Updated on

National Debt Relief Review

National Debt Relief is one of the largest, most experienced debt settlement companies in the United States. The New York-based company has been in business since 2009, and has helped over 400,000 consumers find debt relief in the past 13 years.

A Review of National Debt Relief
National Debt Relief
Diverse service offering
Accredited member of AFCC and IAPDA
Low minimum debt requirement
Available in 41 out of 50 states
Money back guarantee
Must have at least $7,500 of eligible debt
Trustworthiness and stability
Must be several months behind on payments
Michelle Lambright Black
Credit Expert and Financial Writer

Reviewed by: Sarah Brooks, Personal Finance Writer and Editor

Fact Checked by: Thomas Brock, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Consumers who are going through financial difficulties (e.g., illnesses, job loss, divorce, etc.) and struggling to manage unsecured debt might consider working with National Debt Relief. As one of the best debt relief companies of 2022, National Debt Relief can help you reduce and pay off your debt through debt settlement or debt consolidation. The company claims that customers who stick with the program save around 30% on their outstanding debts—a figure that includes National Debt Relief’s fees. 

Editor’s Note (Warning) 

While National Debt Relief keeps you in control of your finances, there are still some downsides and risks to debt settlement that need to be considered. When you work with a debt settlement company, you open yourself up to the potential for:

  • Credit Score Damage
  • High Costs
  • Getting Sued By Creditors
  • A Lengthy Debt Settlement Process (Often Several Years)

Because of these potential problems, debt settlement should typically be a last resort when it comes to debt management strategies. In fact, some people would be better served to file bankruptcy than to work with a debt settlement company.  

Summarized Rating

This parameter considers service offering breadth, geographic reach, and minimum debt level requirements. Each of these features was evaluated using the five-point scoring system. Then, the various scores were aggregated and averaged to establish an overall services and solutions score.

National gets a worst-in-class 2.3 for Services and Solutions. This reflects its fairly standard service offering and minimum debt requirement, but very limited geographic footprint.

What Is National Debt Relief?

National Debt Relief was founded in 2009 and has since helped hundreds of thousands of people consolidate, settle, and pay off their debts. They believe debt relief is a smart choice, and their advisors want to help you every step of the way. 

You’ll first start out with a free, no obligation consultation over the phone. National Debt Relief will then create an affordable, personalized plan to settle or consolidate your debts. If you decide to move forward with their plan, you could be out of debt in as little as 24-48 months.

National Debt Relief Pros and Cons

Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks you might encounter when working with National Debt Relief.

National Debt Relief Pros
Clients save an average of 30% after fees
Initial consultation is free
No fees are due if settlement isn’t successful
Company’s debt negotiators are highly rated
National Debt Relief Cons
You might experience severe credit score damage
Debt settlement fees are as high as 25%
Not available in all states
Some debts are not eligible for settlement
Creditors might sue you when you stop paying debts
No mobile app available

Types of Debt Covered by National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief can help consumers negotiate most types of unsecured debts. An unsecured debt is a debt that you did not secure with an asset, such as a home (for a mortgage) or a vehicle (for an auto loan). 

Below are some examples of the types of debts National Debt Relief might be able to help you settle:

Major credit cards

Retail store cards

Gas station cards

Personal loans

Payday loans

Repossessions (deficiency balances)

Unpaid medical bills

Veterinarian bills ($500 or more)

Lines of credit


Bank overdraft fees

Defaulted cell phone bills

Business debts

Some student debts 

Abandoned timeshares

Judgments (six months or older)

Back rent (after eviction)

Other unsecured debts not tied to an asset

However, there are several types of debt (both unsecured and secured) that National Debt Relief will not negotiate on your behalf, including

Auto loans

Mortgage loans

Child support

Tax bills

Speeding tickets and fines

Current cell phone bills

Insufficient Funds (NSF) Fees

Gambling debts

Rent-A-Center bills

Insurance policies

Bail bonds

Check cashing establishment fees

Auto repair bills

National Debt Relief Service Features

Customers of National Debt Relief can enjoy a variety of debt relief and financial services. These services include professional debt settlement, financial counseling, and help creating a budgeting plan to address problem areas of overspending. 

The process starts with discussing your debt situation with a representative of National Debt Relief Services. Then, after finding out the potential solutions the company has to offer, you’ll be in a better position to decide if hiring National Debt Relief is right for you. 

