You already know that debt is bad, but when you are thousands of dollars deep into your debt situation, it can be hard to dig yourself out. There are several debt relief programs and options available. The problem with finding the right debt reduction service is that there are many to choose from, and seemingly unscrupulous advertisements may have already found their way to your mailbox or inbox junk folder. The number one issue with debt relief programs is that they can be shady, full of hidden terms and conditions, and they may even make a client’s debt situation costlier. (For more, read What's Your Debt Really Costing You?)

Don’t dismiss debt consolidation all together though. The right company can help you finally make headway on your debt situation, and will be better for your finances than filing bankruptcy. When looking for a debt settlement company, look for one that is BBB-, IAPDA- or AFCC-accredited and fits with your debt settlement needs.

New Era Debt Solutions

New Era Debt Solutions is a debt relief company that prides themselves on truth and transparency. The company has been in business since 1999 and has helped settle $200 million in debt for its clients. New Era puts the client first and performs everything in-house. On-staff attorneys are available, and an account management team is assigned to every client. Unlike many debt relief services, New Era Debt Solutions does not charge any upfront fees, and it has lower overall costs, while reducing much more debt than its competitors.

New Era Debt Solution is not for everyone though. First off, the services are only available in 22 states. Also, individuals with less than $10,000 owed or with business debts cannot benefit from New Era’s services.

National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief was established in 2009 and can help settle many types of debts, even ones that other services are not able to help with, such as business debts and even certain secured debts. The minimum amount of debt required for services is lower than for its competitors at $7,500. Prospective clients can expect a 20-25% fee for National Debt Relief’s services. Most clients will save on average 30% after fees on their debts, but this percentage is slightly less than that of the competition.

Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief opened its doors in 2002 and has helped clients reduce over $3 billion dollars in debt since then. Freedom Debt Relief has relieved the most debt among all its competitors. Freedom Debt Relief charges between 18-25% for their services. At 18%, the company charges the least among competing enterprises. However, the company charges clients a fee based on the total enrolled debt amount rather than on the settled amount.

CuraDebt

Even though CuraDebt is not BBB-accredited, they are AFCC- and IAPDA-accredited and also have an A+ rating from the BBB. CuraDebt charges a 20% fee for debt settlement with no monthly or hidden fees. The company requires only a minimum of $7,500 in debt, and the average debt is reduced by 40% after fees. All debt relief clients are managed in-house and by staff who has had past experience with debt consolidation.

The Bottom Line

If debt has taken over your life, then debt settlement can help reduce your costs and make paying off your debt possible. When looking for the right debt consolidation company for your financial needs, be sure to talk with two or three companies. It is important to remember that debt relief services are not a “get out of jail free” card. Working with these companies can negatively impact your credit score for up to 10 years, but it is better to work with such companies than to default on loans or file for bankruptcy. (For more information on debt relief companies, read 5 Ways Your Debt-Relief Firm is Scamming You.)

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