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Best Debt Relief Companies of 2022

When you're tired of dealing with debt but you can't seem to find a way out, the best debt relief companies can help. Find out the steps these companies take to help you negotiate your debts and pay them off — once and for all.

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Holly Johnson
Written by:Holly Johnson
Award-Winning Personal Finance Contributor

By the end of 2021, U.S. consumers carried an average credit card balance of $5,221. While consumers struggling to pay off this debt have few places to turn, debt relief companies aim to help by negotiating with creditors so they can pay less than they owe. While this industry has its share of bad players, we compared reputable debt relief companies to help you find a reasonable, fair, and transparent debt relief plan to suit your needs.

Our Top Picks Best Debt Relief Companies of 2022

National Debt Relief
Diverse service offering
Diverse service offering
Low minimum debt requirement
Low minimum debt requirement
Money back guarantee
Money back guarantee
Trustworthiness and stability
Trustworthiness and stability
Freedom Debt Relief
Diverse service offering
Diverse service offering
Free tax relief consultation
Free tax relief consultation
Low minimum debt requirement
Low minimum debt requirement
Trustworthiness and stability
Trustworthiness and stability
Accredited Debt Relief
Diverse service offering
Diverse service offering
Free tax relief consultation
Free tax relief consultation
Low minimum debt requirement
Low minimum debt requirement
Trustworthiness and stability
Trustworthiness and stability

How We Rate Debt Relief Companies

In order to rate the best debt relief companies on the market today, we researched organizations and their backgrounds as well as the programs and services they offer. From there, we used our proprietary rating methodology to score companies in several categories on a scale of 1 to 5. 

The categories we looked at with each of the debt relief companies we profiled include the following:

  • Costs and Fees: We compared debt relief companies based on their published costs and fees. We gave preference to companies that were entirely upfront and transparent about their fees, and we looked at both upfront fees and ongoing fees for services.
  • Customer Experience: We also considered the quality of the customer experience with each of the companies we profiled. This meant looking at the online portals of each of the providers, as well as the different ways customers can contact them during their opening hours.
  • Services and Solutions: In this category, we looked at the availability of debt relief services based on geographic location and minimum debt level requirements. We also considered the breadth of services offered, which may include debt consolidation, debt settlement, credit counseling, and more.
  • Trustworthiness and Stability: Factors considered in this category include length of business history, how many customers a company has helped, the amount of debt each provider has managed, and relevant memberships in industry-leading associations.
  • User Reviews: Finally, we considered reviews from past users on platforms like Trustpilot. From there, we gave preference to debt relief companies who have a large number of positive testimonials from past customers.

Best Debt Relief Companies - Full Overview

The best debt relief companies that made our ranking offer clear and transparent pricing and an array of services to help their clients get out of debt. The following company reviews can help you decide which of these companies might work best for your needs.

1. National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief helps consumers out of debt through a process called debt settlement, which ultimately lets them pay off their debts for less than they owe. This company does not charge any upfront fees, which makes it a good option for individuals who need to get their debts resolved but don't have any cash to spare. In the end, National Debt Relief charges fees that amount to 15% to 25% of the total debt enrolled, but only after their work is done and the client is debt-free.

Pros
Settle debts for less than you owe
No upfront fees required
A+ rating with the BBB
Excellent reviews on Trustpilot
Debt arbitrators certified through the IAPDA
Free initial consultation
Accredited member of the AFCC
Cons
$7,500 minimum debt requirement
Potential for high fees (up to 25%)
Only offers debt settlement

national debt relief

National Debt Relief helps clients in all 50 states, although they do require a minimum debt amount of $7,500 to use their services. Clients can cancel their program at any time, and they won't pay any fees until their debt settlement plan is wrapping up. Generally speaking, this company needs 24 to 48 months to help their clients settle and resolve their debts.

The company notes that clients who stick with their program ultimately realize approximate savings of 50% off their debts before fees, or 30% with their fees taken into account. The company was founded in 2009, and they are an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).

Features

Geographic Availability Minimum Debt Required Average Time for Relief Cancellation Policy Money-Back Guarantee?
Nationwide $7,500 24 to 48 months Cancel at any time Only pay when you get results

The Bottom Line

National Debt Relief has a solid reputation among their past clients, and they offer their services on a national basis. If you have at least $7,500 in credit card debts, lines of credit, medical bills, and other eligible debts, this company can help you get it all resolved so you can move on with your life.