It’s important to note that not everyone is eligible to work with National Debt Relief. Reports state that the company doesn’t work with consumers in any of the following states due to regulatory obstacles:

  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

Furthermore, you must have at least $7,500 worth of eligible debt and be several months behind on payments to become a client of National Debt Relief. 

How Long Does the Process Take?

The average time of debt relief varies from person to person, as is the case with most debt settlement companies. For example, the speed at which you can save money for settlement has a major impact on how long the process takes. 

National Debt Relief says most people need 24 to 48 months to complete the program. As far as savings goes, the company claims that clients who stay with the program through completion may save around 50% off their debts before fees or 30% after fees. 

Breadth of Services Offered

Free initial consultation, debt settlement plan, financial counseling, and budgeting plans

Extent of Geographic Presence

Available in 41 out of 50 states

Minimum Debt Required

At least $7,500

Average Time for Relief

24-48 months

Average Relief Amount

30% savings after fees

National Debt Relief Costs and Fees

Debt settlement companies are known for having high fees, and National Debt Relief is no exception. The company says that its clients typically pay 15%-25% of the total debt they enroll in the program as part of their monthly payment. 

Let’s take a look at how the math breaks down. If you enroll $15,000 worth of eligible debt for National Debt Relief to negotiate on your behalf, you could pay as much as $3,750 in fees. 

However, there would be some potential savings in this scenario, too. If you enrolled $15,000 worth of debt and National Debt Relief settled those financial obligations for 50% of what you owe, you’d save $7,500. When you factor in the $3,750 in potential fees (at 25%), your total savings would be $3,750, overall. 

It’s also worth noting that National Debt Relief charges no upfront fees and no cancellation fees. In fact, you pay no fees whatsoever until you approve a settlement agreement and the company settles a debt on your behalf. 

Upfront Fees


Settlement/Performance Fees

15%-25% of settled debt

Other Fees


Cancellation Policy

Cancel anytime

Money-back Guarantee Policy


National Debt Relief Application Process

Applying for debt relief from National Debt Relief is a fairly straightforward process. To do so, follow these three steps:

  1. Submit the total amount of debt that you’d like to settle. This ranges from $0-$4,999 up to $100,000 or more. 
  2. Enter your first name, last name, phone number, and email address.
  3. Wait for a National Debt Relief representative to contact you.

Once someone on the team has reached out, you’ll discuss what specific debts you’re hoping to settle. National Debt Relief will then provide you with a personalized, affordable plan to tackle your debts. You’ll receive a detailed list of what debts will be included in the settlement, what fees will be charged, and what your new monthly payment will be. You can review this in full, ask any questions, and move forward if you choose to get the process started.

National Debt Relief Customer Experience

If you decide to hire National Debt Relief to work on your behalf, here are some of the features you may experience.

  • Website Extensiveness & Usability: National Debt Relief’s website contains several sections of helpful educational information that could benefit people trying to get out of debt. The FAQ page is easy to navigate and contains useful information, as well. 
  • Call Center Support: Sales and customer service agents are available via phone seven days a week. Business hours are 8:00 am – 12:00 am EST Monday – Friday, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm EST on Saturdays, and 10:00 am – 9:00 pm EST on Sundays.  
  • Multi-channel Support: In addition to telephone support, you can contact National Debt Relief customer service via email, social media, and old-fashioned snail mail. 
  • Supplemental Support (Information & Tools): Customers of National Debt Relief have access to an online client dashboard they can use to schedule deposits, request customer support, and track their debt settlement progress. The company also has several free financial calculators available on its website. 
  • Mobile Technology: National Debt Relief doesn’t offer a mobile app that its customers can use to manage their debt settlement experience. However, the company does have a “Debt Free App” available at no charge through the Google Play store that any Android user can access for DIY budgeting and debt management. 

National Debt Relief Trustworthiness and Stability

National Debt Relief is a highly-rated debt relief organization that has been in business since 2009.  The company is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and an International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) accredited service center. 

Years in Business


Customers Serviced / Debt Managed

400,000 Customers

Certifications and Memberships

2 (AFCC and IAPDA)

National Debt Relief User Reviews

Before you work with any company, debt settlement or otherwise, it’s wise to consider what previous customers have to say about their experience. No company is likely to have a perfect track record of consumer reviews, but an overwhelming number of negative reviews could be a warning sign. 

