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National Debt Relief review

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Some customers claim to have saved, while others say they were hit with steep fees.

  • Best for debt settlement that includes student loans.
  • Pick something else if you want to avoid high fees after settlement.

$7,500 of qualifying debt

Minimum debt

24–48 months

Typical turnaround

18–25% of total enrolled debt


National Debt Relief details

ServicesDebt settlement with direct negotiations.
Minimum debt$7,500 of qualifying debt
Typical turnaround24–48 months
Fees18–25% of total enrolled debt
Types of debt Credit cards, personal loans, lines of credit, medical bills, collections and repossessions, business debts and some student loans; most secured debts don’t qualify.
AccreditationsInternational Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, American Fair Credit Council, Better Business Bureau.
RatingsA+ BBB rating, 9.4 Trustpilot rating.
Free resources or toolsBudget planner worksheet, debt relief calculator.
Customer servicePhone, email, live chat.
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Expert review

Anna Serio

Review by

Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer 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.

Expert review

Debt settlement shouldn’t be taken lightly: It can affect your ability to get credit in the future and isn’t worth it unless you have plans to stay out of debt afterward. But if bankruptcy sounds like your only other option, National Debt Relief might be able to help. There are no fees until after you complete its program, and it is highly rated by many of its users.

But debt relief can have a negative impact on your credit. Read our guide to debt consolidation before you sign up. You may also want to compare other debt relief companies to see how National Debt Relief stacks up to the competition.

How does National Debt Relief work?

National Debt Relief is a debt settlement service. For a fee, it will negotiate with your creditors to reduce the amount of debt you owe. Typically this takes between two and four years. While you’re enrolled, you’ll contribute to an escrow account that National Debt Relief will use to pay your creditors as the debts are settled.

How much could I save with National Debt Relief?

Clients who complete the program save an average of 30% to 50% of the debt they enroll in the program — including fees. But depends on how much debt you have and how successful National Debt Relief is in negotiating with your creditors.

It also depends on if you finish the program. Based on reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, some customers claim to have saved some money, while others claim to have ended up paying more than the original debt they owed.

How much does it cost?

National Debt Relief typically charges between 18% to 25% of the total debt you enroll over two to four years. However, your exact percentage depends on the amount you enroll and the state you live in.

What does this look like? To settle $10,000 of debt with an average interest rate of 15% over three years, you could end up with a total debt of $15,639.44 by the time you’re ready to negotiate.

Your fee would likely fall between $2,815 and $3,910.

What are the pros and cons of National Debt Relief?

  • Advertises no upfront fees
  • Offer a 100% money-back guarantee
  • Works with some student loans
  • Low minimum of $7,500
  • May result in a lower credit score
  • Only available in 42 states
  • Secured loans not accepted
  • Mixed customer reviews

Compare more debt relief companies

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Costs Requirements
National Debt Relief
18–25% 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 debt relief company that works with multiple types of debt.
Freedom Debt Relief
Monthly payment based on enrolled debt, no upfront fees
Must have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt and live in a serviced state.
Freedom Debt Relief is a debt settlement company that works to help people with unmanageable, unsecured debt get back on their feet.
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.
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
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.
American Credit Card Solutions
No upfront costs — settlement fees range from 15% to 25%, depending on your state of residence and amount of debt.
Must live in a state that American Credit Card Solutions serves, $10,000+ in unsecured debt, legitimate financial hardship which is preventing the ability to pay creditors
Overall positive customer ratings — but it's only available in 25 states.

Compare up to 4 providers

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 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.

National Debt relief reviews and complaints

Many people have had positive experiences with National Debt Relief — although many of the reviews come with the caveat that they haven’t finished the program. The few negative reviews complain about fees and unexpected costs, which unfortunately is common among debt relief companies.

While some customers claim they only had to pay a fraction of their debt thanks to the company, others left reviews stating they ended up paying more by enrolling in National Debt Relief’s program. And some claimed the company tried to keep the money they’d saved in their escrow account when they canceled their enrollment in the program.

