Debt Reduction Services Review

Debt Reduction Services helps clients consolidate and pay down debt

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Debt Reduction Services

 Debt Reduction Services

overall rating
3.4

Our Take

Debt Reduction Services is a nonprofit organization who is licensed to offer debt relief assistance in all 50 states. This company offers services like credit counseling and debt consolidation, yet their main relief option comes in the form of debt management plans, or DMPs. Debt Reduction Services was founded in 1996, and many of their services are free of charge.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview 
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free budget planning and credit counseling available

  • A debt management plan (DMP) can help you reduce your monthly payments by up to 50% and interest rates by up to 75%

  • Unlike debt settlement, debt management plans (DMPs) typically do not harm your credit score; enrollment in a plan could even improve your credit substantially

  • Client dashboard makes it easier to track your debt payoff progress in real time

Cons
  • No mobile app

  • Fees for debt management plans (DMPs) are not disclosed upfront

  • Debt management plans (DMPs) cannot be used to consolidate secured debts

Key Takeaways
  • Debt Reduction Services offers debt management plans (DMPs), which can help you reduce fees and consolidate your debts so you can become debt-free faster.
  • A debt management plan (DMP) can help you cut your monthly payments by 50% and lower your interest rates by 75%.
  • Regardless of whether you sign up for a debt management plan (DMP), Debt Reduction Services offers free, no-obligation budget planning and credit counseling.
  • Debt Reduction Services can help you consolidate unsecured debts you have, including credit card debt, medical bills, and more.
Company Overview 

Founded in 1996, Debt Reduction Services has been around for longer than many of their peers in the debt relief space. During this time, they have built up an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and they have earned membership with the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA). 

Debt Reduction Services is licensed in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and all active U.S. military bases around the world. They have two physical offices in Boise, Idaho, and Bohemia, New York, although most of their clients manage their debt relief plans online and over the phone. 

  • Year Founded 1996
  • Program Length Varies
  • Fee Schedule Not disclosed
  • Customer Service Phone, email and in-person (two locations)
  • Phone Number 866-688-3328
  • Official Website www.DebtReductionServices.org

Debt Reduction Services is not one of our top-rated life debt relief companies. You can review our list of the best debt relief companies for what we think are better options.

Unlike many other debt relief services who help clients out of debt with a process known as debt settlement, Debt Reduction Services offers assistance via debt management plans (DMPs). With a debt management plan, clients get help negotiating payments and interest rates with their creditors, after which they'll make a single monthly payment to the agency they're working with. Once their plan is underway, Debt Reduction Services will disburse payments to each of the creditors in the plan each month. This strategy helps clients simplify their finances with one monthly debt payment instead of several, and it also helps them stay on track and avoid becoming overwhelmed by the process.

Debt Reduction Services has no minimum debt amount to qualify for their plans, and either way, their credit counseling services are always free. Your certified debt counselor will also help you develop a household budget that will work with your lifestyle and your goals.

Because debt management plans (DMPs) do not require you to take out a debt consolidation loan, they are easy to qualify for regardless of your credit score. Enrolling in a program could even help your credit improve as you make progress paying down your debts.

Pros Explained

  • Free budget planning and credit counseling available: Even if you don't want to enroll in a debt management plan (DMP), you can turn to Debt Reduction Services for free credit counseling and budgeting assistance.
  • A debt management plan (DMP) can help you reduce payments by up to 50% and interest rates by up to 75%: While DMPs don't help you settle debts for less than you owe, they do help you cut fees and interest so you can get out of debt faster.
  • Unlike debt settlement, debt management plans (DMPs) typically do not harm your credit score; enrollment in a plan could even improve your credit substantially: Once you begin working through your plan, on-time payments made to your creditors should provide a boost to your score over time.
  • Client dashboard makes it easier to track your debt payoff progress in real time: Debt Reduction Services offers an online client portal that lets you keep track of your plan details online and in real time.

Cons Explained

  • No mobile app: Debt Reduction Services has an online client portal but not a mobile app.
  • Fees are debt management plans (DMPs) are not disclosed upfront: Your debt management plan (DMP) will require a one-time setup fee as well as plan fees that are not disclosed.
  • Debt management plans (DMPs) cannot be used to consolidate secured debts: You cannot use a DMP to consolidate secured debts like a mortgage or an auto loan.

Types of Debt Addressed

Debt Reduction Services offers credit counseling that can help you navigate every type of debt you have, yet their debt management plans (DMPs) only work for specific types of debt. Here are the types of debt this company can help you address.

Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is one of the most common types of debt that is bundled into debt management plans (DMPs). Debt Reduction Services can help you lower your monthly payments and your interest rate in order to make this type of debt more manageable.

Medical Bills

Medical bills can also be addressed in a debt management plan (DMP). Debt relief companies like Debt Reduction Services will work with hospitals, doctors, and other medical providers to help negotiate a debt payoff plan you can live with. 

Payday Loans

Debt Reduction Services can also help with payday loans, which often feature interest rates as high as 500%. With some assistance, you can break the costly cycle of using payday loans to keep up with regular expenses and bills. 

Client Onboarding

Debt Reduction Services offers free credit counseling and budgeting help, and you can access this assistance without any sort of financial commitment. It all starts with a free consultation, during which you'll discuss your finances and your debts with a certified debt specialist.

