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ClearOne debt relief
Minimum debt
$10,000
Typical turnaround
3-4 months for first settlement; 24-60 months to complete program
Fees
25% of enrolled debt

Our verdict

ClearOne Advantage offers speedy enrollment into debt settlement services, but you’ll need at least $10k in debt.

ClearOne Advantage is recommended for those with moderate to high levels of unsecured debt and who prefer a speedy consultation. While the debt relief company has resolved more than $3 billion in debt for its clients, a string of mixed reviews point to higher-than-expected fees.

Best for: People with moderate and high unsecured debt who want to improve their financial literacy.

Pros

  • No upfront settlement fees
  • Plan includes financial literacy tools to help educate clients
  • 24/7 Online client portal to track daily, weekly and monthly progress
  • Free initial consultation call takes only 20 minutes

Cons

  • Have to complete monthly payment plan to creditors
  • Higher $10,000 minimum debt requirement than competitors
  • Could impact your credit score

In this guide

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  • Your reviews
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What makes ClearOne Advantage shine?

ClearOne Advantage has a track record of resolving over $3 billion across its 170,000 clients in the past 15 years. It claims that clients who complete its program report paying about 50% of their enrolled debt balance before fees and 75% of their enrolled balance after fees.

Where ClearOne Advantage falls short

ClearOne has a higher minimum debt requirement than a few of its competitors. It also has a high 25% fee that clients must pay on their enrolled debt once their settlement occurs. The fact that it isn’t licensed in all 50 states also places it at a geographical disadvantage compared to its competitors.

How much can I save?

As mentioned above, clients, on average, pay half their enrolled debt balance before fees by the time they’re done with the program.

ClearOne shares that someone with a $26,000 outstanding debt at an 18% interest rate and 3% minimum monthly payment would pay a total of $47,639 after 10 years without debt relief. After completing its program, they would pay $19,500 and pay down the debt in four years. In this example, monthly payments would have been $748 but were reduced to $406 after ClearOne’s help.

How much does it cost?

You’ll have to pay a small monthly fee, which counts towards your settlement balance. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a percentage fee off your enrolled balance once ClearOne settles your account. This usually falls around a high 25%.

Will ClearOne Advantage hurt my credit?

Like with any debt relief service, you will likely see a drop in your credit score in the beginning. This is because as ClearOne negotiates on your behalf, you’ll be missing due payments, hence your payment history will take a hit. However, once you resume your new payment schedule, your payment history and credit score should begin to improve.

ClearOne Advantage details

Free quote or consultationYes
ServicesDebt resolution and settlement
Minimum Debt$10,000
Average turnaround3-4 months for first settlement; 24-60 months to complete program
Fees25% of enrolled debt
Types of debtUnsecured debt such as credit cards, medical debt and personal loans
AccreditationsConsumer Debt Relief Initiative
Direct or third-party negotiationsDirect
State availabilityAvailable in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia

Before you sign up with a debt relief company

Debt relief companies typically charge a percentage of a customer’s debt or a monthly program fee for their services. And not all companies are transparent about these costs or drawbacks that can negatively affect your credit score. Depending on the company you work with, you might pay other fees for setting up new accounts or third-party settlement services, 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.
  • Nonprofit credit counseling. Look for free debt-management help from nonprofit organizations like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

How to qualify for ClearOne Advantage

To qualify for ClearOne’s debt settlement service:

  • Have a minimum of $10,000 you owe
  • Must be unsecured debt (credit card, medical, personal and more)

How the debt settlement process works

ClearOne outlines four steps on its website to get started with debt relief.

  1. Contact a ClearOne certified debt specialist who guides you on the best solution. This step typically takes about 20 minutes.
  2. Get a personalized plan that fits your budget.
  3. Enroll in the plan and start making small monthly payments. These payments accumulate to resolve your debt.
  4. Let ClearOne Advantage negotiate with your creditors on your behalf.
  5. How ClearOne Advantage compares to other lenders

    Name Product Costs Money-back guarantee: Requirements
    Consolidated Credit
    Not rated yet
    Consolidated Credit
    Fees regulated by client's state of residence, can range from$0 to $69 with an average monthly fee of $35. No upfront or contingency fees.
    Debt must not be payday loans or secured loans.
    This debt settlement alternative can help you find a path to financial freedom.
    Accredited Debt Relief
    Charges and fees vary by the company you're ultimately connected with
    Must be at least 18 years old and a legal US resident; additional terms may apply based on services and products used.
    This A+ BBB-rated service offers free consultations to lower your monthly payments help you get out of debt faster.
    Freedom Debt Relief
    Not rated yet
    Freedom Debt Relief
    Monthly payment based on enrolled debt, no upfront fees
    Must have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt, have a hardship is preventing the ability to pay creditors, and live in a serviced state.
    Freedom Debt Relief works to help people with unmanageable, unsecured debt get back on their feet.
    National Debt Relief
    15–25% of total enrolled debt
    Must have a legitimate financial hardship which is preventing the ability to pay creditors and a minimum of $7,500 in debt.
    Get back on your feet with a top-rated company that works with multiple types of debt.
    Pacific Debt
    Not rated yet
    Pacific Debt
    15%–25% of total debt enrolled. Fees vary by state of residence.
    Reside in a state where PDI’s services are available and have $10,000+ of debt to enroll
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    ClearOne Advantage reviews and complaints

    BBB accredited No
    BBB rating N/A
    BBB customer reviews 2.9 out of 5 stars, based on 276 customer reviews
    Trustpilot Score 4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 8,692 customer reviews
    Customer reviews verified as of 02 February 2024

    ClearOne receives mixed reviews from clients. On the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) website, clients report significant drops in credit scores and higher-than-expected fees. It also has a BBB Alert pointing out a pattern of complaints concerning poor customer service and a lack of transparency over the program’s terms and conditions.

    Meanwhile, on Trustpilot, clients report positive experiences, such as encountering empathetic customer service professionals and knowledgeable staff.

    Is ClearOne Advantage legit?

    ClearOne is a legitimate company with more than 170,000 clients enrolled in its services. It has received mixed reviews across consumer review sites. It’s worth noting it faced a lawsuit in 2017, where Joseph M. Lischwe, the plaintiff, filed a complaint against ClearOne, stating that the company violated state laws and promoted deceptive trade practices.

    Risks to debt settlement

    Before you enroll in a debt settlement service, you should review the associated risks. Here are a few to begin with:

    • Damage to your credit. When you settle your debt, the amount usually isn’t paid in full on the borrower’s credit report. This means it still shows you owe the payment and will impact your score.
    • Tax implications. If your debt is canceled, forgiven or discharged for less than the amount owed, the amount of the canceled debt is taxable, according to the IRS.
    • Negotiation problems. If you sign up with a debt settlement company, creditors may reject the negotiation offer, and you could end up where you started.
    • Increased costs. Debt settlement is a service like any other and may require you to pay fees. Typically, this is a percentage of the amount of debt you wish to enroll. For someone already saddled in debt, paying extra fees may feel inconvenient.

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