Top 5 Best Debt Consolidation Companies | 2017 Ranking & Reviews


Finding the Top 5 Best Debt Consolidation Companies


Finding yourself in overwhelming debt can make you feel like you’re out of options. Bills may seemingly pile higher and higher, and the pressure can result in lack of sleep and debilitating anxiety.

If you find yourself falling behind on credit card payments or stuck in the cycle of merely making the minimum payments every month, you might want to consider researching debt relief options in the event that those options appeal to you.

Making minimum payments on a credit card can be a terrible cycle in the long term as you potentially spend thousands of dollars and see no difference in your balance. Debt may have mounted for a number of reasons: perhaps mismanagement or the result of an unforeseeable medical or family emergency.

Whatever the reason, getting out of debt will likely require strict planning and discipline. You may be able to manage this responsibility on your own, or working with a professional may appeal to you.

Best Debt Consolidation Companies Reviews

This list of AdvisoryHQ’s best debt consolidation companies reviews five separate companies. These companies may offer further debt management services, such as debt settlement and credit counseling.

This review of the best consolidation companies is not intended to be used as financial advice, and you should do thorough research before making any financial decisions. It is also advised that you speak with a financial advisor to learn more about your options, what course is best-suited for your circumstances, and to be sure that you are working with a reputable debt consolidation company.

Be sure to review the websites of each of these top debt consolidation companies. Some of these top rated debt consolidation companies may offer services other than debt consolidation.

Award Emblem: Top 5 Best Debt Consolidation Companies



 List of the Top 5 Best Debt Consolidation Companies

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that firm):


Debt Management or Debt Relief Services Defined (Debt Consolidation Companies Reviews)

Debt management refers to a collection of services that assist people with taking charge of overwhelming debts, commonly accrued over years and due to various creditors. If you are drowning in overwhelming debt, debt consolidation companies may potentially offer some useful options or help you set up a plan to better approach your obligations.

The companies may contact your creditors and attempt to negotiate a better rate for repayment. If a credit company is amenable to negotiating, the debt relief company may be able to negotiate your payments down or into a single monthly payment. Keep in mind that creditors do not have to negotiate debts at all and have a right to insist upon the full amount as originally owed if they so choose.

Of course, such options are not quick-fix, easy solutions. Your credit score may take a negative hit for utilizing debt management services, and you’ll remain responsible for most of the original debt accrued. 

For some people, the benefits of working with a debt consolidation company may outweigh the adverse consequences. There are other options available as well, such as bankruptcy or paying the debt down as is. You’ll need to do your own research or consult a financial advisor to determine which option is best-suited for your needs.

A debt management company generally offers a selection of services that consumers may choose from, depending on individual needs and goals. If you decide to work with a debt consolidation company, consider consulting a financial advisor to determine which service aligns with your needs.

Though services vary, debt management companies typically involve the following three services below.

Debt Settlement:

Debt settlement may be undertaken by a consumer or through a debt settlement company. If done by a consumer and not through a debt settlement company, the consumer will call the credit company and request a debt settlement in an attempt to lower the debt.

Companies may be willing to settle with debtors for a lower amount than the full obligation because the company otherwise risks having the debtor default on the amount. Some companies would prefer to get some of the funds rather than none.

This process is not guaranteed to work for all debt, and there are some downsides to negotiating yourself rather than working with a company. Going at it alone may, however, eliminate some fees that apply when working with a company, so the choice depends on your particular needs. Do some research or consider consulting an advisor.

Working with a debt settlement company means that the company will contact creditors on a debtor’s behalf to negotiate a lower debt amount. The debtor will place funds into a separate bank account on a monthly basis while a representative negotiates the total debt obligation. This separate bank account lets your creditors know that you’re serious about paying off the debt and that funds for settlement do exist.

Upon settlement, the funds from the separate account go towards paying the debt owed as well as the negotiation fees. Programs are commonly long term and typically run from two to four years, although every situation varies.

Remember to keep in mind that not all debts are eligible for settlement, and typically only debtors with financial hardships are eligible for a debt settlement. Additionally, in some debt settlement agreements, the agreed-upon settlement amount is due as a one-time payment.

Debt Consolidation:

Debt consolidation programs involve lumping debt together and taking out a loan to pay off the separate types of debt. The debtor would then pay off the one loan rather than each separate debt.