If you decide a debt management plan (DMP) is for you, your debt specialist will explain the specifics of your plan including any fees you'll have to pay. There is no minimum debt amount to get started, although Debt Reduction Services says you'll probably want to handle unsecured debts of $100 or less on your own. 

Credit counseling can be immensely helpful whether you enroll in a debt relief plan or not, so don't be afraid to take advantage. This free service can help you figure out how to cut your expenses, budget your money for the future, and get out of debt over a shorter timeline.

Customer Service

Debt Reduction Services has two brick-and-mortar locations, one in Boise, Idaho, and another in Bohemia, New York. If you live close to either of these cities, you may be able to make an in-person appointment. 

However, this company is licensed in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and all active U.S. military bases around the world, so you can sign up for assistance no matter where you live. Their toll-free number is 1-866-688-3328, although they don't list specific hours for phone-based customer service inquiries.

This company does offer an online client portal, which can help you keep track of your debt payoff progress any time of the day or night. The portal lets you print reports, send secure messages to your debt advocates, view payments to your creditors, and more. 

Company Reputation

The debt relief industry has plenty of reputable companies, but you'll need to do some research before you reach out to one for help. For example, you can check whether companies are members with the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA) or the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). You can also check on Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation and ratings; be aware this agency does use a "pay to play" model for its members, so it is advised to take BBB ratings with a grain of salt, though customer reviews can be telling.

For what it's worth, Debt Reduction Services has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where they are also accredited. The company has also earned membership with the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA). Note that Debt Reduction Services is not part of any lawsuits brought on by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

If you have a complaint about the services of a debt relief company, you can file a complaint with the FTC or call 877-FTC-HELP.

Average Relief Amount

Debt Reduction Services claims they can help clients reduce interest rates by as much as 75%. They can also reduce your monthly payments by as much as 50% while eliminating late fees and over-the-limit fees. 

Average Time for Relief

The average debt repayment timeline for debt settlement falls between 24 to 48 months, but Debt Reduction Services doesn't list a specific timeline for their debt management plans (DMPs). Ultimately, your plan length will vary depending on how much debt you have, how much you can afford to pay each month, and other factors.

Cost

Debt Reduction Services says you are required to pay a one-time setup fee to begin your debt management plan (DMP), yet they say this fee varies depending on the state you live in. They also fail to disclose the ongoing fees you'll pay as your debt management plan (DMP) progresses. 

The Competition

  Debt Reduction Services Freedom Debt Relief
 Year Founded 1996 2002
Accreditation Member in good standing with the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA)

Accredited with the BBB
Accredited member with the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC)

Not accredited with the BBB

Accredited with the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA)
Services Offered Debt management plans (DMPs)

Credit counseling
Debt settlement
Customer Service Touchpoints Free consultation

Phone and email customer service

Online client portal
Free consultation

Phone and email customer service

Online client portal
Fee No upfront fees for credit counseling or budgeting assistance No upfront fees

Pay 15% to 25% of your debt
Average Program Time Varies 24 to 48 months

If you're struggling to get out of debt and looking for a service that can help, you should consider all the different options that are available to you. This means taking a closer look at firms that offer debt management plans (DMPs), yet it also means looking into credit counseling, debt consolidation, or debt settlement plans as well.

To help in that respect, we decided to compare Debt Reduction Services to Freedom Debt Relief, a popular company in the debt settlement industry. But first, you should know that debt settlement works differently. Instead of consolidating debts and reducing your monthly payments and interest rates, debt settlement can help you negotiate and settle debts for less than you owe. This means that, by and large, debt settlement can help you get out of debt without having to repay all the money you borrowed, whereas debt management plans (DMPS) can only help you reduce interest and fees.

Another benefit of debt settlement is the fact that you won't pay any upfront fees, and that you'll only pay fees as each of your debts is settled. Ultimately, Freedom Debt Relief says you may be able to settle your debts for 50% of what you owe (including original balances plus interest and fees) and potentially less. 

In summary, debt settlement from a company like Freedom Debt Relief may help you pay a lot less toward your debts over all when compared to debt management plans (DMPs). Freedom Debt Relief is also more transparent about their fees and how long it might take you to get out of debt, which is why we can recommend considering Freedom Debt Relief for your debt relief goals. 

Verdict

If you're specifically looking for a company that offers debt management plans (DMPs), then Debt Reduction Services is worth considering. This company has a good reputation and they're fairly transparent about their processes and services. They also offer free credit counseling and budgeting help, and you can reach out for assistance without any obligation at all.

With that being said, it's always wise to consider all the debt relief options out there. We suggest looking at all the best debt relief companies and comparing their services and fees before you move forward.

How We Review Debt Relief Companies

Investopedia investigated more than 15 debt relief companies in order to compile information for our internal rankings and reviews. The main factors we looked at include customer service and satisfaction, accreditations and memberships, products and services, pricing and transparency, and online accessibility. 

We gave the highest marks to companies with excellent user reviews, plenty of customer service options, full transparency about what they offer, and plenty of information and resources available online. We also gave preference to companies who offer a free consultation and a selection of free services.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Better Business Bureau. "Debt Reduction Services." Accessed February 22, 2021.

  2. Federal Trade Commission. "Debt Relief and Credit Repair Scams." Accessed February 22, 2021.