InCharge Debt Solutions Review

InCharge Debt Solutions helps clients consolidate and pay down debt

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InCharge Debt Solutions

 InCharge Debt Solutions

overall rating
3.4

Our Take

InCharge Debt Solutions has helped more than three million customers consolidate and pay down their debts. Founded in 1997, they are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a focus on helping clients set up debt management plans. InCharge Debt Solutions offers free credit counseling to consumers, as well as a free consultation to help you determine your best next steps.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview 
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • InCharge Debt Solutions offers free credit counseling with certified credit counselors

  • The company offers free financial literacy workshops to help individuals learn more about money without an obligation

  • InCharge Debt Solutions has excellent ratings and accreditation with important third-party firms and institutions

  • Client portal lets you track your debt payoff progress in real time

Cons
  • InCharge Debt Solutions charges fees for debt management plans, including an upfront setup fee

  • You have to meet eligibility criteria to qualify for help, but InCharge Debt Solutions is not transparent about its requirements

Key Takeaways
  • InCharge Debt Solutions helps consumers get out of debt through credit counseling and debt management plans (DMPs). They also offer bankruptcy courses and counseling. 
  • Debt management plans let you consolidate and pay down debt by making just one debt payment each month instead of several.
  • Credit counseling is free, but fees for debt management plans average out to $33 per month.
  • InCharge Debt Solutions offers an array of free resources and advice, ranging from housing counseling to financial literacy webinars and credit report education.
Company Overview 

Founded in 1997, InCharge Debt Debt Solutions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers debt management plans, credit counseling, and financial education. While the company has headquarters in Orlando, Florida, most of their customers receive help over the phone and via email and their online client portal.

  • Year Founded 1997
  • Program Length Three to five years for debt management plans
  • Fee Schedule Average of $33 per month, plus $75 set-up fee
  • Customer Service Telephone, email, and client portal
  • Phone Number 800-565-8953
  • Official Website www.InCharge.org
Important

Important: InCharge Debt Solutions 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.

Where many debt relief companies help clients out of debt using a process known as debt settlement, InCharge Debt Solutions takes a different approach. Instead of debt settlement, they offer help with free credit counseling, debt consolidation, and debt management plans (DMPs). With their debt management plans, you can save money on interest, simplify your finances with one payment each month, and become debt-free in three to five years, on average.

When you decide to pursue a debt management plan, you'll pay an average of $33 per month in fees as well as a setup fee that depends on the state you live in (average of $75). However, credit counseling from the company is free, and you can also access free financial literacy resources as you need them.

InCharge Debt Solutions doesn't list any specific criteria to qualify for their plans, but they do say credit scores are not a factor, and that they can stop calls from debt collectors. A free consultation can also help you find out which debt solution might work best for your needs. 

Debt management plans are very different from debt settlement, which can help you settle your debts for less than you owe. Make sure to compare all the debt relief options out there before you move forward with a plan.

Pros Explained

  • InCharge Debt Solutions offers free credit counseling with certified credit counselors. You can also enroll in a debt management plan, which can help you pay down debt faster.
  • The company offers free financial literacy workshops to help individuals learn more about money without an obligation. Utilize the company resources in order to learn more about credit and your finances.
  • InCharge Debt Solutions has excellent ratings and accreditation with important third-party firms and institutions. InCharge Debt Solutions has an A+ rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a membership with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). They are also accredited by the prestigious Council on Accreditation (COA). 
  • Client portal lets you track your debt payoff progress in real time. Not all debt relief companies offer an online portal, yet InCharge Debt Solutions has a client portal customers can access at any time. 

Cons Explained

  • InCharge Debt Solutions charges fees for debt management plans, including an upfront setup fee. Unlike debt settlement plans that charge results-based fees, debt management plans require upfront fees and monthly plan fees.
  • You have to meet eligibility criteria to qualify for help, but InCharge Debt Solutions is not transparent about its requirements. InCharge Debt Solutions says you need to go through a free credit counseling session to find out if you're eligible for one of its programs.

Types of Debt Addressed

Because InCharge Debt Solutions offers various types of debt relief help, they assist their customers with almost every type of debt possible. InCharge Debt Solutions may be able to help you if you're struggling to pay down the following types of debt.

Credit Card Debt

InCharge Debt Solutions can help you consolidate and pay off credit card debt through one of their debt management plans (DMPs). You can also secure lower interest rates and a lower total monthly payment along the way.

Student Loans

Because InCharge Debt Solutions advises people on their credit, they can provide assistance with student loans as well. For example, they can advise you on the best repayment plans for your federal student loans, or they can help you pay off private student loans with a debt management plan.

Unsecured Personal Loans and Lines of Credit

Other unsecured debts you have can be included in a debt management plan, including personal loans or lines of credit you have with a bank or an online lender.

Medical Debt

If you have past due medical bills or so much medical debt you do not see any way you can pay it off, InCharge Debt Solutions can help. You may be able to bundle your medical debt into a debt management plan and pay less overall.

Keep in mind that debt management plans work for unsecured debts you have, which is any type of debt not secured by collateral. However, the free credit counseling InCharge Debt Solutions offers can help you figure out a plan for all your debts, including secured debts like your mortgage and auto loans. 

