When it comes to debt settlement options, you want to make sure that you are not getting scammed and that you are not going to end up in a worse situation than you are already in. As always, the best way to ensure this is to NOT go into any additional debt. In other words, cut up the credit cards! For 2017 this is currently the best option out there, although it’s still early. Here is my personal National Debt Relief review.
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WHAT DO THEY OFFER
National Debt Relief specializes in debt reduction or debt “settlement”. They negotiate with your creditors to get your interest rates and the total amount owed “settled” at a fraction of what it is today. They work out an agreement to get it into a lump sum payoff amount and then the creditor will forgive the remainder of the balance. They can be very successful in doing this and can get quite a bit settled.
Note: Your account is usually closed as a part of this agreement.
They don’t offer a loan, but the “one monthly payment” is still quite appealing. You will simply be making your payment to National Debt Relief and not the individual creditors.
Here are some examples of what they have been able to do with American Express accounts.
As you can see, they have had some rather impressive success.
WHAT I LIKE
They offer a no-obligation, free consultation that will help you determine if their program is the right fit for you. While it will still ding your credit score you will have a really good idea if this option is going to help you succeed in getting out of debt faster, or if you would be better off sticking it out a little bit longer while trying to maximize your income as much as possible.
They charge no upfront fees and they work them into your total payment over the course of your plan. The total fees are typically between 20 to 25% of the total debt that is enrolled. That is determined by the applicable laws of the state that you live in. But they will go over all of that with you and let you know how much you will be saving to determine if it’s worth it. You should compare these 2 carefully, and see if the savings really is a decent benefit for your situation.
They offer an approximate time-frame to become debt free. Their average time-frame is 24-48 months or 2 to 4 years.
While they are still a young company (7 years old), they have been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since February of 2013. Currently, they hold an A+ rating and 88% of the customer feedback is positive.
You can also cancel at any time with no additional penalties or fees and they offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their service.
They offer several payment plans and options and will help you determine which plan works best for you and your budget.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE
Really, the only complaint I have with National Debt Relief is that the qualifications can be a little bit steep.
While you DO need to be in true financial hardship to be looking into this type of option, to begin with, sometimes it can be a big letdown if you are brainstorming ways to knock out your debt faster.
National Debt Relief typically wants you to have at least $7500 in unsecured debt and already be a few months behind on some of your bills (or at the brink of falling behind). If not, however, they will refer you to another organization that can still help you, but that’s just an additional phone call that you have to make.
Again, this option is typically reserved for those close to bankruptcy, but still. You can be suffocating and be drowning in debt and still be caught up on payments, so that part lost a little bit of the appeal for me.
MY OVERALL THOUGHTS
If you have bad credit this is a great option and alternative to bankruptcy because it’s extremely difficult to qualify for an actual consolidation or personal loan since your credit score is lower and your debt-to-income ratio is most likely already maxed out. So, this can be a lifesaver in the right circumstances.
They are very friendly and professional and will take the time to walk you through the entire process. They will answer any questions that you have and give an honest assessment of whether or not this option will help you.
While you can work to settle your debts with your creditors on your own, it can be quite beneficial for you to “hire” National Debt Relief to do the work for you since they know all of the fine print that goes into it. They are also very persistent with your creditors to achieve the best results.
If you’ve done everything you can to balance your budget by cutting back on expenses, finding ways to save money, and maximizing your income this may be the perfect option for you to help you break free.
As I’ve said, it’s typically the last resort prior to bankruptcy. But, it can be a great tool to help you.
- Qualifications: True Financial Hardship ($7500+ in unsecured debt, behind on payments)
- Early Payoff Penalty: n/a
- Consultation: Free, no obligation
- Fees: 20-25% of total debt enrolled
- Type: Debt settlement/negotiation
- Interest Rate: n/a
- Approx. time-frame to get out of debt: 24-48 months
- Satisfaction guarantee: Cancel at any time, 100% money back guarantee
- Better Business Bureau Rating: A+
- BBB Customer Review Rating: 88% Positive
- Top Consumer Reports Rating: 5 Stars
- Top Ten Reviews Rating: GOLD 9.55/10
- An accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC)
In addition to most major credit cards and banks here are some of the things that they are able to settle vs. some of the things that they are not:
What are your thoughts on National Debt Relief? Have you ever looked into it or currently enrolled in their program? I would love to hear your personal review in the comments below!