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Pacific Debt was founded in 2002 with the goal of helping consumers who are struggling to pay off unsecured debts. The company has helped settle more than $300 million in debt since its inception, and they help customers get started without any upfront fees.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
No upfront fees required to start your plan
You may be able to settle debts for less than you owe and become debt-free in 24 to 48 months
Free consultation can help you find out how much you could save
Mostly excellent user reviews online
Minimum of $10,000 in unsecured debt required for its program
Services only offered in 29 states and Washington, D.C.
No client portal or mobile app
- Pacific Debt uses a process known as debt settlement to help consumers pay off their debts for less than they owe, including interest and fees.
- You won't pay anything upfront to start working with Pacific Debt. Fees of 15% to 25% are only charged when you get results.
- A free consultation is offered to help you determine if debt settlement is for you, as well as how much money you might save with a plan.
- Pacific Debt says its clients save an average of 15% to 35% off their original debt amounts after accounting for fees.
Founded in 2002, Pacific Debt is a highly rated debt relief company that has excellent user reviews and accreditation from third parties like the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). While they have an office in San Diego's business district, they mostly work with clients over the phone and online in areas they serve.
- Year Founded 2002
- Program Length As little as 24 to 48 months
- Fee Schedule 15% to 25% of settled debts
- Customer Service Telephone and email
- Phone Number 877-722-3328
- Official Website www.PacificDebt.com
Pacific Debt helps consumers out of debt using debt settlement, a process that comes with a certain amount of risk. With debt settlement, clients are asked to stop making payments on their bills, even if they are 30 to 60 days behind. Instead, debt settlement participants are asked to begin saving money in a separate account, which the debt settlement company will use to help settle their debts for less than they owe.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), some of the core risks of debt settlement include the potential negative impact on your credit score, as well as the fact that creditors are not required to settle. However, debt settlement seems to work rather well in practice, and Pacific Debt has many satisfied customers according to user reviews.
While debt settlement isn't perfect in practice, Pacific Debt has used this strategy to help its clients pay off over $300 million in unsecured debt. Most of its customers become debt-free in 24 to 48 months.
- No upfront fees required to start your plan: You can begin your debt settlement plan without paying Pacific Debt any upfront consultation fees. Fees are only charged when you get results.
- You may be able to settle debts for less than you owe and become debt-free in 24 to 48 months: Depending on your ability to save and how much debt you have, you may be able to become debt-free in as little as two years.
- A free consultation can help you find out how much you could save: Like other debt relief firms, Pacific Debt offers a free consultation that can help you decide if debt settlement is for you.
- Mostly excellent user reviews online: Pacific Debt has excellent reviews with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
- Minimum of $10,000 in unsecured debt required for its program: Where some debt relief firms don't have a minimum amount of debt required, Pacific Debt prefers to work with clients who have at least $10,000 in unsecured debt to resolve.
- Services only offered in 29 states and Washington, D.C.: You cannot work with Pacific Debt if you live in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, or Wyoming.
- No client portal or mobile app: Some debt relief companies offer mobile technology or an online client portal, yet Pacific Debt offers neither.
Types of Debt Addressed
Like other debt relief companies, Pacific Debt focuses on helping clients pay off their unsecured debts. This means that, by and large, they cannot help you settle or pay off secured debts you have such as a mortgage on your home or an auto loan that is secured by your car.
Pacific Debt can provide assistance with the following:
Credit Card Debt
Debt carried on credit cards can take decades to pay off the old-fashioned way, yet Pacific Debt can help reduce the amount you owe so you can get out of debt significantly faster. Pacific Debt says they can drastically reduce your principal balance plus interest and late fees.
If you owe past-due medical bills or so much medical debt you are struggling to pay it off, Pacific Debt could help. Since medical debt is unsecured, you could bundle it into your debt settlement plan and pay less than you owe.
Personal Loans and Payday Loans
Unsecured personal loans can also qualify for debt settlement. The same is true for payday loans, which tend to trap consumers into a vicious cycle due to the exorbitant interest rates they charge.
Pacific Debt says potential customers can get started by calling in for a free consultation. During the call, they promise to discuss your unique situation at greater length. They can also let you know if you can qualify for its program, or if other debt resolution options might work better for your needs.
