- Minimum debt
- Typical turnaround
- 3-4 months for first settlement; 24-60 months to complete program
- 25% of enrolled 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.
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
Have to complete monthly payment plan to creditors
Higher $10,000 minimum debt requirement than competitors
Could impact your credit score
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 consultation
|Debt resolution and settlement
|3-4 months for first settlement; 24-60 months to complete program
|25% of enrolled debt
|Types of debt
|Unsecured debt such as credit cards, medical debt and personal loans
|Consumer Debt Relief Initiative
|Direct or third-party negotiations
|Available 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.
- Contact a ClearOne certified debt specialist who guides you on the best solution. This step typically takes about 20 minutes.
- Get a personalized plan that fits your budget.
- Enroll in the plan and start making small monthly payments. These payments accumulate to resolve your debt.
- Let ClearOne Advantage negotiate with your creditors on your behalf.
- 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.
How ClearOne Advantage compares to other lenders
ClearOne Advantage reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews
|2.9 out of 5 stars, based on 276 customer reviews
|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:
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