TOP Debt Consolidation

1
CuraDebt Product Image

CuraDebt

  • They only require a minimum of $5,000 in debt in order to qualify for their programs, which is better than the average of $7,500
  • Good customer support
  • Free, non-commitment consultation included, with the assessment of your financial situation

CuraDebt is a debt relief company from Irvine, California, trustworthy and with a lot of accreditations. It has helped over 20,000 customers so far and it operates in 36 states.

CuraDebt takes pride on its members of the counseling team, who have solid and extensive backgrounds ranging from Certified or Professional Financial Planning to business administration, mortgage management and others.

9.6

BEST!

2
Pacific Debt Inc. Product Image

Pacific Debt Inc.

  • Their fees are some of the lowest on the market
  • Many years of experience and all the major accreditations, excellent rating with the BBB
  • They offer helpful educational materials
  • Average minimum debt required and average program length

Pacific Debt Inc. has some of the lowest fees on the market, but the average reductions after fees are not great. They don’t operate in all states, but they have good ratings from customers, all the major industry accreditations and over 14 years of experience in this business.

9.3

Outstanding

3
Debtmerica Relief Product Image

Debtmerica Relief

  • Trustworthy, with many accreditations and very good ratings
  • Transparent about their fees
  • Nu upfront or consultation fees
  • Website also available in Spanish and Vietnamese

Even though Debtmerica is a transparent, trustworthy debt settlement company, with many accreditations and good ratings, its fees are above standard and the reduction percentage after fees is lower than the average. It also requires a minimum of $10,000 in unsecured debts in order to accept you in the program.

9.2

Outstanding

4
Freedom Debt Relief Product Image

Freedom Debt Relief

  • Reputable company with almost 15 years of experience
  • Transparent and honest about their services
  • Top-notch customer service
  • Access to a 24/7 online, intuitive debt management dashboard that allows you to track your progress
  • Free, 100% confidential consultation prior to your enrolling

Freedom Debt Relief (FDR) is an American company founded in 2002, by two Stanford graduates. It is one of the largest firms of debt settlement services in the country and claims to have helped more than 250,000 customers and resolved more than $4 billion through debt settlement so far.

9.1

Outstanding

5
New Era Debt Solutions Product Image

New Era Debt Solutions

  • No upfront fees
  • Low fees and high debt reduction percentages
  • Transparent about their business
  • No minimum amount of debt required
  • Impressive customer support
  • Services are also available in Spanish

New Era Debt Solutions is one of the best choices on the market today. They’ve managed to win over their customers by putting a lot of emphasis on transparency, they have low fees and obtain debt reductions up to 37%, they don’t have any upfront taxes and they don’t require a minimum amount of debt. We give a big thumbs up to this company and we think it’s definitely worth taking into consideration.

9.1

Outstanding

6
Superior Debt Relief Services Product Image

Superior Debt Relief Services

  • Very good customer ratings and high customer retention rate
  • Some of the highest reduction rates on the market
  • Reliable live support from their trained specialists
  • Free access to their staff of lawyers
  • They provide financial education to all customers enrolled in their programs

One of the biggest strengths of Superior Debt Relief Services is the fact that they have very good customer ratings. The number of complaints they’ve received so far is among the lowest on the market, while the reduction rates are some of the highest we've seen. The company has many years of experience in this field and a praiseworthy staff.

9.0

Very Good

7
National Debt Relief Product Image

National Debt Relief

  • One of the most reputable companies in the country
  • Affordable fees
  • Excellent customer support

National Debt Relief (NDR) is an American company that provides financial services, from debt consolidation, to debt settlement and debt negotiation. It is one of the largest firms in the US and it has some of the most affordable debt relief programs on the market.

