First Choice Debt Relief review
Enroll as little as $8,000 — and pay nothing if you don't settle for less than what you owe.
- Best for settling smaller amounts of debt.
- Pick something else if you want to use a settlement service with more accreditations.
First Choice Debt Relief details
|Free quote or consultation||Yes|
|Services||Debt relief using direct negotiation with creditors|
|Minimum debt||$7,500 to $14,000, depending on your state|
|Typical turnaround||24 to 48 months|
|Direct or third-party negotiations||Direct|
|Fees||15% to 25% of enrolled debt|
|Types of debt||Credit card debt, medical bills, other unsecured debt; Private student loans and business loans may be eligible on a case-by-case basis|
|Ratings||A BBB rating, 4.5 Trustpilot rating as of April 14, 2022|
|Customer service||24/7 live chat, phone, email|
How does First Choice Debt Relief work?
First Choice Debt Relief is a debt settlement company that negotiates with your creditors on your behalf. You need to have at least $8,000 in unsecured debt to qualify. Once you sign up, you will begin making payments into an escrow account that you control — and First Choice begins working to settle your accounts for less than you owe. The process typically takes 24 to 48 months, and you can enroll a variety of unsecured debts.
The customer service representative we spoke with mentioned that First Choice Debt Relief also offers debt consultation and debt consolidation services to some borrowers, but we weren't able to find any additional information about these services.
How much does it cost?
Like other debt settlement services, First Choice isn't up front about the exact costs because it varies based on your finances, debts and state. The fine print on its website states that customers generally save 50% on their debts, 25% to 35% after fees. That makes for a range of 15% to 25% of the amount settled.
The customer service representative said that certain fees are rolled into the monthly payment. You won't pay any upfront fees, however, and you won't owe anything until First Choice settles an account for you.
How much could I save with First Choice Debt Relief?
In its fine print, First Choice says that customers save about 25% to 35% after the program is complete and all fees are paid — but results vary. Its top settlements page lists previously settled accounts from November 2019 to January 2020, and most seem to be settled for 40% or less.
Is First Choice Debt Relief legit?
Yes, First Choice Debt Relief is a legitimate service with a secure website. Its online form only requests your basic contact information, and if you aren't comfortable entering it, you can call to get started instead.
What are the pros and cons of First Choice Debt Relief?
First Choice Debt Relief is up front about most of its costs and your potential savings, but it lacks some important industry accreditations.
- Relatively transparent about potential costs
- Provides sample debt settlements
- Highly rated on BBB and Trustpilot
- Not accredited by AFCC or IAPDA
- May only save 25% or less after fees
- Doesn't accept all unsecured debts
Compare more debt relief options
First Choice Debt Relief reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 24 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||1|
|Trustpilot score||4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 705 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||20 October 2020|
First Choice Debt Relief receives a high volume of positive reviews from its customers. Many are grateful for the help negotiating debts and state that they were able to finish the program months in advance. The one recent negative review does say that First Choice wasn't up front about taxes — so keep in mind that you may need to pay income tax on the amount a creditor forgives.
When I called First Choice for more information, I spoke with a very helpful representative who answered all my questions. And even after I told the representative that I wouldn't be signing up, they still provided some helpful advice: No debt settlement company should charge any upfront fees. This was a quality customer service experience that backs up many of the reviews left on First Choice's Trustpilot and BBB pages, which is rare for many debt settlement companies I've spoken to over the phone.
How do I get started?
To see if First Choice Debt Relief is a good choice for you, follow these steps:
- Visit First Choice Debt Relief's website and choose See if you qualify.
- Select the amount of debt you have and your state.
- Enter your full name, phone number and email.
- Choose Find your debt relief options.
A representative will reach out to discuss your current debts and options. If you'd prefer not to wait, you can also call First Choice Debt Relief's customer service line.
I’ve signed up. What happens next?
Once you've signed up, you will need to discuss what debts you want to enroll in the program and set up your account. A First Choice representative will go over the specific steps you need to take, including how to start making payments into your account.
Before you sign up for First Choice Debt Relief, consider other debt relief options that may have a smaller impact on your credit.
Frequently asked questions
Kellye Guinan was a financer writer for Finder, covering everything from loans from auto to personal to business finance.
First Choice Debt Relief is one of the few debt settlement companies that accept unsecured debts as low as $8,000. It earns high ratings from its former customers, and it doesn’t boast unrealistic savings.
However, it isn’t accredited by industry organizations like the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) or the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA). And while First Choice averages savings of 50% for its customers, you may only save 25% to 35% after fees are taken out.
You should compare multiple debt settlement companies and get competing quotes before you sign up for any program.