Try NDR

2. Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief is another company that helps consumers out of debt using debt settlement. Since they don't charge any upfront fees, they can be a good option for consumers who need help but can't afford to pay for assistance right away. This company also stands out due to its daily customer service options, including the ability to chat online with a representative during business hours. Freedom Debt Relief also offers an online portal that lets clients monitor their debt settlement progress in real time, and the company is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).

Pros
Settle debts for less than you owe
No upfront fees required
Free debt evaluation included
A+ rating with the BBB
Excellent reviews on Trustpilot
Excellent customer service options
Accredited member of the AFCC
Accredited with the IAPDA
Cons
$7,500 minimum debt requirement
Potential for high fees (up to 25%)
Not available in every state

freedom debt relief
While Freedom Debt Relief is only available in around 75% of the United States, they offer debt settlement services that normally last from 24 to 48 months. Clients with at least $7,500 in eligible debts can sign up for their assistance, and they only get paid when they get results. Like several other companies in our ranking, Freedom Debt Relief fees typically work out to 15% to 25% of total debt enrolled. Freedom Debt Relief has also been in opreation since 2002, so they have been in business longer than many of their competitors.

Features

Geographic Availability Minimum Debt Required Average Time for Relief Cancellation Policy Money-Back Guarantee?
75% availability nationwide $7,500 24 to 48 months Cancel at any time Only pay when you get results

The Bottom Line

If you live in an area of the country Freedom Debt Relief services, this company is definitely worth considering. They don't charge any upfront fees, and they have tens of thousands of excellent user reviews.

3. Accredited Debt Relief

Accredited Debt Relief explains their process as debt consolidation, but what they really offer is debt settlement. Once you are set up on a plan with this company, you'll make a single payment toward an account that will ultimately be used to settle debts for less than you owe. This company does not charge any upfront fees, so they will start working with you right away if you're eligible. You can also qualify for a free consultation with a certified debt specialist who can walk you through the process.

Pros
Settle debts for 50% of what you owe
Resolve debts in as little as 12 months
No upfront fees required
Free consultation with debt specialist
A+ rating with the BBB
Exceptional user reviews
Accredited member of the AFCC
Cons
$10,000 minimum debt amount required
Potential for high fees (up to 25%)
Not available nationwide

accredited
Accredited Debt Relief offers debt settlement options to clients in 31 states plus Washington D.C., so there's a good chance you can consider them if you have at least $10,000 in eligible debts you need help with. Founded in 2011, this company promises to help you settle debts within a timeline of 12 to 48 months. They also claim their clients can save up to 50% off their monthly debt payments along the way. No payments are required upfront, but clients are asked to pay fees that equal 15% to 25% of the total debt they had when they enrolled.

The Bottom Line

Accredited Debt Relief can make sense for people with at least $10,000 in debts they are struggling to pay off. This company charges similar fees to their competitors, but they can help you resolve your debts in as little as 12 months.

4. CuraDebt

CuraDebt offers debt settlement services and help with unpaid state and federal taxes. This company does not charge any upfront fees, and they do not get paid until you get results. In the end, they also charge fees that typically equal around 20% of the debt enrolled. That's a lot to pay in fees, but it's still less than the 25% maximum fees some competing debt relief firms charge.

Pros
Settle debts for less than you owe
Also helps with unpaid tax debts
A+ rating with the BBB
Minimum debt amount of $5,000 required
Accredited member of the AFCC
Accredited with the IAPDA
Nationwide availability
Cons
Potential for high fees (up to 20%)
Fewer online reviews than competitors

cura debt
CuraDebt is available in all 50 states, so you can consider them for your debt settlement plan regardless of where you live. Founded in 2000, this company charges around 20% of your enrolled debt in fees, and they aim to help you get out of debt in 24 to 48 months. Like other top debt relief companies, CuraDebt is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).

The Bottom Line

Consider CuraDebt if you have just $5,000 in eligible debts you need to pay off, and if you want to pay only when you get results. This company is also worth considering if you have unpaid tax debts since they have a team of tax professionals standing by.