8.8

Very Good

8
Oak View Law Group Product Image

Oak View Law Group

  • 100% money back guarantee
  • Can provide legal assistance in case you are being sued by your creditors
  • No minimum debt requirement
  • Very secure
  • Good coverage; they operate in 46 states

Oak View Law Group is actually a law firm based in California, but the company offers debt relief services as well, since 2007. It claims to have an 84% client satisfaction rate. However, it is not a debt relief company per se and it doesn’t have the major industry accreditations.

8.7

Very Good

9
Premier Debt Help Product Image

Premier Debt Help

  • Caring, helpful and reliable team
  • 100% money back guarantee
  • Lower than average fee

Premier Debt Help comes with a lower than average fee, 100% money back guarantee and 50% savings off your debt (as claimed on their website). Their specialists are really personable and helpful. They could invest more into their website and display more useful information for their potential clients (their industry accreditations, terms of service, the list of states in which they operate and so on).

8.7

Very Good

10
Accredited Debt Relief Product Image

Accredited Debt Relief

  • Trust-worthy company, accredited and backed up by many years of experience
  • Operates in 49 states, which is the highest number over its competitors
  • Good customer support
  • No upfront fees

Accredited Debt Relief is one of the nation’s top rated debt consolidation companies on the market. It is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) and has an A+ score from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

The company also does charitable work (donations to several organizations such as the Salvation Army, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Father Joe’s Villages and others).

8.2

Very Good

Last updated April 15, 2024

All About Debt Consolidation

Debt Consolidation
What is debt consolidation

Debt consolidation is the action of taking out a new loan in order to be able to pay off several other smaller debts. The smaller debts are usually unsecured, meaning that there is no collateral, they are not backed by any asset (your house, your car, etc). Credit card debts, utility bills, medical bills, student loans, personal loans, all fall in the category of unsecured debts.

Why use debt consolidation

Debtors choose this type of refinancing for different reasons:

  • It can save them money because the loan usually comes with better pay-off terms: a lower monthly fee, a lower interest rate
  • It is more convenient because they only have to pay one debt payment instead of all the other small ones
  • It may help them settle their debts faster if they manage to obtain a lower interest for the new, single loan but continue to pay the same monthly payment they used to pay before

There are other available options that can ease the burden of debtors. There are also debt settlements (you negotiate your debt to a lower interest rate) and debt reliefs (when your debt is partially or entirely forgiven).

Debt consolidation loans usually require a collateral, as a guarantee in case you can’t afford to pay the loan at some point. Banks and credit unions accept only guarantees that can easily be turned into money. The most popular ones are homes and new cars. Smaller objects such as TVs, electronic devices, tools and others, are not accepted. The better your collateral, the better your interest rate. A house will typically get you the best interest rate.

If you choose to go to another kind of finance company, they may accept household appliances or even an old car, but they will most likely offer you very high interest rates.

How does it work

There are many types of debt consolidation. Here are some of them:

  • debt consolidation through a finance company; it is a solution for those who aren’t banks’ favorites, since their lending criteria are less strict so it is easier to get a loan
  • debt consolidation through a bank; it usually requires a good credit score and some good collateral to offer (house, car, etc).
  • line of credit; you can use it to consolidate your debt; they usually require to be secured but sometimes, if your income is good enough and you have good credit, the bank may give you an unsecured one as well
  • home equity loan; it is usually referred to as ‘taking out a second mortgage’ and when it is done through a normal bank, it offers the lowest interest rates
  • a low interest rate credit card;
  • credit card balance transfer; low interest rate balance transfers are often offered by credit cards and they can be used as a means of debt consolidation

When you are looking for a consolidation loan you could therefore ask a bank or a credit union. Another way to go is to borrow the money from online lending sites. They usually lend you more money on better terms and the approval process is simpler and quicker: you don’t have to go to an office for a face to face meeting, you don’t have to fill in forms over forms, pages-long.