A debt consolidation company will likely attempt a debt settlement prior to the debt consolidation to lower the outstanding debt and, thus, the new, consolidated loan. Debt consolidation loan companies may target services to lower the interest rate of the outstanding debt or might target the debt amount itself. It depends on the particular program.

Debt Management or Credit Counseling:

Debt management programs involve financial counseling and may involve negotiating with creditors for lower interest rates. Such programs often combine credit counseling and education as well.

However, some companies use the term “debt management” as an umbrella term to refer to programs more similar to debt settlement or debt consolidation, so be sure to understand the full terms and conditions of any programs offered by these companies.

Other options may be available to you as well. You might consider contacting a few different companies before initiating a program, or discussing your situation with a financial advisor.

Typical Eligibility Requirements (Debt Consolidation Companies Reviews)

Not all situations are a match for a debt management program.

Image source: Pixabay

Financial Hardship:

For example, with many programs, potential clients must also be able to demonstrate a financial hardship before a company will work with them. This is because credit companies are unlikely to negotiate debts down if they think you have the ability to pay them in full.

Location:

Also, certain states have different laws. Some companies do not operate in particular states, so you’ll want to check your state’s eligibility if you are interested in working with a company.

Type of Debt:

Further, not all debts are eligible for settlement or consolidation. Debt may be secured or unsecured. Secured debt means that some tangible item is attached, such as a home or car loan. Unsecured debt means that a tangible item is not attached, such as medical bills or credit card debt.

Discuss with a financial advisor to determine which type of debt you are working with. Be aware that not all debt types are eligible for debt settlement or consolidation.

Top 5 Best Debt Consolidation Companies

No.

Providers

Website

1

Accredited Debt Relief

http://www.accrediteddebtrelief.com/

2

Consolidated Credit

http://www.consolidatedcredit.org/

3

CuraDebt

http://www.curadebt.com/

4

DebtWave

http://www.debtwave.org/

5

National Debt Relief

https://www.nationaldebtrelief.com/

The above list of best debt consolidation companies is sorted alphabetically 



 Methodology for Selecting These Best Debt Consolidation Companies

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ's Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Debt Consolidation Companies

Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of the best debt consolidation companies. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these debt consolidation firms to score so high in our selection ranking.
 



 Accredited Debt Relief Review


Accredited Debt Relief is a debt management company that works to help debtors manage overwhelming debt obligations. The online-based company works with debtors in the majority of U.S. states and its representatives have over 20 years of experience in debt relief services. Offerings vary from state to state.

Key Factors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Debt Consolidation Company

Below are primary reasons we selected Accredited Debt Relief to be rated as one of the top debt consolidation companies.

Partnerships:

Accredited is not a representative that will negotiate on a debtor’s behalf. Instead, the company will review your information and then match you with a debt relief company in its network.

Services:

Accredited helps with several debt management services, which include:

Along with these debt relief options, Accredited also offers information on bankruptcy and credit counseling. Its program time frame is typically 24–48 months, though every situation may vary. The quicker you can build your settlement account fund and make payments, the sooner your debt will be paid off.

Consultation:

If interested in contacting Accredited, you may call them for a free consultation. You can also enter your information online and receive a response from a representative.  

Debt Collection Calls:

Many debtors are inundated with debt collection phone calls on a daily basis. Accredited may be able to match you with a company that will work to educate you on how to reduce these frustratingly common phone calls. Although a creditor does have the right to contact a debtor, you may not be aware of your particular rights that can help reduce those calls.

There is no guarantee that a creditor will agree to settle, so results can vary from person to person. If you are interested in the amounts and types if settlements Accredited has achieved, you can view its proven results page. If you do not see the bank creditor on this page, it does not mean that Accredited cannot help you, as they work with most banks and creditors.
 



 Consolidated Credit Review


Consolidated Credit is a debt management company that has operated for around 20 years and has assisted over 5 million Americans in that time. Consolidated Credit has assisted clients in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands find debt relief from $2,038,477,602.41 in credit card debt.

