Does anyone have experience using services from National Debt Relief?
I am not advocating for this company; just curious to see if anyone has ever used their services and what the outcome was. And just to clarify - I'm not talking about programs aimed at debt relief, I am talking about the actual company :-)
Never used them, never would.
"National Debt Relief is a debt settlement company that negotiates on behalf of consumers to lower their debt amounts with creditors.
The company says consumers who complete its debt settlement program reduce their enrolled debt by 30% after its fees, according to the company.
But NerdWallet cautions that debt settlement, whether through National Debt Relief or any of its competitors, is risky:
- Debt settlement can be costly.
- It can destroy your credit.
- It takes a long time. Getting any net benefit requires sticking with a program long enough to settle all your debts — often two to four years.
NerdWallet recommends debt settlement only as a last resort for those who are delinquent or struggling to make minimum payments on unsecured debts and have exhausted all other options."
DnA I know you are looking for someone with direct experience. I recently spoke with National Debt Relief and several other similar companies. I then spoke with the ACCC (non-profit credit counseling), TransUnion (credit reporting agency), and several of my creditors. I learned that a bankruptcy would have a shorter duration impact on my credit score as, despite strong claims by National Debt Relief to the contrary, the settled accounts show as settled for 7 years (just like a bankruptcy). Prior to that 7 year window starting, the accounts must experience 1-3 years of non-payment and move into collections before the debt settlement company even picks up the phone to talk to the creditors. So typical credit impact is very severe up front, along with collections calls, etc, for one or more years. Then followed by a 7 year lasting notation on the accounts on your credit report. Impact is then 8-10 years vs 7 for a bankruptcy.
I highly recommend you speak with the credit councilors (real ones, not the 'credit councilors' at National Debt Relief) at an organization like ACCC first. It turned out with some budget adjustments I was going to be able to pay off what felt like insurmountable credit card debt in just 36 months without even a debt management plan (and here I was considering bankruptcy!). If interest rates are what are killing you and you really can't make headway, then a debt management plan is an agreement, brokered by someone like ACCC, to pay off and close your credit accounts over a 24-48 month period (based on your ability to pay), in exchange for reducing interest rates to around 8-10%. ACCC charges $5 per credit card they manage under such a plan and you make a single payment to them, which they distribute for fastest payoff. For me it would only have saved me 1 month of payoff time because I could shift budget around and prioritize the right card to pay down on my own. It is better for me to have the credit lines paid off but not closed, to get my score back up.
I really hope you find this feedback helpful and I hope that whoever you work with in the end turns out to be a positive experience!