Overall, National Debt Relief has more positive reviews than negative. The debt settlement company has a TrustScore of 4.7 out of 5 with Trustpilot based on more than 35,000 reviews. The majority of reviews (85%) rank the company as excellent and just 2% rank it as bad. Those who are pleased with the service praise the professionalism and success of the company’s staff. Complaints center around the process taking longer than expected and disappointment with the debt settlement offers the company negotiated being too high. 

The company has an A+ rating and is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau. Positive reviews mention the excellent customer service and the ease of applying, along with the fees being upfront. Yet despite the high rating, National Debt Relief does have more than 200 complaints with the BBB from past customers.  

ConsumerAffairs also gives National Debt Relief a high rating—4.9 out of 5 stars based on more than 1,500 reviews. Numerous reviews praise the company for its speed and efficiency, along with transparency when it comes to their fees for services. 

National Debt Relief Compared to Other Companies

Here’s a look at how National Debt Relief compares to other debt settlement companies. 

National Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief

Accredited Debt Relief

Minimum Debt Required








Cancellation Policy

Cancel anytime

Cancel anytime

Cancel anytime

Money-back Guarantee Policy

No fees due until you approve settlement offers

If fees exceed settlement costs for enrolled debts, excess will be refunded

Yes (specifics not available online) 

Average Relief Amount

50% before fees

Not disclosed

55% before fees

Final Thoughts

Working with any debt settlement company comes with risks. Your credit score could undergo severe damage, and you may incur expensive fees that add up to thousands of dollars. In some cases, your creditors might even opt to sue you if you stop paying your bills to build a debt settlement war chest. 

However, if you do decide that debt settlement is the right choice for you, National Debt Relief has a good reputation in the debt relief industry. And some financial experts do recommend considering debt settlement before extreme debt solutions, such as bankruptcy.  

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Is National Debt Relief a legitimate program?

National Debt Relief does appear to be a legitimate program. The New York City-based company has been in business for over 13 years, and says it has helped more than 400,000 consumers get out of debt during that time. 

What does National Debt Relief help with?
National Debt Relief helps consumers who are struggling with unsecured debts. The debt settlement company may be able to help negotiate lower settlement offers for unpaid credit card balances, personal loans, medical bills, collection accounts, repossessions, business debts, private student loans, and more. 
How many points does debt relief hurt your credit?

Working with a debt relief company has the potential to hurt your credit score. If you stop paying your bills in an effort to convince a creditor to negotiate with you, late payments are likely to appear on your credit reports. When you fall far enough behind on your credit obligations, those accounts may turn into charge-offs and collection accounts, as well. All of these derogatory items have the potential to damage your credit score, and to continue doing so for up to seven years. 

How long does it take to rebuild credit after debt settlement?

Most negative items can remain on your credit report for up to seven years. Yet as time passes, derogatory items tend to damage your credit score less and less. For example, a late payment that just happened will probably have a bigger impact on your credit score than a late payment that’s four years old. You can also work to add a positive payment history to your credit report that might offset some of your negative credit information. 

How does National Debt Relief work?

You can start with a free consultation to learn more about the services National Debt Relief offers and whether you qualify for debt relief services from the company. Next, a representative can discuss payment options and time frames with you so you’ll have an idea of how expensive (and how long) the process may be if you decide to move forward. Many people are able to complete the debt settlement process with National Debt Relief in 24-48 months. But if you need to make smaller monthly payments toward your debt settlement and associated fees, the process could take longer. 


How to cancel your National Debt Relief contract?
National Debt Relief lets its customers cancel any time. You will need to sign and date the Notice of Cancellation Form in your Debt Relief Agreement and fax it to 866-460-5541. You can also email the completed form to It’s always smart to confirm receipt of cancellation requests by calling 888-660-7427.
Michelle Lambright Black

Written by: Michelle Lambright Black

Credit Expert and Financial Writer

Credit expert with over 19 years of experience, a freelance writer, and a certified credit expert witness

More about me
Sarah Brooks

Reviewed by: Sarah Brooks

Personal Finance Writer and Editor

Sarah Brooks is a personal finance writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. She specializes in personal and business loans, mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards.

More about me
Thomas Brock

Fact checked by: Thomas Brock

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Thomas is a well-rounded financial professional, with over 20 years of experience in investments, corporate finance, and accounting. He currently oversees the investment operation for a $4 billion super-regional insurance carrier, maintaining a dynamic investment policy designed to preserve capital, enhance...

More about me