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National Debt Relief
Minimum debt
$10,000
Typical turnaround
24–48 months
Fees
15% to 25%

Our verdict

National Debt Relief (NDR) has great customer ratings, but the service could come with high fees.

Founded in 2009, National Debt Relief says it has helped hundreds of thousands of people get out of debt. It can help reduce the debt you own on credit cards and medical bills and stands out by including private student loan debt as part of its service — something most competitors don’t. But the program doesn’t work for everyone, and some customers report ending up in deeper debt than what they originally owed after using the program.

Best for: People in debt and facing bankruptcy as their only other option.

Pros

  • Certain private student loans eligible for settlement
  • Low debt requirement: $10,000
  • High rankings on reputable customer review websites

Cons

  • Will impact your credit score
  • Interest on unpaid debt continues to accrue, as well as any late fees
  • Slight chance creditors can sue you during negotiations

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

What makes National Debt Relief shine?

National Debt Relief stands out for including certain private student loans among its services — a rarity among competitors. It also has high rankings across user feedback websites like Trustpilot and ConsumerAffairs.com.

Where National Debt Relief falls short

National Debt Relief may not work for all customers, as you need to prove financial hardship such as job loss or divorce that keeps you from paying off your debt. And while National Debt Relief has overall good user reviews, the negative ones state that people ended up with more debt than before they went into the program.

While NDR is negotiating a settlement, you need to deposit money into an FDIC-insured account. Once a debt settlement is reached, money from this account gets disbursed to pay your creditors.

How much can I save?

Clients who stay with the program and settle their debt see savings of 50% before fees, or 30% including fees, according to National Debt Relief. However, it’s important to stick to your payments once your debt is settled. This could prevent you from accruing any other fees and interest charges from your creditors.

How much does it cost?

After your debts are settled, you can expect to pay 15% to 25% of the total debt enrolled as part of your monthly payment. So, if you enroll $50,000 in debt, you may owe a total fee of $7,500. During the negotiation process, you’d need to make monthly payments to an FDIC-insured account, from which funds were disbursed to creditors after a settlement is reached.

Will National Debt Relief hurt my credit?

Because National Debt Relief requires you to stop making monthly payments on enrolled debt until the company can reach a settlement, these debts are marked as delinquent on your credit report and your credit score will likely take a hit. Missed payments can remain on your credit report for up to seven years.

National Debt Relief details

Free quote or consultationYes
ServicesDebt negotiation and settlements
Minimum Debt$10,000
Average turnaround24–48 months
Fees15% to 25%
Types of debtUnsecured credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, lines of credit, collections, some private student loans.
AccreditationsBetter Business Bureau (BBB)
Direct or third-party negotiationsDirect and third-party negotiations.
State availabilityNot available in: Oregon, Vermont, West 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 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.
  • Debt settlement. If you can 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.

How to qualify for National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief works with various clients. Here are some eligibility requirements:

  • At least $10,000 in debt
  • Have unsecured debt
  • Be a resident of a state NDR works in

How the debt settlement process works

When you enroll in a debt consolidation program, National Debt Relief works with your creditors, such as banks, and attempts to negotiate a lower amount than you owe. National Debt Relief can also provide a debt consolidation loan you can use to pay off your debt. You’ll then owe National a monthly loan payment.

Here are the steps to enroll:

  1. Visit National Debt Relief’s website
  2. Call 888-823-7274
  3. Get your free consultation
  4. Wait as National Debt Relief builds you a personalized plan and reaches a debt settlement.

How National Debt Relief compares to other lenders.

Name Product Costs Money-back guarantee: Requirements
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.
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National Debt Relief reviews and complaints

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 4.71 out of 5 stars, based on 3034 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 38,727 customer reviews.
Customer reviews verified as of 18 January 2024

National Debt Relief has overall good customer reviews on reputable websites like Trustpilot. Many users praise them for excellent customer service and open communication.

Is National Debt Relief legit?

National Debt Relief has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). National Debt Relief has closed more than 256 complaints in the past five years. The organization also settled charges from the Minnesota Department of Commerce about its debt settlement services in June 2021. (1) It has a physical office in New York City.

Risks to debt settlement

Before you commit to a debt settlement program, be aware of these risks:

  • Interest continues to accrue on your debt while NDR negotiates a settlement.
  • Your creditors may sue you in the process.
  • There’s no guarantee NDR will reach a settlement agreement.
  • The forgiven debt is subject to taxes.
​​

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Anna Finder

Editor

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Jackie

April 30, 2019

If decide to enroll in a debt settlement plan, can I keep one credit card active and make payments to avoid not having a credit card open for such things as rental car or hotel stay where credit card is mandatory?


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nikkiangco

May 01, 2019

Hi Jackie,


Thanks for reaching out to Finder!


It’s helpful to know that if you want to settle your credit card debt, you can’t keep using your credit card. If you decide to stop making credit card payments, your creditor usually closes your account.


Hope this clarifies!


Cheers,

Nikki


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Linda

July 12, 2018

I have no income what is the best way to get debt relief?


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Jhezelyn Finder

July 19, 2018

Hello Linda,


Thank you for your comment.


There are two principal debt-relief options: debt settlement and bankruptcy. Both of these methods of debt relief will affect your credit score. Getting a debt consolidation loan or using a credit counseling service, might be one of your options as well.


I am sorry to hear about you having no income. You may refer to the steps below on how to deal with debt without an income:

– Create a Survival Budget

– Prioritize Your Debts

– Negotiate With Your Creditors

– Explore Other Sources of Income or find a temporary work

– Available public assistance programs may help

– Debt Consolidation

– Debt Settlement


You may want to check our list of debt relief companies.


Regards,

Jhezelyn


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