By the end of the call, you should have an idea if debt settlement might work for you, as well as how much you would need to save each month and how long your program would last.
Keep in mind that Pacific Debt requires $10,000 in unsecured debt to qualify for its plans and that they only offer services in 29 states and the District of Columbia. If you have less debt than that or you live in a state they do not serve, make sure to check out other debt relief companies that might work for you.
Pacific Debt is well known for its customer service prowess, and its many excellent reviews prove this point. Currently, it offers customer service via a dedicated email address as well as over the phone, although it doesn’t post any specific business hours.
Note that Pacific Debt is located in San Diego, California, and they operate on Pacific Standard Time (PST).
Pacific Debt for clients:
Pacific Debt for non-clients:
Keep in mind that Pacific Debt employs trained debt experts and not salespeople, so they are suited to offer you the most helpful advice. Not only can Pacific Debt help you launch a debt settlement strategy, but they can help you navigate policies included in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act along the way.
In terms of customer service, Pacific Debt does have one major downside. They don't have a client portal or a mobile app.
We already mentioned how debt settlement has its risks, but you should also know that the debt relief industry has its share of scams. Not all debt relief firms are reputable either, so it's crucial to do your research ahead of time.
We suggest starting out by combing through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) database, which lets you search for user complaints across all debt relief companies.
Pacific Debt is accredited by the American Fair Credit Council. Also, it is certified as a debt specialist with the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
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
Pacific Debt says clients who stay on track with its program pay approximately 50% of their enrolled debt balances before fees are taken into account, although its savings can vary after accounting for fees. This average relief amount is in line with industry standards, although your savings amount is not guaranteed and could vary.
Average Time for Relief
Most Pacific Debt clients are able to become debt-free in 24 to 48 months, which is the industry average. Pacific Debt does say some client plans take longer depending on how much debt needs to be paid off.
Pacific Debt says its fees depend on how much debt you have and the state you live in. However, its average client pays 15% to 25% of the enrolled debt amount, which is in line with the industry average.
|Pacific Debt||National Debt Relief|
|Accreditation||Accredited with the American Fair Credit Council Certified with the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators||Accredited with the American Fair Credit Council Certified with the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators|
|Services Offered||Debt settlement||Debt settlement|
|Customer Service Touchpoints||Free consultation Phone and email customer service||Free consultation Phone and email customer service Online client portal|
|Fee||No upfront fees Pay 15% to 25% of your debt||No upfront fees Pay 25% of your debt|
|Average Program Time||24 to 48 months||24 to 48 months|
Before you sign up for a debt settlement plan, you should take the time to compare several of the top companies out there. The chart above compares Pacific Debt to another highly rated debt relief company, National Debt Relief.
With a simple glance, you can see that these companies feature very comparable fees and services, along with third-party accreditation. Both are accredited with the American Fair Credit Council, and both are certified by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators. Both firms also advertise the same average program length of 24 to 48 months, as well as the same fee range percentage.
However, National Debt Relief really stands out due to its online client portal, which lets you keep track of your debt settlement plan at any time of the day or night. Many debt settlement customers prefer to have access to a portal where they can oversee their accounts and progress without having to call into customer service. For that reason, we believe National Debt Relief has a slight leg up when compared to Pacific Debt.
Based on our research, we are able to recommend Pacific Debt for consumers who have at least $10,000 in unsecured debt to resolve. Not only are they highly rated by important third-party agencies, but this debt relief company has excellent reviews from actual users. The company is transparent with its services and its pricing, and they offer a free consultation. When you compare debt relief companies to see how they stack up, it's easy to see why so many people turn to Pacific Debt for help.
With that being said, we do recommend comparing at least three to four different companies and services if you decide to work with a third party to resolve your debt.
How We Review Debt Relief Companies
Investopedia conducted an internal review of more than 15 debt relief companies in order to compile data for our reviews. We used a star rating system to compare each firm based on its customer service, user reviews, third-party rankings, products and services, transparency, and more. Ultimately, the debt relief companies that ranked the highest in our study were ones with excellent customer service options, transparent fees and services, and accreditation with important agencies.