Accredited Debt Relief is essentially a broker for debt settlement companies. It will take a full look into your finances, including who your creditors are, to link you to settlement agencies that have the best chance of getting you a resolution.
Some creditors will only work with certain debt settlement agencies as they may have a good relationship. However, when you find yourself with unsecured debt from a wide range of financial products such as loans and credit cards, not all companies are able to get settlement figures across the board.
This is where Accredited Debt Relief comes in, it works with settlement companies in 32 states to get individual results on all of your debt, whether credit card, loan or something else. There are some requirements, such as you need to have a minimum of $7,500 debt and it will expect you to hand over all of your high balance credit cards. However, it will leave you with just one in case of an emergency, usually the one with the lowest limit or under $500.
As with any of the best debt settlement companies, using this company will still mean that you are accruing interest and penalties while you are saving to settle. However, Accredited Debt Relief often starts working within 1-2 weeks of having your account set up with settlements starting to be made after 4-5 months. It should be able to advise you what to do if creditors send your account to debt collection agencies and the legal steps you can take to make sure that this does not become too stressful.
Accredited Debt Relief review: Features
- Terms can be adapted depending on your needs
- One account to be paid in each month
- Highly trained advisors
Information Support: Over the phone, and online
Support: Online, Phone
Interface: Desktop, tablet, and mobile
Operating in 32 states, Accredited Debt ensures that it takes you through a fully comprehensive phone call with their agents. Ensure you have all of your debt and full creditor information to hand as it is usually an intensive phone call. The company needs to have these details to link you to its trusted partners who have the best relationship with that creditor.
You will then set up a separate settlement account that will need to be paid into each month, although Accredited is very flexible if you have any problems, it just needs 5 business days notice to work out other arrangements if you cannot pay on time. Missed, lower or delayed payments do have an impact on how quickly you can settle though. While it offers schemes from 12 months to 48 months, settlements can be negotiated in as quick as 4-5 months.
Accredited Debt advisors should talk you through all FICO credit rating implications before taking out a contract, and make sure that you've explored all the alternatives, such as the best debt consolidation companies.
Accredited Debt Relief review: How it works
- Easy-to-navigate website
- Online settlement dashboard
- No upfront fees
While most of the information is given over the phone, expect to email and send documents back and forth. Getting this paperwork submitted on time will affect how quickly you can set up an account.
As per the legal framework, no company should ask for any fees upfront and you should be told the monthly repayment sum in advance.
Once everything has been approved you will be given details of who is negotiating your settlements and how to access your account online. The big point to make is that this is still your account and your money. If you decide to stop the settlement at any point, you can take your money out of the account minus any fees. These should be stipulated when you sign your contract.
The average saving at Accredited Debt Relief is around 50% of the final figure, but then you will need to take into account the fees. These can be between 18% and 25% depending on the balance of your original debt. With the industry average of around 20% you could still end up with a significant saving, however, but expect it to hit your credit rating hard.
Accredited Debt Relief review: Quality of product
- Have settled with plenty of big-name companies
- More than 20-years of negotiations between partners
- Nothing to pay if your settlement cannot be arranged
The companies that Accredited Debt Relief partners with have more than 20 years of settlement negotiations between them, and Accredited Debt has the green light from the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.
What’s more, its teams have successfully negotiated settlements with some of the nation’s largest financial institutions, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, and Capital One.
With no obligation to pay fees before a settlement has been agreed and helpful staff over the phone, Accredited Debt Relief seems to have an all-round package that’s worth a look if you’re considering pursuing a debt settlement route.
Accredited Debt Relief is also a member of the American Fair Credit Council, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.
Accredited Debt Relief review: Customer reviews
- Trustpilot score of 5 stars
- Currently over 1600 reviews
Accredited enjoys an impressive 5 star Trustpilot score, in which 95% of reviews are positive. However, some less favorable reviews mention confusing or rude customer service operators who haven’t explained in full the potential risks of debt settlement. This includes examples such as a lower credit rating, defaulting on payments and the possibility of going to court.
There were some cases where moving to a different state that wasn’t supported, the agreement had to be suspended but most of all a lack of communication or communication errors seem to be the main concerns.
It’s worth noting that the majority of reviews speak of helpful customer service agents, short time frames and well-negotiated debt settlement options.
Should I choose Accredited Debt Relief?
Accredited Debt Relief offers a niche product that works with a list of negotiators who have a bona fide relationship with your own individual creditors. This could yield better results than a general firm so if you have a lot of unsecured debt with different providers Accredited could be a good option.
It’s worth noting that you will need to be in around $7,500 of debt or more before you can consider Accredited Debt Relief as an option, however, it has very friendly advisors who would be happy to chat through your options. Financial education is seen as part and parcel of the experience, and the team is sanctioned by associations such as the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, so you should get good advice.
Overall, the company seems quick to get a handle on your debt but do have a shortfall in only operating in 32 states. This could be problematic if you plan on moving shortly.
While savings on debt settlement are often made, it is worth investigating whether these are taxable or if you can apply for an exemption. In terms of fees this could fluctuate depending on your final figures. A lower overall settlement would probably incur fees of around 18% but these could go up to 25%.