National Debt Relief (2020 Review)

Dawn Allcot
Expert Contributor
Last Updated:
At Solvable, we care about your financial well-being and are here to help. Our research, articles and ratings, and assessments are based strict editorial integrity. Our company gets compensated by partners who appear on our website. Here is how we get compensated.  

National Debt Relief is one of the most well-known and highly regarded debt relief companies in the U.S. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, National Debt has earned its designation of “the nation’s top-rated debt consolidation company.”

National Debt is also a member of the American Fair Credit Council, ensuring that National Debt Relief meets the AFCC’s standards for best practices for a debt relief firm.

National Debt Relief provides debt settlement options that can help individuals reduce their credit card debt, medical bills, and unsecured loan payments by 40% or more, settling with creditors for less than they owe. (Past performance is no indicator of future success with National Debt or any debt relief firm.)

The company also offers other debt relief solutions, including debt consolidation and credit counseling, making it a full-service debt relief firm for anyone looking to explore their options to take the first steps toward financial freedom.

Solvable rates National Debt Relief an 8.0 out of 10. Read on to find out why!

National Debt Relief (2020 Review)

National Debt Relief Cost

In compliance with Fair Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, National Debt does not collect any upfront fees for debt settlement services. It charges between 15% to 25% of your total enrolled debt, but only after the debt is settled. Debt settlement costs come out of your National Debt savings program and is considered a portion of what you owe.

For instance, let’s say you owe $10,000 total. National Debt settles those debts for 60% of the total balance, so you now owe $4,000. If the fees cost 20% of your total debt, you would now owe $6,000, for a total savings of 40%.

Best of all, you can be out of debt in as little as two to four years with National Debt Relief, rather than continuously paying interest and late fees and never seeing your balances drop – which could happen if you choose to do nothing about your mounting debt.

National Debt Relief Reviews

National Debt is one of the most well-reviewed debt relief companies out there, with 4.6 stars on Google out of 2,152 reviews (at the time this article was written). Consumer Affairs gives it 4.9 stars with more than 10,000 reviews.

The company was rated number one by TopConsumerReviews.com. It also garnered five stars from TrustPilot, with more than 32,000 consumer reviews. Eighty-five percent of reviewers ranked the company as excellent, while only 2% ranked the service as “poor” or “bad.”

Solvable Exclusive Offer


Benefits of Getting Expert Help With Debt Settlement

How Much Credit Card Debt Do You Owe?
 Recommended

Many reviews echo the sentiments of Shelia Williams, who said, “This was the best move I’ve made to get my financial situation under control. Customer service is awesome. Very happy with this company.”

One of the rare negative reviews stated the reviewers’ credit score dropped from 720 to 490, which is a known and highly publicized side effect of debt settlement. Companies like National Debt Relief recommend you stop making your credit card and loan payments so you will be in a better position to negotiate with your creditors. Instead of paying down debt, those enrolled in the program put the money into a FDIC-insured savings account, which the debt settlement firm then uses to settle your debt for less than what you owe.

See More >> I Paid off $150,000 of Debt - How I Did It!

The overwhelmingly amount of positive reviews shows you can trust National Debt representatives to do what they say they’re going to do, which is to help you get out of debt faster than you could on your own and save thousands of dollars in the process.

National Debt Relief Pros and Cons

Debt settlement can represent the light at the end of the tunnel for consumers and businesses facing serious credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, and other unsecured debt.

Many consumers find several advantages to working with National Debt Relief.

Pros:
  • Helps you settle your debt for less than what you owe
  • Structured payment plan offers predictable payments that let you budget for necessities and still get out of debt
  • Offers an end to debt in two to four years, on average
  • You may be able to avoid bankruptcy with debt settlement
  • NDR negotiates on your behalf with your creditors so you don’t have to
  • NDR leverages industry relationships with top banks and creditors to negotiate the best offer
  • No upfront fees
  • National Debt offers the credit counseling services you need to get on track financially
  • Positive consumer reviews show National Debt’s success rate
  • Accreditations by the BBB, NFCC, and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators further demonstrates National Debt’s trustworthiness
Cons:

Some consumers may find some negatives to working with a debt settlement company. The drawbacks to working with National Debt are similar to working with any debt settlement firm.

  • Your credit score will drop if you stop payments to save money to settle your debt.
  • Following the program requires financial discipline.
  • You must make payments into the established savings account in order to be successful with debt settlement.
  • You may not be permitted to open new credit accounts while you’re completing the program.
  • You may have to close your existing credit cards or stop using them.
  • You must be able to show financial hardship in order to qualify for debt settlement.
  • You must have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt to qualify.
  • NDR cannot assist with unpaid tax debt, mortgage debt, or other secured debt.
  • Creditors may not accept the settlement offer.

How Does National Debt Relief Work?

National Debt Relief seeks to alleviate their customers’ stress when they come to the company seeking a way out of high-interest credit card and loan payments and growing debt.