Client Onboarding

InCharge Debt Solutions makes it easy to get started with a free consultation. Their credit counseling services are also free, so you can speak with someone and get help without a financial investment. 

In some cases, it may be ideal for you to enroll in a debt management plan. You can find out whether you're eligible during your free consultation, during which a credit counselor will spend at least 30 minutes going over your information. 

If you are a candidate for a debt management plan, InCharge Debt Solutions will charge a $75 setup fee on average depending on your state. You'll also be asked to pay monthly plan fees with an average fee amount of $33.

Customer Service

InCharge Debt Solutions stands out due to its online client portal that lets customers keep track of their debt repayment plans online. However, they also offer email customer service as well as help over the phone. Different phone numbers are available for consumers with unique debt relief needs. Use the following contact numbers and hours of operation when you call in for assistance.

Credit Counseling:  1-877-906-5599

Monday through Friday: from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST

Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST


Customer Service: 1-888-734-6229

Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST


Housing Counseling: 1-877-712-6040

Monday through Friday: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST


Bankruptcy Counseling: 1-866-729-0049

Monday through Friday: from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST


Keep in mind that, with free credit counseling available, you can call in to ask questions about any debts you have without signing up for a specific plan. Meanwhile, certified debt counselors can help you learn about your rights, including protections in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Company Reputation

When it comes to debt relief companies and credit counselors, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lists some specific warnings. For example, they say you should try to find an organization that offers in-person counseling if you can, and that most reputable firms are nonprofit organizations. 

However, they also warn that nonprofit status "doesn’t guarantee that services are free, affordable, or even legitimate." In fact, they claim that some credit counseling organizations charge high fees or urge their clients to make "voluntary" contributions that make paying down debt harder. 

With this in mind, you should take the time to thoroughly research any debt relief company you're considering. One way to accomplish this goal is to search the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) database, which lets you check for user complaints. Fortunately, InCharge Debt Solutions does not have any reported complaints with the CFPB during the last three years. Keep in mind that some companies opt out of the CFPB database, limiting documentation of complaints.  

InCharge Debt Solutions has an excellent reputation overall. Not only do they have an  A+ rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, but they are a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). 

They are also accredited by the prestigious Council on Accreditation. Meanwhile, InCharge Debt Solutions has an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars among user reviews on Trustpilot. 

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

Because InCharge Debt Solutions offers credit counseling and debt management plans, they don't list a specific amount of debt relief you can achieve. They do say they can help you save money by negotiating lower interest rates and fees on your debts.

Average Time for Relief

A debt management plan through InCharge Debt Solutions can help you consolidate and pay off your debt within three to five years. While your debt repayment timeline will vary, this average is on par with industry standards. 

Cost

Credit Counseling from InCharge Debt Solutions is free for consumers. If you decide to sign up for a debt management plan, however, you'll pay an average of $33 per month as well as a setup fee of around $75. 

These fees are in line with the industry average. 

The Competition

  InCharge Debt Solutions National Debt Relief
Year Founded  1997  2009
Accreditation A+ rating and accreditation with the BBB

Member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Accredited by the Council on Accreditation
Accredited with the BBB

Accredited with the American Fair Credit Council

Accredited with the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators
Services Offered Debt management plans

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 Credit counseling is free

Average of $33 per month with debt management plans, plus setup fee
No upfront fees

Pay 15% to 25% of your debt
Average Program Time Three to five years 24 to 48 months

Because there are so many debt relief companies and debt relief strategies to choose from, we think it's wise to compare at least three to four companies and services before you rely on third-party help. With that in mind, we used the table above to compare InCharge Debt Solutions with National Debt Relief, a highly rated debt settlement firm.

You'll note that these two companies offer two entirely different debt relief strategies. Where InCharge Debt Solutions offers credit counseling and debt management plans, National Debt Relief offers debt settlement services instead.

Where debt settlement comes with risks, including the potential for damage to your credit score, you only pay fees as you get results. Debt settlement can also help you settle your debts for less than you owe, and you may be able to get out of debt over a shorter period of time.

Both of these companies are good ones, but we do believe National Debt Relief could be a better option for your debt relief needs due to their shorter plan timeline and the fact there are no upfront fees. 

Verdict

If you are looking for credit counseling or help paying down debt with a debt management plan, InCharge Debt Solutions may be the answer you're looking for. While their plans can take longer than debt settlement, InCharge offers free credit counseling and help with negotiating down your interest rates and fees. They also offer a free consultation, so you can speak with a debt relief expert about your struggles before you decide how to move forward.

Still, we believe it can pay off to compare multiple debt relief firms in terms of their services and fees. Make sure to compare all your debt relief options, and that any decision you make is an informed one.

How We Review Debt Relief Companies

Investopedia completed an independent study on debt relief companies in order to compile information for our reviews. We assigned star ratings to each debt relief firm based on factors like product offerings, available resources, pricing and transparency, and company reputation. We also considered how each company is accredited, as well as user reviews from third-party websites like Trustpilot.

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. "InCharge Debt Solutions." Accessed February 8, 2021.

  2. Federal Trade Commission. "Coping with Debt." Accessed February 8, 2021.

  3. Trustpilot. "InCharge Debt Solutions." Accessed February 8, 2021.