Image source: Big Stock

Most of its team consists of Certified Financial Counselors (CFC), from its credit counselors to its executive staff, and even some of its finance writers. Each certified staff member obtains training and retraining every three years to keep their certifications up-to-date. This is to ensure that all staff are current on the latest information, credit laws and trends that relate to credit card debt and alternatives to finding that debt relief you are seeking.

Key Factors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Debt Consolidation Company

Below are primary reasons we selected Consolidated Credit to be rated as one of the top debt consolidation companies.

Services:

Consolidated Credit knows that debt problems can be strenuous – financially, psychologically, emotionally, and sometimes can even affect your physical health. Its representatives are here to help you reclaim control of your life and find a solution as rapidly as possible.

There isn’t one particular solution that is right for everyone, so Consolidated Credit offers several solutions, so you can choose the one that fits your current situation. Below are some of the debt solutions it offers:

  • Debt Management
  • Debt Consolidation
  • Credit Counseling

If none of these solutions are right for you, it also offers alternatives for you to explore in order to regain financial control. If you don’t fully understand your credit rights, it provides you with information to gain a better knowledge of the laws that protect your rights in personal finance.

If you are searching for assistance on buying a home, Consolidated Credit is approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide housing counseling. Some of the areas in which they can provide counseling consist of:

If this is something you are interested in, you can call Consolidated Credit and speak to one of its certified housing counselors for free.

Community Outreach:

Consolidated Credit participates in community outreach by leading educational financial seminars and webinars. Webinars are open to anyone online, and seminars are located in the Miami, Florida area. Seminar/webinar topics include matter such as how to increase your credit score and homebuyer workshops.

Live Chat:

Individuals interested in working with Consolidated Credit can chat with a representative in a live chat room. You can also call its 800 number to discuss your options with the company. The company has representatives that can speak with potential debtors in English and Spanish.

Call or chat with a representative to learn about the specific debt relief offerings that Consolidated Credit has to offer.

Education:

Consolidated Credit has provided a lot of financial information on its website. It has posted some helpful resources on topics like budgeting, credit, and saving money. If you need help understanding how a credit score works or how to save money, check out its website as a place to start learning about introductory financial issues.
 


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 CuraDebt Review


CuraDebt was officially founded in 2000 as a debt relief company servicing individuals and small businesses. Services are performed by in-house staff members that make direct contact with creditors for negotiations. It has been in operation for more than 15 years, which makes CuraDebt one of the oldest and experienced debt relief companies in the industry.

Key Factors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Debt Consolidation Company

Below are primary reasons we selected CuraDebt to be rated as one of the top debt consolidation companies.

Debt-Related Services:

CuraDebt helps with the following debt services:

  • Debt settlement/negotiation: CuraDebt has in-house representatives that negotiate on behalf of eligible debtors in order to lower the overall debt owed.
  • Assistance with tax matters: Since the IRS and tax collectors have more rights to collect than other creditors, debt relief from tax-related debt is more limited. However, CuraDebt does have some programs that may assist consumers manage such debt. If dealing with tax-related debt, check with CuraDebt to see if you qualify for its programs.
  • Debt consolidation: The company also offers debt consolidation to eligible debtors. Services may focus on the interest rate only or may include debt settlement services that work to lower the overall debt amount as well.

Certifications & Awards:

CuraDebt has received several awards and maintain multiple certifications for the debt solutions they provide. It was rated a #1 debt relief company by the Consumer watchdog and review site, Top Consumer Reviews for 2009 – 2015, and tied for #1 in 2016. CuraDebt is the only debt relief company that has been in the top 2 for this period of time, which is a huge achievement on its part.

According to CuraDebt, they have received more Five Star reviews with testimonials in Customer Lobby than any other debt relief company. If you are interested in reading some of the testimonials from its clients, you can easily do so and learn what others have to say about this debt relief company.

CuraDebt is a member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), which is the oldest association of relief companies. It is in good standing with the AFCC and has maintained the rigorous requirements in order to be a member.

Free Consultation:

CuraDebt does offer a free consultation. This consultation is a no obligation, 100% free and confidential service. You can enter your information online and receive a response from a CuraDebt representative. It also has a live chat feature on its website if you’d like to chat with a representative.

CuraDebt does not offer services in all 50 states. Be sure to check your state’s eligibility if looking at using CuraDebt’s services.
 