Try CuraDebt

5. DMB Financial

DMB Financial is another debt relief company that offers help through debt settlement, yet you should know this company has faced government action by the CFPB due to unfair business practices. They do offer a free consultation, and they claim to have helped manage more than $1 billion in unsecured debts so far. This company also offers a referral bonus of up to $200 when their customers refer friends who also use them for debt settlement services.

Pros
Free initial consultation
Over $1 billion in debt managed so far
Accredited member of the AFCC
Accredited with the IAPDA
Earn a bonus for referring friends
Cons
C+ rating with BBB
Government actions taken by CFPB
Fewer online reviews than competitors

dmb financial
Founded in 2003, DMB Financial is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). This company promises help with debt settlement within 36 to 48 months of enrollment, which is a longer timeline for relief than many of their competitors advertise. Also be aware that DMB Financial does not disclose their debt settlement fees, nor do they share any information on their cancellation policy or guarantees for clients.

The Bottom Line

If you consider DMB Financial to help you settle unpaid debts, make sure you get an upfront quote for the fees you're asked to pay. Where DMB Financial doesn't disclose their fees, other debt settlement companies charge between 15% to 25% of the debts you enroll upfront.

Try DMB Financial

6. New Era Debt Solutions

New Era Debt Solutions has helped settle more than $250 million in unsecured debts since their founding. This company helps clients pay less than they owe over time, and they boast an average plan length of just under 28 months. Like many of their competitors, New Era Debt Solutions offers a free debt analysis that can help individuals in debt figure out their best next steps.


Pros
Settle debts for less than you owe
Free debt analysis
No upfront fees required
A+ rating with BBB
Solid customer reviews
Average plan lasts 28 months
Cons
Fees not disclosed upfront
Not available in every state

new era debt solutions
Founded in 2009, New Era Debt Solutions has a solid reputation with plenty of excellent customer reviews. This company does not disclose their fee range upfront, however, so you'll need to get a quote for the fees you're asked to pay before you commit. New Era does say that their average plan lasts for around 28 months, and that their average client receives a 57.13% reduction in their debts through settlement. New Era also advertises that they have an 18.28% dropout rate among their clients.

The Bottom Line

New Era Debt Solutions offers a free debt analysis upfront, so there's no obligation to work with them after getting a free quote. If you are interested in getting out of debt in around 28 months and you want to save more than 50% off the debts you owe, this company is worth checking out.

Try NewEra

7. Century Support Services

Century Support Services is another option to consider among reputable debt relief organizations that offer debt settlement services. This company asks its clients to make monthly payments to a holding account which will grow over time. At some point in the process, Century Support Services uses the money in the account to settle client debts for significantly less than they owe.

Pros
Over $1.6 billion in debt settled so far
Free financial assessment offered
Settle debts for less than you owe
A+ rating with the BBB
Excellent user reviews
Accredited member of the AFCC
Accredited with the IAPDA
Cons
Potential for high fees (up to 25%)
No weekend customer support
Availability in only 44 states

century support services
Founded in 2003, Century Support Services offers a debt relief program in 44 states. This company does not disclose the minimum amount of debt they require, but they do claim they can help their clients settle debts within 18 to 48 months of enrollment. In their fine print, they say that clients who make all their monthly program payments pay on average 50% of their enrolled balance before fees or 68% to 75% after fees. This means average debt savings typically falls between 25% to 32% of enrolled debts after fees are taken into account. Century Support Services is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).

The Bottom Line

Consider Century Support Services if you live in a coverage area and you want to settle your debts in as little as 18 months. They even offer a free consultation you can utilize to get an idea of fees and how long your program will take.

8. Pacific Debt

Pacific Debt offers debt settlement services to individuals and families, as well as ongoing client support services to help them stay on track. This company is best for people who want debt relief solutions that can work within 24 to 48 months, as well as those who have at least $10,000 in unsecured and unresolved debts weighing them down.

Pros
A+ Rating with the BBB
Excellent customer reviews
Free upfront debt consultation
No upfront fees required
Accredited member of the AFCC
Accredited with the IAPDA
Cons
Not available nationwide (only in 29 states)
Potential for high fees (up to 25%)
Minimum debt of $10,000 required
No weekend customer service hours

pacific debt
Pacific Debt is one of the best debt relief companies out there based on their certifications, their user reviews, and their ratings with third parties like the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This company does not charge any upfront fees, although clients do need to pay fees that equal 15% to 25% of their enrolled debts over time. A minimum debt amount of $10,000 is required to get started, and this company is only available in 29 states plus Washington D.C. Founded in 2002, Pacific Debt is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).

