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- Accredited Debt Relief is a debt settlement and consultation company based in Dallas and offering services throughout the U.S.
- Since its founding in 2011, the company has settled more than $3 billion in debts for over 300,000 clients
- You’ll need more than $10,000 in unsecured debt to qualify for settlement services
- Accredited Debt Relief claims that its services typically take between 12 and 48 months and reduce its clients’ debts by 45%
Accredited Debt Relief is a Dallas-based debt settlement company with more than 12 years of experience helping clients find debt relief. The company is accredited by the American Fair Credit Council and has helped more than 300,000 clients pay off over $3 billion in debts since its founding in 2011.
There are many options to explore if you fall behind on your debts, and debt settlement can be one of the more expensive. However, sometimes the help of a reputable, proven debt relief company like Accredited Debt Relief is the best way to chart a course toward financial freedom.
Read on to learn more about Accredited Debt Relief and find out if debt settlement is right for you.
Accredited Debt Relief: The Basics
Accredited Debt Relief negotiates your debt amounts and terms with your creditors to establish revised payment plans. Before you get started, the company will conduct a free consultation to assess your outstanding balances, types of debt, and delinquencies to go over your best options and create a personalized plan. Besides debt settlement, the company also offers debt consolidation and loan services to help you get out of debt.
If you choose to proceed with debt settlement, Accredited Debt Relief will have you pause payments on any debts you enroll while your specialist negotiates with your creditors to arrange for reduced payments or altered terms. Typically, you’ll begin making monthly payments into a designated savings account, from which your debts will be paid after you and your creditors agree to terms.
Accredited Debt Relief claims that its clients reduce their debts by 45%, on average.
Eligible Types of Debt
It’s important to note that Accredited Debt Relief only provides debt settlement services for unsecured debts, such as credit cards, personal loans, and medical bills. The company can’t enroll secured debts, such as mortgages or auto loans, which are tied to specific collateral. Likewise, federal student loans are not eligible.
To enroll in Accredited Debt Relief’s debt settlement program, you’ll need at least $10,000 in unsecured debts. In most cases, you must be behind on payments or experiencing some type of financial hardship making it difficult to pay off your debts.
Costs and Fees
Debt settlement companies like Accredited Debt Relief are for-profit enterprises, so their services aren’t free. Although the exact amount varies by state, you’ll pay anywhere from 15% to 25% of your total enrolled debt to Accredited Debt Relief. The company only takes payment from your savings account as your debts are settled; you won’t pay anything to the company up front.
There may also be minor fees associated with opening and maintaining your settlement account. These are common among debt settlement services, but Accredited Debt Rellif doesn’t disclose any such fees on its website.
How Long Does Debt Settlement Take?
Because the company must negotiate with each of your creditors individually, the debt settlement process can take quite some time. Depending on the number and nature of your debts, the size of your outstanding balances, and how open your creditors are to negotiation, the process generally takes anywhere from 12–48 months with Accredited Debt Relief.
Accredited Debt Relief Customer Service and Reputation
The choice to pursue debt relief is a serious decision, and the process can have a significant impact on your long-term financial health. The good news is that Accredited Debt Relief has one of the best reputations in the business.
The company is accredited by the American Fair Credit Council and has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), plus a Trustpilot rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Accredited Debt Relief has only received 12 complaints from customers on the BBB in the past three years, and the company is quick to reply and attempt to resolve any issues.
Accredited Debt Relief is especially known for its outstanding customer service. Clients have access to a plethora of debt-relief resources on the company’s website, and your specialist is there to offer guidance by phone and email throughout the process.
The Risks of Debt Settlement
Debt settlement can be an important step toward financial health, but it’s not without its risks. Most notably, the process can have a serious negative impact on your credit scores in the short term. Especially if you currently have strong scores, you may see a significant drop when you stop making payments during the negotiation process.
Some creditors may be less open to negotiation, and they may sell your debt to a collection agency or charge it off. Either way, your credit will take another hit. However, your score will begin to rebound as you pay off those debts and the negative information has time to fade further into your credit history. Eventually, your credit scores should be better than when you started, especially if you were behind on payments when you began.
The costs of debt settlement are another important factor to consider. Besides what you’ll pay the debt relief agency, you may also owe taxes on any debts you don’t have to pay. If any creditors file lawsuits, you may have to pay court fees. In some cases, these costs may exceed any amount of debt you’re able to write off through settlement.
Before you begin the process, it’s important to review all terms and conditions and consult legal and tax experts.
Other Debt Relief Options
Debt settlement is far from your only recourse if you’re struggling to make payments. You should weigh all options for debt relief, including:
- Credit counseling: Credit counseling agencies are nonprofit enterprises that offer guidance and help you create a plan for getting out of debt without a settlement agency.
- Debt management plans: An agency may help you negotiate payments and lower interest rates without stopping your payments. This less risky option will usually do less damage to your credit.
- Debt consolidation: Debt consolidation loans allow you to combine several existing debts into one new loan, ideally with a lower interest rate than what you were paying. Unlike debt settlement, however, you’ll typically need decent credit to qualify.
- DIY debt settlement: If you’re willing to put in the time, you can negotiate rate reductions or lower minimum payments with each of your creditors. This can save you thousands in debt settlement fees.
- Bankruptcy: If you’re significantly behind on your debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is worth considering. This option helps you start debt-free with a clean slate and works much faster than debt settlement. However, bankruptcy goes on your public record and may hurt your credit for longer than debt settlement. Consult a lawyer before choosing this route.
Final Thoughts on Accredited Debt Relief
If you’re struggling to keep up with credit card payments or unsecured debts, Accredited Debt Relief may be a viable option for you. The company stands out for offering strong customer service and charging no upfront fees for negotiating lower payments. Accredited Debt Relief typically reduces its clients’ debts by 45% and helps them get debt-free within one to four years.
However, when you’re behind on debt, it’s important to explore all your options. Debt settlement can be costly, and there are no guarantees. The short-term impact on your credit can also make it difficult to qualify for new loans. Before you choose a course for debt relief, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer or financial advisor.