy your financial obligations.

Debt Settlement Firms versus DIY Efforts

For debts totaling less than 7,500 dollars, you might consider attempting to negotiate debt settlement with your creditors on your own. Although many debt settlement firms recommend clients to stop paying their creditors, debt settlement negotiations do not alter credit obligations. Creditors are no more obligated to go along with terms proposed by a debt settlement firm than those proposed by individuals.

However, debt settlement firms have extensive experience in negotiating settlements, along with specialized training and insider business knowledge.  Especially if your debts are large, the investment made in securing the services of a debt settlement firm will often be exceeded by the savings that the firm is able to obtain on your behalf.

What to Look For

If you’ve decided that obtaining the services of a debt settlement company could be worthwhile, the next step is to choose the right one. While your specific circumstances are undoubtedly unique, there are still common features to look for to ensure that the debt settlement company you select is reputable.

First and foremost, thanks to a 2010 Federal Trade Commission law, debt collection agencies are prohibited from charging upfront settlement fees. Run; don’t walk in the opposite direction of any so-called debt settlement company that attempts to do so.  Monthly maintenance fees are fine, but performance-based fees are far preferable, because you pay nothing if the firm does not succeed in lowering your overall debt. The settlement amount may be based on a percentage of the enrolled debt or a percentage of the (smaller) settled debt. Naturally the latter is preferable.

Proceed with caution if a debt settlement firm promises to close your case in a year or less. Two to four years is customary, especially if you have large debts. Support via email, telephone or live chat is a must.  A dedicated personal advisor or arbitrator is a plus, as is accreditation with an agency such as the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) or the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).

Compare Debt Settlement Firms

For consumers drowning in debt, bankruptcy often seems like the only solution. But bankruptcy represents one of the most negative items on a credit report, and it can take years for your FICO score to recover. Debt settlement also has a negative impact on your credit report, but not as drastic as bankruptcy. And if your debts are relatively small, debt settlement can allow you to obtain significant relief while signaling your willingness to satisfy your financial obligations.

Debt Settlement Firms versus DIY Efforts

For debts totaling less than 7,500 dollars, you might consider attempting to negotiate debt settlement with your creditors on your own. Although many debt settlement firms recommend clients to stop paying their creditors, debt settlement negotiations do not alter credit obligations. Creditors are no more obligated to go along with terms proposed by a debt settlement firm than those proposed by individuals.

However, debt settlement firms have extensive experience in negotiating settlements, along with specialized training and insider business knowledge.  Especially if your debts are large, the investment made in securing the services of a debt settlement firm will often be exceeded by the savings that the firm is able to obtain on your behalf.

What to Look For

If you’ve decided that obtaining the services of a debt settlement company could be worthwhile, the next step is to choose the right one. While your specific circumstances are undoubtedly unique, there are still common features to look for to ensure that the debt settlement company you select is reputable.

First and foremost, thanks to a 2010 Federal Trade Commission law, debt collection agencies are prohibited from charging upfront settlement fees. Run; don’t walk in the opposite direction of any so-called debt settlement company that attempts to do so.  Monthly maintenance fees are fine, but performance-based fees are far preferable, because you pay nothing if the firm does not succeed in lowering your overall debt. The settlement amount may be based on a percentage of the enrolled debt or a percentage of the (smaller) settled debt. Naturally the latter is preferable.

Proceed with caution if a debt settlement firm promises to close your case in a year or less. Two to four years is customary, especially if you have large debts. Support via email, telephone or live chat is a must.  A dedicated personal advisor or arbitrator is a plus, as is accreditation with an agency such as the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) or the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).

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Company

Reviews

% of Debt Fee

Minimum Debt Owed

Additional Details

Company Website

Debtmerica Relief

Debtmerica Relief

5
2
 
7 total votes
% of Debt Fee 18% - 24% 0% 75%
Minimum Debt Owed $10K Minimum Debt Owed
  • In-House Servicing
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • No Monthly Consultancy Fee
  • Free Consultation
  • AFCC Member

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National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief

1
 
 
1 total votes
% of Debt Fee 20% % of Debt Fee
Minimum Debt Owed $7.5K Minimum Debt Owed
  • In-House Servicing
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • No Monthly Consultancy Fee
  • Free Consultation
  • AFCC Member
Pacific Debt Inc .

Pacific Debt Inc .

Be the first to rate

% of Debt Fee 15% - 25% 0% 75%
Minimum Debt Owed $10K Minimum Debt Owed
  • In-House Servicing
  • Contingency Model
  • Free Consultation
  • AFCC Member
  • IAPDA Member
CuraDebt

CuraDebt

11
 
 
12 total votes
% of Debt Fee 18% - 20% 0% 75%
Minimum Debt Owed $10K Minimum Debt Owed
  • In-House Servicing
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • No Monthly Consultancy Fee
  • Free Consultation
  • AFCC Member
Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief

1
1
1
3 total votes
% of Debt Fee 15% - 25% 0% 75%
Minimum Debt Owed $15K Minimum Debt Owed
  • In-House Servicing
  • Contingency Model
  • No Monthly Consultancy Fee
  • Free Consultation
  • AFCC Member
Guardian Debt Relief

Guardian Debt Relief

 
1
 
1 total votes
% of Debt Fee 20% % of Debt Fee
Minimum Debt Owed $7.5K Minimum Debt Owed
  • Contingency Model
  • IAPDA Member
  • No Monthly Consultancy Fee
  • Free Consultation
American Debt Enders

American Debt Enders

Be the first to rate

Maximum % of Debt Fee 35% Maximum % of Debt Fee
Minimum Debt Owed $5K Minimum Debt Owed
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Contingency Model
  • No Monthly Consultancy Fee
  • Free Consultation