The Bottom Line

Consider Pacific Debt if you live in a coverage area and you have at least $10,000 in debt to resolve. This company offers a free consultation to help you get started, so don't be afraid to reach out for help.

Try Pacific Debt

9. Citizens Debt Relief

Citizens Debt Relief promises to help their clients maximize savings while they pay down unresolved debts for less than they owe. This company does not offer services in every state, however, and they do not disclose all terms for their plans. For example, Citizens Debt Relief does not list a minimum debt amount consumers need to qualify, nor does the company disclose its fee structure. Instead, it says they use a "flexible pricing system" that helps their clients get the best results.


Pros
Settle debts for less than you owe
No upfront fees for services
Free consultation with debt specialist
A+ rating with the BBB
Accredited member of the AFCC
Cons
No weekend customer service hours
Does not disclose fee structure
Fewer user reviews than competitors
Not available in every state

citizens debt relief
Citizens Debt Relief has been in business since 2017, and the company is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council. While they do not disclose their fees or their minimum debt requirements, they do say their clients get their debts resolved within 24 to 48 months. Citizens Debt Relief does not charge any upfront fees, so you only pay when you get results.

The Bottom Line

While Citizens Debt Relief is one of the top debt relief organizations out there, you should look over the plan they offer you before you sign up. Fortunately, they offer a free debt consultation upfront, so you can find out the exact fees you'll have to pay before you commit.

Try Citizens DR

10. Guardian Debt Relief

Guardian Debt Relief is not available in all states, yet they do not disclose their specific geographic limitations. This means you'll have to move forward in the process to find out if you're eligible for their services, including their debt settlement program. Fortunately, Guardian Debt Relief offers a free debt consultation with no obligation and no strings attached.

Pros
Settle debts for 40% to 60% of what you owe
No upfront fees required
Free consultation with debt specialist
A+ rating with the BBB
Fees capped at 20%
Cons
Not a member of the AFCC
Not available in all states
Fewer online reviews than other companies

guardian debt relief
Guardian Debt Relief helps clients in their coverage area who have more than $10,000 in unsecured debts to settle. They cap their fees at 20% of the total debt amount enrolled, and they say their debt relief plans are completed within 24 to 48 months on average. Guardian Debt Relief does not charge any upfront fees, so you only pay when you get results.

The Bottom Line

Consider Guardian Debt Relief if you want to pay a maximum of 20% of your total debts. This company offers a free consultation, so you can learn how long your plan would take plus more details with no obligation to enroll.

Try Guardian DR

Best Debt Relief Companies - Main Features

Company Name Minimum Debt Required Fees Average Time for Relief Money Back Guarantee Policy
National Debt Relief $7,500 15% to 25% of total debt enrolled 24 to 48 months Only pay when you get results
Freedom Debt Relief $7,500 15% to 25% of total debt enrolled 24 to 48 months Only pay when you get results
Accredited Debt Relief 10,000 15% to 25% of total debt enrolled 12 to 48 months Only pay when you get results
CuraDebt $5,000 20% of total debt enrolled 24 to 48 months Only pay when you get results
DMB Financial $10,000 Not disclosed 36 to 48 months Not disclosed
New Era Debt Solutions Not disclosed Not disclosed 28 months Only pay when you get results
Century Support Services Not disclosed 18% to 25% of total debt enrolled 18 to 48 months Only pay when you get results
Pacific Debt $10,000 15% to 25% of enrolled debt 24 to 48 months Only pay when you get results
Citizens Debt Relief Not disclosed Not disclosed 24 to 48 months Only pay when you get results
Guardian Debt Relief $10,000 Up to 20% 24 to 28 months Only pay when you get results

What Is Debt Relief?

The term "debt relief" is used to describe a process that lets consumers settle their debts for less than they originally owed. Debt relief is offered by the best debt relief companies, all of which charge a fee (usually 15% to 25%) once their services have been performed.


How Do Debt Relief Companies Work?

Debt relief organizations start the process by helping their clients make a list of all the debts they owe. From there, they create a plan for their clients that has them making payments to a bank account each month instead of paying their creditors.

