Make sure you vet whatever debt relief company you're matched with.
Suspect you might need debt relief, but aren’t sure what kind is right for you? Accredited Debt Relief might be able to help. It matches you to debt relief programs based on your specific financial situation. Just make sure you research whatever debt relief company you’re connected with — former clients have had issues with customer service.
Varies based on lender
Min. Credit Score
Accredited Debt relief details
Free consultation. Yes, either by filling out a form online or calling its toll-free number. Costs. Debt settlement fee of 18% to 25% of enrolled debt; debt management fee of $100 to $200.
Service limitations. Not available in CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, IL, KS, ME, NH, ND, OR, RI, SC, VT, WA or WI.
Free resources or tools. None.
Customer service options. Phone, email.
How much does it cost?
Accredited debt relief costs vary depending on what type of service you’re looking for:
Debt settlement fees typically range from 18% to 25% of the debt you enroll in the program at the time of settlement. Its debt settlement programs typically last between two and four years, although your first debt settlements typically begin six to nine months after starting the program.
For example, if you enroll $10,000 of credit card debt with an APR of 16% in a two-year program, you could expect to owe $13,742.19 if no settlements are made during the program. You might have to pay around $2,473 to $3,436.
Debt management programs come with a monthly fee that typically ranges from $100 to $200, depending on how much debt you have. Debt management and debt settlement programs involve making monthly deposits into a trust account, part of which goes toward fees and the rest toward paying off or settling your debts.
For example, if you enroll $30,000 in a debt management program, you might have to make a monthly payment of $600 — $500 toward your debts, and $100 as a fee. This is a little high. Many nonprofit debt management programs charge a fee of around $25.
None of the lenders Accredited Debt Relief works with charge underwriting fees, so all it will cost you is interest. Typically, clients who are pointed toward debt consolidation can qualify for a loan with an APR of 5% to 7%.
How much could I save with Accredited Debt Relief?
Your savings also depend on what type of program you enroll in:
Debt settlement savings generally range from 25% to 32% of your enrolled debt — before taxes. The IRS treats most settled debt like taxable income unless you’re financially insolvent at the time of settlement. If you aren’t exempt, you could end up saving almost nothing, depending on your tax bracket.
How much you save with debt management depends on the interest rate you start off with. Some debt management companies are able to lower your interest rate by 6% to 9%.
Like with debt management, how much you save depends on the interest rates you started out with and your new loan’s interest rate.
Here’s an example of how much you might be able to save with a debt consolidation loan through Accredited Debt Relief:
Type of debt
Minimum monthly payment
If you consolidate these using a loan of $15,000 with a 7% APR and a five-year term, you could lower your monthly payment by $83 — saving $4,772.30 on interest.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of Accredited Debt Relief?
Lots of options. Accredited Debt Relief doesn’t pigeonhole you into one type of debt relief, which is ideal if you’re not sure what type of program you can benefit the most from.
Helpful staff. Clients frequently say that Accredited’s customer service team does a great job simplifying an otherwise complicated and overwhelming process.
Good online reputation. Debt relief is a risky business, and it’s not guaranteed to work out as planned. For a company to have so many positive reviews is no mean feat.
Fees vary between partners. It’s difficult to get an idea of how much debt relief will cost you unless you research each individual company Accredited Debt Relief works with — which can take some time.
Not all partners have great service. Since Accredited Debt Relief matches you with debt relief companies, you’re not guaranteed to get connected with a highly ranked service. Many clients complain of poor customer service for Accredited’s partner companies.
Lots of calls from partners. Like with any matching service, Accredited Debt Relief gives your information to its partner companies to contact you.
Debt relief companies typically charge a percentage of a customer’s debt or a monthly program fee for their services. And they aren’t always transparent about these costs or drawbacks that can negatively affect your credit score. You might pay other fees for third-party settlement services or setting up new accounts, which can leave you in a worse situation than when you signed up.
Consider alternatives before signing up with a debt relief company:
Payment extensions. Companies you owe may be willing to extend your payment due date or put you on a longer payment plan if you ask.
Nonprofit credit counseling. Look for free debt-management help from nonprofit organizations like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Debt settlement. If you can manage to pay a portion of the bill, offer the collection agency a one-time payment as a settlement. Collection agencies are often willing to accept a lower payment on your debt to close the account.
What is Accredited Debt Relief?
Accredited Debt Relief is a matching service that helps you find a debt relief program that best suits your personal financial situation. It can help you find a service that specializes in:
Debt settlement. A bankruptcy alternative in which a debt settlement company negotiates with your creditors to bring down the amount you owe in unsecured debt. Accredited Debt Relief is a direct enrollment center for Freedom Debt Relief.
Debt management. Lower your interest rates and monthly payments, plus get help dealing with collection agencies and creditor calls through a debt management program.