First, National Debt will help you get a clear picture of your financial situation – including your total debt, monthly payments, and other living expenses. This enables the company to show your creditors that you are facing financial hardship and are unable to make your minimum payments.

You must have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt to qualify for NDR’s debt settlement program.

Once your NDR rep has evaluated your financial situation and determined that paying your debt will create undue financial hardship, they will establish a payment plan for you. You will deposit monthly payments into an FDIC-insured trust account through Global Client Solutions.

Once you’ve accrued enough funds to settle one of your accounts, NDR will begin negotiating with your creditors. NDR experts can often achieve a settlement of 50 to 60% of what you owe.

NDR will then make the payment to your creditor through your trust account, taking a percentage of the total debt for that account as their payment. You will not pay any money to NDR upfront, only once they successfully settle an account.

As you continue to make payments into your trust account, NDR will continue negotiation with your creditors to agree to a settlement. The company estimates that most of their customers are completely debt-free within two to four years.

Other Debt Settlement Firms

While NDR is one of the largest debt settlement companies, it is not the only one. Let’s look at some of the other debt settlement companies you may choose to help you get out of debt.

See More >> Jen Paid Off $42,000 in Credit Card & Medical Debt...

New Era Debt Solutions

Like NDR, New Era Debt Solutions is a familiar name in debt settlement services. In business since 1999, the company has helped consumers settle more than $250 million in credit card debt, personal loans, medical bills, student loans, and other unsecured debt.

The company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2001. It takes no upfront fees for its services.

Like NDR, New Era is a member of the AFCC. It has a 4.8-star rating on TrustPilot.

DMB Financial

DMB Financial claims to have saved its customers more than $1 billion in unsecured debt. But the company only has 2.3 stars on Google reviews and is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. It does, however, have a five-star, A+ rating based on BBB consumer reviews.

In business since 2003, the company is also accredited by both the AFCC and the IAPDA, the associations that ensure debt relief firms follow best practices.

The company says it helps its customers get out of debt in as little as 36 to 48 months.

Century

Century is a lesser-known name in consumer debt relief, serving 32 states from coast to coast.

Like NDR, Century is accredited by the IAPDA and the AFCC. It was also voted one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies by Inc. and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. The company has been in business since 2013.

Century says that clients can have their debt successfully settled for approximately 50% of their total amounts due, and often pay a total of 68% to 75% of their debt after fees. That means Century’s fees equal approximately 18 to 25% of the total debt, which is right in line with industry averages. Of course, success rates vary. Some customers do not complete the program, usually because they cannot save enough for a successful debt settlement.

Pacific Debt Inc.

Pacific Debt is another highly ranked and well-regarded debt settlement company. In business since 2002, the company has successfully settled more than $300 million in debt for their customers.

Pacific Debt will not work with customers who have less than $10,000 in unsecured debt. But if you meet that criteria, the company says you may be able to become debt-free within 24 to 48 months by following their program.

Like NDR, Pacific is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, the AFCC, and the IAPDA. It is also accredited by Consumer Affairs and received a #1 ranking for debt relief companies from BestCompany.com.

See More >> Trustworthy Debt Relief Companies + Customer Reviews

ClearOne Advantage

ClearOne Advantage has been helping consumers settle their outstanding credit card debt and other unsecured loans since 2008. The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. It is also accredited by the AFCC and IAPDA.

ClearOne will only work with customers with $10,000 or more in unsecured debt. Like the other companies, it takes no fees upfront, but charges an average of 25% of the total debt. These fees will come out of your savings account as soon as a debt is settled and payment is made to the creditor.

ClearOne Advantage only serves 22 states. The company offers a money-back guarantee and a Free Debt Analysis. To perform the Free Debt Analysis, COA will pull your credit report through TransUnion. This will count as a hard credit inquiry and will affect your credit score for a short time.

What Is Debt Settlement?

Debt settlement is a way for consumers to get out from under suffocating credit card debt and other unsecured debt, including student loans, medical bills, personal loans, and even some types of business debt.

When you take advantage of debt settlement, you must show proof to your creditors that you cannot reasonably pay your debts due to financial hardship. You can take the first step by making a list of your outstanding debts, minimum monthly payments, income, and expenses.

If you’ve tried everything you can think of to get out of credit card debt, including using debt consolidation, transferring high interest balances to a credit card with a 0% APR introductory period, and even trying the snowball or avalanche method of debt reduction, debt settlement may be your best answer.

Do-It-Yourself Debt Settlement

Although there are options for you to handle debt settlement yourself, most people don’t have the time or financial savvy to manage debt settlement on their own. In addition, debt settlement firms have developed relationships with creditors that can lead to a better settlement arrangement.

Using National Debt Relief

During the debt settlement process, National Debt Relief or your debt settlement firm of choice will help you create a budget and a monthly payment plan. Instead of paying your creditors, you will make payments into an FDIC-insured savings or trust account.