Once the account has enough money in it, the best debt relief companies use the funds to negotiate the client's debts for less than they owe. Typically, this entire process takes between 24 to 48 months to complete, and clients can save up to 50% off the original amount they owed after accounting for fees.


Debt Relief vs. Debt Consolidation: What’s the Difference?

Where debt relief helps clients negotiate a settlement on their debts, debt consolidation works differently. For example, some clients consolidate their debts with a balance transfer card that lets them pay down debt at 0% for a limited time in exchange for a balance transfer fee. This strategy can work well if someone is disciplined enough to pay as much as they can toward their debts during the card's intro APR offer, and if they also stop using credit cards for new purchases along the way.

Other times, individuals sign up for debt management programs. With this type of debt relief program, a third party company collects a monthly payment from their clients that is used to pay down their debts over time. Consumers do pay fees for debt management programs as well, although how much they pay can vary from company to company.


Debt Relief vs. Bankruptcy: Which is Right for You?

Debt relief can be a good option for people who have ample income to repay their debts but struggle to stay on track. After all, debt settlement still requires clients to make monthly payments toward an account that will be used to settle unsecured debts later on. The benefit comes in the form of having a debt relief company working on their behalf, and in the savings they get when debts are settled for less than they owe.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a better option for people who do not currently have a way to pay off their unsecured debts. With this type of bankruptcy, unsecured consumer debts are wiped away in order to let people get a fresh start. Individuals can also consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy as well, which is a type of bankruptcy that creates a debt payoff plan that lasts 3 to 5 years.

Consider debt relief if:

  • You have a stable income
  • Debt settlement makes sense for your goals
  • You want to resolve your debt issues within 24 to 48 months

Consider bankruptcy if:

  • Your debts are too significant to get resolved within four years
  • You are choosing Chapter 13 bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure on your home
  • Job loss has left you unable to pay your bills

How Does Debt Relief Affect your Credit?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), debt settlement comes with significant risks since your creditors are not required to reach an agreement with the debt relief company. In the meantime, the fact you're asked to make payments to a separate bank account instead of your creditors means you're putting your credit rating at risk for the entire duration of your plan.

Beyond damage to your credit score, the FTC warns that your debts can continue to accrue late fees and penalties "that can put you further in the hole." You may also be contacted by creditors or debt collectors, and you may even be sued for repayment.


What Are The Alternatives To Debt Relief?

If you're struggling with debt but you're unsure about debt settlement in particular, there are several other debt relief solutions to keep in mind.

  • Balance Transfer Credit Cards: Balance transfer credit cards let consumers consolidate and pay down debt at 0% APR, but only for a limited time. In exchange for this benefit, individuals are required to pay a balance transfer fee that is usually around 3% of the debt amount they transfer. Also note that debts not paid off during the introductory period begin accruing interest at the card's regular APR.
  • Credit Counseling: Credit counseling is a form of mentoring that can help individuals pay off their debts on their own. Individuals usually do so by creating a budget and working with their counselor on a plan to repay their debts.
  • Debt Management Plans: Debt management plans require applicants to make a single monthly payment to the debt management company. The company then uses those funds to make payments toward each of the client's debts every month.

Conclusion

The best debt relief companies can help you pay down debt and settle for less than you owe, but you should do some research upfront so you know what you're getting into. For example, some debt relief companies charge higher fees than others, and you may need to meet specific requirements (like a minimum debt amount) to work with certain companies.

In the meantime, you should do some research so you understand the impacts of debt settlement on your credit score. While any damage debt relief causes to your credit may not last forever, you should know that missing payments on your debts can cause your credit score to plummet within a few months of time.

At the end of the day, debt settlement may provide exactly what you need, but there are other debt relief solutions to consider before you dive in.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

How Do You Avoid Debt Relief Scams?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), debt relief service scams "target consumers with significant credit card debt by falsely promising to negotiate with their creditors to settle or otherwise reduce consumers' repayment obligations." To avoid becoming the victim of a scam, you should research companies you're considering working with and read over the fine print of any contract you sign. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Does Debt Relief Really Work?

Debt relief does actually work, and this is evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of positive reviews companies in our ranking have received from past users. Individuals who complete a debt settlement program can typically save 20% to 50% off their original debt amounts, although some plans can take up to 48 months to complete.

Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson

Award-Winning Personal Finance Contributor

I’m a professional writer who is obsessed with money, travel, and budgeting.

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