 DebtWave Review


DebtWave is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2001, and is one of the nonprofit debt consolidation companies included on this list. The organization provides financial education and credit counseling to help clients become more financially fit and self-sufficient. It is an active member of the San Diego community, and its outreach program, the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, is focused on helping youth, military members, and low to moderate-income families.

Key Factors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Debt Consolidation Company

Below are primary reasons we selected DebtWave to be rated as one of the top rated debt consolidation companies.

Live Chat:

The DebtWave website offers a link to a live chat room. Contact a representative if you are interested in learning more about DebtWave’s services.

Services:

  • Credit Counseling Sessions: DebtWave offers credit counseling to help people understand and take charge of their credit circumstances.
  • Debt Management Services: It also offers services that take action and start making a difference in clients’ credit. Programs typically last 3 to 5 years. Specific services aren’t exactly clear on the website but seem to involve credit consolidation. Contact DebtWave to learn about its specific debt management services.
  • Financial Education Programs: DebtWave has posted educational resources on its website which can assist people with managing their finances.

San Diego Financial Literacy Center:

DebtWave established the San Diego Literacy Center to bring financial education to the San Diego community. It offers free services to certain members of the community through three core programs:

  • Wave of the Future: This program provides interactive workshops, games, and the introduction of real-life financial scenarios to assist local youth with their financial education and development.
  • Boost for Our Heroes: This program offers workshops, seminars, and one-on-one consultations to current or former members of the community. It also gives one quarterly award to a military member or family experiencing financial hardship.
  • Smart with Your Money: This program offers free financial seminars to people throughout San Diego County. Seminar topics include budgeting, managing and eliminating credit card debt, planning for the future, and more. 

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 National Debt Relief Review


National Debt Relief is a debt management company offering debt settlement services in regard to medical, credit card, and unsecured debt. The company works with individuals who are overwhelmed by their debt and trapped in making minimum payments or who have totally fallen behind on payments.

Key Factors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Debt Consolidation Company

Below are primary reasons we selected National Debt Relief to be rated as one of the top debt consolidation companies.

Eligible Loans:

National Debt Relief can assist debtors with several types of unsecured debt. Such eligible debt examples often include:

  • Credit card
  • Personal loans and lines of credit
  • Medical bills
  • Collections and repossessions
  • Business debt
  • Some student debt (not all types of student loans)

Loans it is not able to settle include:

  • Lawsuits
  • IRS and back taxes
  • Utility bills
  • Auto and government loans
  • Mortgage or home loans
  • Other secured debts

Free Quote:

Enter your debt information online at National Debt Relief’s website and receive a free quote from a National Debt Relief representative.

State-by-State Relief:

Debt relief laws vary from state to state. National Debt Relief has provided some relevant information regarding these differences on its website. Of course, you should do more research if you are concerned about the debt laws that may affect you in your state. However, the information here may be a good place to start to understand the laws and requirements in your state.

Services:

National Debt Relief offers debt settlement services. It’s not entirely clear from its website if it offers debt consolidation services.

In order to be eligible for the debt settlement program, a debtor must be able to make a payment into a settlement fund. This is a typical requirement with most debt relief companies. Further, the debt must exceed $7500, and you must have fallen behind in payments. Potential clients must also be able to demonstrate a financial hardship.



Conclusion – 5 Best Debt Consolidation Firms (Reviews)

Most people would agree that facing a growing pile of debt is not an ideal situation. Worse still is watching the amount owed increase due to high-interest rates and having no ability to pay off the total debt.

Making monthly payments and watching the debt continue to rise can literally be emotionally excruciating. If you find yourself in such a situation, whatever the cause, you may want to research your options so that you have a plan to get out of debt.

Debt consolidation, debt settlement, and credit counseling are some of the many options available if you choose to work with a debt consolidation company to pay down your debt. There are also a few other ways to handle the debt, such as creating your own action plan for payment, negotiating with creditors on your own behalf or even filing for bankruptcy. If you are considering bankruptcy, you should speak with an attorney.

This review of top best debt consolidation companies is  not an exhaustive list of available options, and you should do further research or consult with a financial advisor before making any decisions. Hopefully, this list of the best debt consolidation companies has provided you with the necessary information to make a well-informed decision as well as answer any of your debt-related concerns and queries.



AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.