Debt consolidation.Combine all of your loans into one by taking out a term loan that you use to pay off your lenders, typically at a lower interest rate or more flexible loan term.
Accredited Debt Relief can also help you find a bankruptcy lawyer in your area if that’s your best option.
What do customers say about Accredited Debt Relief?
Accredited Debt Relief earn an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on factors like transparency and time in business. It also scores an average 4.5 out of 5 stars based on nearly 100 customer reviews. Over 1,000 Trustpilot users have given the company a 9.4 out of 10, with 84% rating it “Excellent.” Only 1% of Trustpilot reviews were negative.
What did clients have to say? Many were happy with Accredited Debt Relief’s helpful, professional and knowledgable customer service team. However, it’s not without its complaints. Some customers had great experiences with Accredited’s representatives up until they actually entered a program. From there, they had a difficult time getting ahold of the customer service team for the partner company managing their debt relief program.
Watch out for poor customer service from Accredited partners
While former customers praised Accredited Debt Relief’s staff, many had issues working with representatives from its partner debt relief companies. Before signing up for a debt relief program, research the company you’re matched with to see what clients have to say about their experience. Just because you enjoyed working with Accredited doesn’t mean the new company will offer the same helpful customer service.
Is it safe to use Accredited Debt Relief?
In general, yes. It doesn’t go into much detail about its web security, although its site appears to use SSL encryption. Because Accredited Debt Relief is a matching service, you can expect your personal information to be shared with its third-party partners. Your details might also be shared with companies that aren’t directly involved in providing services, but you can opt out by either calling or emailing the customer service team. It limits access to sensitive information like your Social Security number, however.
It’s an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), an industry organization that defines and enforces industry standards. It’s also been accredited with the BBB since 2014.
How do I sign up?
Click Go to Site on this page and select the amount of debt you want to reduce.
2. Enter your personal contact information and click Click Here to See If We Can Help.
An Accredited Debt Relief specialist will call you to get more information. At that time, they’ll do a soft credit pull and review your credit report to make sure nothing’s missing.
If it looks like Accredited Debt Relief can help you, it will call you again to discuss your options and match you with a program. A debt relief specialist will guide you through your specific enrollment process.
I’ve signed up. What happens next?
What happens next depends on what type of debt relief you enrolled in:
Debt settlement and debt management
Accredited Debt Relief assigns you an account manager, who will be your direct point of contact for the duration of the program. They’ll guide you through the process of making monthly payments into a non-interest trust account that they use to pay off your creditors and collect fees.
Debt consolidation loans are taken out through a partner lender — not Accredited Debt Relief — so how repayment works depends on who you’re borrowing from. Typically, debt consolidation lenders pay off your creditors for you so you don’t won’t have to worry about it.
Then, you’re just on the hook for monthly repayments to your new lender. If it’s an option, consider signing up for autopay — that way you won’t have to worry about making repayments each month.
Getting the most out of debt relief
Debt relief companies can only do so much for their clients — it’s up to you to make it a smart financial move. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Don’t take on any more debts. This usually isn’t an option for debt settlement or management clients. But if you have a debt consolidation loan, it might be tempting to take on more debt once your credit cards are paid off. Try to resist the urge and instead focus on paying off your current debts first.
Watch your accounts and balances. It’s easy for things to go wrong with electronic or automated payments. Keep an eye on your accounts and reach out to your provider immediately if you notice anything amiss.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Call your Accredited Debt Relief account manager — you’ll get a direct number to reach them at — if you have any questions about the process or you’re worried about missing a payment.
Accredited Debt Relief may be able to help you find a debt relief program that works for your unique financial situation. But while its staff has a strong reputation, many clients have had issues with the customer service team of the partner company they’re matched with. Do your research before signing up so you know what you’re getting into.
You won’t be kicked out of the program. Emergencies happen and Accredited Debt Relief is sympathetic to that. Call customer service at least five business days before your payment’s due if you think you’re going to have an issue making it. A customer service team member will discuss your options to get you back on track.
Not necessarily. While debt consolidation loans can be useful in managing debt, they’re not the only option out there.
On average, a debt settlement program lasts two to four years. However, this can vary based on how much money you’re able to put toward the program each month. The more you’re able to contribute each month, the faster you’ll pay off your debt.
Accredited Debt Relief suggests enrolling all of your credit cards that have a balance over $500 into the program. By doing so, your creditors can see that you’re working on paying off all of your debts.
By creating a separate account, you’re distancing your debt settlement funds from your daily spending. This makes it easier to save and, by extension, complete the program.
Yes, enrolling in a debt relief program could have a negative effect on your credit score. However, it will likely help improve your credit in the long run — as paying off your debts will help lower your debt-to-income ratio.
Anna Serio is a trusted loans expert who's published more than 950 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
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