Although there are many cases in which is better to consolidate your debt into a single repayment, before doing so, you should nevertheless take into consideration some factors: make sure that you can afford to pay off the new payment, be aware of the duration of the new loan and of the fact that by taking another loan, you will end up paying back a larger amount of money and over a longer period and have in mind that debt consolidation companies usually ask you for a collateral, in order to secure a larger loan, so you may have to use your home.

You should also be careful because going for a debt consolidation loan might hurt you credit score, at least in the beginning. Longer-standing debts are usually better for higher scores and when you replace certain debts before the original contract, that will most likely have a negative impact on your score. Also, you can’t really afford to miss a payment on this type of loan because it will appear on your credit report.

Debt Consolidation Companies – What To Look For

Debt Consolidation

There are many advantages to going with a debt consolidation loan. You can save more money if you get a lower interest rate, it is easier to administrate your debts because instead of paying multiple ones, you only have to pay one and you could have a lower monthly payment.

But before you sign up with any company, make sure you make the right choice.

Here are some guidelines to follow when looking for a debt consolidation service.

  1. Make sure the company is reputable, reliable and it complies with the FTC regulations (Federal Trade Commission). Look elsewhere if the company is not 100% transparent with any legally information you might need
  2. Choose a company that is accredited. The main 2 trade associations of credit counseling in the US are the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), which was founded in 1951 and the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), founded in 1993. There are also other non-governmental accreditations that are seen as authorities in this industry: The American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), The International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) or The United States Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternatives (USOBA).
  3. Look for agencies that are highly rated by the BBB (Better Business Bureau)
  4. If your state requires it, make sure that the company you are using is state-licensed
  5. Find out if the company offers credit counseling. Some of them offer free in-house credit counseling which is useful when it comes to debt management.
  6. Inquire about their fees. As a general rule, never sign any contract until you read it thoroughly. Trust-worthy debt management companies don’t usually charge you enormous fees. There is a sign-up fee and an affordable monthly fee for their services
  7. Check out their security policy. The company will have access to a lot of information about you so you want to make sure the data is safe
  8. Look for companies that have a quality customer support. You want to rest assured that you have access to a professional staff, anytime you need it. Make sure they have extensive phone hours, good online support and they received positive reviews in terms of customer service.
  9. It is also best to orientate towards a specialized service. Make sure you choose a firm that specializes in your particular case. Not all companies are good at the same things. Some of them may obtain better results when dealing with customers with student loans, other with credit card debt, etc.

Now that you know what to look for in a company that deals with debt consolidation, here are a few tips on what to avoid. If the company you want to sign up with does one or more of the following things, you would be well advised to keep your distance and look elsewhere:

  • If they try to convince you they will solve your problem in the blink of an eye; fixing your debts is never a quick process, so don’t trust anyone that tells you different
  • If they try to sell you anything else than what you need; you might need just a debt consolidation, but there are scammers out there who can’t wait to get their hands on you and as soon as you sign with them, they try to sell you anything they can: a way that lowers your principal balance with your lenders, any kind of deal with your creditors, etc.
  • If they are too impatient and pushy; don’t trust any company that gives you an ultimatum in terms of days in which to decide; that just means they don’t care about you, they just want to make a profit; take as much time as you need before signing up with anyone
  • If they ask you for upfront fees; they can’t legally do that, so don’t fall for it

There are a lot of predatory companies out there that are just waiting for the next uninformed victim. A few creative marketing strategies, cunning reps and a naïve customer it’s all it takes. That’s why no matter how badly you want to consolidate your debt, take your time and do your homework before taking any decision. Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions you want, read everything there is about a potential company, make sure it is registered, accredited, it has a good history and good reviews. And choose a firm that is tailored for your specific needs, because what might prove to work for some people, may not be that useful for others.

Here are some of the most popular debt consolidation companies on the market right now: National Debt Relief, Accredited Debt Relief, New Era Debt Solutions, Oak View Law Group, Pacific Debt, Freedom Debt Relief, Debtmerica, CuraDebt.

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