National Debt Relief review

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

Bottom line: Low starting fees and higher-than-average savings make this debt relief company stand out from the competition — especially to those struggling with private student loan debt. But make sure you understand the risks before signing up. Read our full review.

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National Debt Relief details

Free quote or consultationYes
ServicesDebt settlement
Minimum debt$7,500
Typical turnaround24–48 months
Direct or third-party negotiationsDirect
Fees15–25% of total enrolled debt
Types of debt Unsecured debts, including private student loans on a case-by-case basis
AccreditationsAFCC, IAPDA, BBB
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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Pros

  • Offer a 100% money-back guarantee
  • Works with some student loans
  • Low minimum of $7,500

Cons

  • May result in a lower credit score
  • Only available in 42 states
  • Mixed customer reviews

What is National Debt Relief and is it legit?

National Debt Relief is a legitimate debt settlement company founded in 2009 and licensed to work with residents of 42 states as well as Washington, DC.

It's among the most recognized debt settlement services in the country. It's accredited with top industry associations, including the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). It's also accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). And it hasn't faced any issues with regulators — unlike some of its competitors.

Will National Debt Relief hurt my credit?

National Debt Relief only does a soft pull of your credit, which won't lower your score, during the application process. However, using National Debt Relief — or any debt settlement company — will have a negative impact on your credit. This is because you will likely need to stop paying your creditors while National negotiates your debts. And once settlements have been reached, your credit score may be negatively impacted by closed accounts or accounts that are marked as not paid in full.

With that being said, National Debt Relief has resources on tips to help you rebuild your credit after debt settlement. You can also read our guide on building credit for more ways to boost your score.

How National Debt Relief compares to other services

Not yet rated

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Minimum debt required

$7,500

Turnaround time

24–48 months

Costs

15–25% of total enrolled debt

Service

Debt settlement

Not yet rated

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Minimum debt required

$7,500 in unsecured debt.

Turnaround time

24 to 48 months

Costs

None at time of enrollment.

Service

Debt relief using direct negotiation with creditors.

National Debt relief reviews and complaints

BBB accreditedYes
BBB ratingA+
BBB customer reviews4.19 out of 5 stars, based on 931 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints214
Trustpilot score4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 32,690 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of27 January 2021

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 claim the company tried to keep the money they'd saved in their escrow account when they canceled their enrollment in the program.

How does National Debt Relief work?

National Debt Relief is a debt settlement service. For a fee, it'll 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 does it cost?

National Debt Relief typically charges between 15% 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 $2,346 and $3,910.

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 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.

Is it safe to use National Debt Relief?

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.

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.

Compare debt relief companies

Name Product Costs 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.
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.
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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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 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.

Frequently asked questions

Our answers to questions others ask about National Debt Relief.

What kind of account does National Debt Relief use for my settlement fund?

Your monthly payments go to an FDIC-insured trust account with Global Client Solutions, a company that provides account management services to the debt relief industry.

I'm a client. How do I log in to the National Debt Relief portal?

To log in to the National Debt Relief portal, go to its website and click Client login. Enter your email address and password and click Sign in.

Review by


Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 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.

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4 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    Jackie
    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?

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      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!

      Cheers,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    Linda
    July 13, 2018

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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Jhez
      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 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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