Is National Debt Relief legit?

Yes, National Debt Relief is a legit company.It’s among the most recognized debt settlement services in the country, with high rankings from the BBB and Trustpilot reviewers.

It’s also accredited with top industry associations, including the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). And it’s been accredited with the BBB since 2013 and has an A+ rating based on factors like transparency and time in business.

Is it safe to use National Debt Relief?Norton and McAfee logos

Its website uses both McAfee and Norton security systems to protect your information from malware attacks and phishing. And your personal details are secured with industry-standard SSL encryption.

You’re also eligible for 90 days of identity theft coverage worth up to $100,000 after you enter your information on the site. Click the McAfee icon on the bottom of the page to sign up.

National Debt Relief is accredited with trade organizations like American Fair Credit Council and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators that set the standards for the debt settlement industry.

What is National Debt Relief?

National Debt Relief is a debt settlement company founded in 2009 and licensed to work with residents of 42 states as well as Washington, DC. It doesn’t provide exact numbers on how much you could save, but some customers have been able to cut their debt by over 50%. And in addition to debt relief, it also helps its clients pursue debt consolidation and settlement.

Who is eligible for debt relief?

To qualify for National Debt Relief, you must have at least $7,500 in debt and a demonstrable financial hardship that you cannot recover from. Financial hardship includes a divorce, unemployment, loss of income, the death of a spouse and unpaid taxes. National Debt Relief uses this proof of your financial hardship as leverage to negotiate with your creditors.

How do I get started?

With National Debt Relief, you can start the process over the phone by calling 855-459-1560, by visiting a local branch or online. Follow these steps to begin online:

  1. Click the Check my rate button on this page to be directed to National Debt Relief’s website.
  2. Select the amount of debt you’d like to settle and click Continue.
  3. Enter your contact information and click Click Here To See If You Qualify For Debt Relief.

A National Debt Relief representative will be in touch to discuss your situation and see if they can help.

I’ve signed up. What happens next?

Once you’ve enrolled in National Debt Relief’s debt settlement program, you can expect to go through the following steps:

  • Set up a payment plan. National Debt Relief works with you to set up a plan of how much you’ll pay into an account, from which it then pays your creditors and deducts its own fees.
  • Start paying into your settlement fund. National Debt Relief asks you to make monthly payments into an escrow account that it can eventually use to pay your debt settlement costs. This monthly payment is typically lower than monthly payments on your debt. While you can stop making payments on your debt if it’s unaffordable, you’ll end up paying more in the end.
  • National Debt Relief negotiates with your creditors. Once you have enough funds in your escrow account, National Debt Relief negotiates with creditors to settle your debt for a one-time payment. And it’s totally normal if it doesn’t work the first time.
  • Authorize payments from your settlement fund. While it’s not a guaranteed outcome, if your lender decides to settle, National Debt Relief pays off your debt using your funds. It also deducts its fee from your settlement fund.

3 tips to make using National Debt Relief a smart move

Follow these pointers to make the most of National Debt Relief’s debt settlement program:

  1. Don’t take on more debt. Qualifying for debt settlement is a clear indicator that you aren’t in a position to afford more debt.
  2. Stick to a budget. Take advantage of National Debt Relief’s free budget planner, and create a spending strategy to keep from missing payments to your settlement account.
  3. Keep in touch. Contact National Debt Relief’s customer service line whenever you have questions. If you have trouble staying on top of your monthly payments, let them know — it could help your case.

National Debt Relief provides a helpful service for those who aren’t able to handle their debt. But before you sign up, learn more about debt relief to see how it could impact your finances.

Frequently asked questions

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  1. Default Gravatar
    May 1, 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?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      May 2, 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!


  2. Default Gravatar
    July 13, 2018

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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      July 20, 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 counselling 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 a 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 debt relief article here.


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