Once you’ve accumulated enough funds, the debt settlement firm will reach out to your creditors and offer them a lump-sum payment to pay off the loan or card. The debt settlement company will offer anywhere from 30 to 60% of your total outstanding balance. They will also fight to have late fees and interest removed from the account.

If the creditor agrees to the settlement, the money – along with any fees owed to the debt settlement firm – will come out of your savings account established exclusively for the debt settlement program.

The process continues until all your accounts have been settled.

Tax Ramifications of Debt Settlement

If you have saved more than $600 on your original balances through debt settlement, the credit card companies will send you a 1099 form, showing the forgiven debt as income.

See More >> How One Woman Crushed $300,000+ of Student Loan & Mortgage Debt

You may be responsible for paying taxes on this money. However, if you can show that you are insolvent – that is, your total debt exceeds your income – the forgiven debt may not be taxed. It’s important to consult with a tax professional following your debt settlement to determine the tax ramifications.

Following debt settlement, the debt will be marked as “settled” on your credit report, and you can begin to rebuild your credit.

Alternatives to Debt Settlement

Debt settlement represents a good option for people who cannot manage to make the minimum monthly payments on their credit cards or other unsecured debt and may have already missed payments.

Debt settlement will hurt your credit score, since the debt settlement firm’s ability to negotiate an arrangement often hinges on missed payments and showing that you cannot pay off your debt.

Depending on your financial situation, you also have a few other alternatives to debt settlement.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation does not reduce your overall outstanding balances. Instead, it combines all your debt into a single monthly payment, often at a reduced interest rate.

Debt consolidation loans come in many forms.

You can use a home equity loan to tap into your home’s value to pay off higher interest credit card debt.

If your credit is still good and you haven’t missed any payments yet, you can use a 0% introductory APR balance transfer credit card to transfer your high-interest debt onto a single card. Then, calculate your new total balance, including balance transfer fees, until the introductory period runs out. Make sure to pay at least that much each month to pay off your card (or cards) before you’re hit with high interest charges again.

In other words, let’s say you transfer $2000 onto a card with a 0% intro APR for 18 months. The balance transfer fees are 3%. That means you’ll owe $2060 on the card. You’ll have to pay at least $114.44 over the next 18 months to avoid interest charges.

Another option is taking out a personal loan to consolidate debt. Since personal loan terms usually don’t exceed five years, you’ll be able to see an end to your debt. You may also save money on interest charges.

Some debt relief firms offer debt consolidation as an option, enabling you to make one monthly payment to the debt relief company.

See More >> This Guy Resolved His $8,597 Tax Debt - Learn His Methods!

Debt Management Plan

If you decide to enter into a debt management plan, you’ll work with a credit counseling agency to calculate a budget and a payment plan to get out of debt. Many times, your debt management plan includes debt consolidation through the debt relief firm.

A debt management plan can save you money on interest charges and help you create a roadmap to pay off your debt. But it will not reduce your overall balances the way debt settlement can.

When you enter a DMP, you are usually required to stop using all your credit cards. You’re also prohibited from opening new credit accounts or taking out loans while you are working the plan.

Bankruptcy

If you can’t see a way out of unsecured debt, even if you reduce your overall payments or consolidate the payments into a lower interest loan, it may be time to consider bankruptcy.

When you declare bankruptcy, you’ll need to attend credit counseling and your credit score is destined to drop. Bankruptcies stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, but you can start rebuilding your credit as soon as your debts are paid off or discharged.

If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, usually only possible when you have little-to-no disposable income, most of your unsecured debts may be discharged. But you may have to sell many of your assets, including second properties and vehicles not crucial for driving to work.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will still have to pay off most of your debts over a three-to-five-year time span. Some debts, however, may be discharged, making it easier to get back on your feet financially. You’ll also be able to hold onto some of your assets, including real estate property.

Financial experts view bankruptcy as a last resort when other methods of paying off your debt have not worked.

Avoiding Debt Settlement Scams

Companies like National Debt Relief have a longstanding reputation for helping consumers pay off their debt for less than what they owe. But that’s not always the case.

Not all debt settlement firms are reputable or have their customers’ best interest at heart. Do not sign up to work with any debt settlement company that:

  • Expects an upfront payment
  • Is not accredited by the AFCC or IAPDA
  • Has overwhelmingly negative reviews
  • Claims to have a 100% success rate for their customers

You can also review Solvable’s Scam Report to find the debt relief firms that have been banned from providing debt relief services in the U.S.

The Bottom Line

National Debt Relief is one of the most highly respected, well-reviewed debt settlement firms in the U.S.

If you are burdened with high-interest credit card debt, student loans, personal loans, or medical bills, the company may be able to help you find a viable solution. You’ll need financial discipline and steady income to stick with the plan. If you do, you could save thousands of dollars by letting National Debt Relief help you settle your debt for less than you owe.

Dawn Allcot
Expert Contributor
Last Updated: