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      October 1, 2020

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  1. Credit.org
  2. CuraDebt
  3. SoFi
  4. Upstart
  5. LendingTree
  6. LendingClub
  7. Avant

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Best Debt Relief Programs

Debt Relief is more important now than ever before. Across the country, millions of people are finding it more and more difficult to meet their financial obligations. As mortgage interest rates rise, Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) payments skyrocket. Credit card late fees continue to climb higher.

Lenders keep offering credit to people who are in desperate need of help, but this only prolongs the problem, and often ends up simply increasing the total debt owed by a person. Thankfully, there are a number of opportunities available if you find yourself in this situation. Debt Consolidation, Repayment plans, and Debt Consolidation Loans are just some of the options you can pursue.

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Best Reviews

2020

Debt Relief Reviews

5 stars
National Debt Relief

NATIONAL DEBT RELIEF Visit Site

Cost:

National Debt Relief offers a free consultation to examine your financial situation. Based on this analysis, they can offer you a custom debt solution with no upfront fees.

New Customers: 1-888-979-9776

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award National Debt Relief specializes in creating custom financial solutions for customers with $7,500 or more in unsecured debt. They take a proven, thoughtful approach in developing their personalized debt relief plans, and have helped over 100,000 customers get out of debt since 2009.

The National Debt Relief website is clean and customer-friendly. To start, you simply fill out their online form or call their dedicated debt help line at 1-888-979-9776. You'll discuss your financial situation with one of their certified debt counselors, who will walk you through a free debt analysis. Their staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and together you will create a plan to pay off your debts for less than you owe. Best of all, you can get started on your plan with no upfront fees.

The professionals at National Debt Relief are experts at debt settlement and debt negotiation. They have many debt settlement letters proving how they’ve saved their customers thousands of dollars. Of course, the amount of savings can vary from customer to customer based on a variety of factors. Once you create your custom debt relief plan with them, they'll be able to tell you how much you can expect to save in your situation.

One of the things we liked about National Debt Relief is that they've earned an "A+" rating as an accredited business with the BBB. Part of this rating is due to their 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with their service, you can cancel at any time without penalties or fees. This is another strong feature that separates National Debt Relief from most other debt relief companies.

For people suffering under a large amount of debt, National Debt Relief is a fantastic option. Their knowledgeable, friendly approach has a proven track record of success, while their strong BBB rating and satisfaction guarantee confirms their focus on the customer. If you want to get out from under the debt load you're facing, National Debt Relief (1-888-979-9776) is a great place to start. They earn our highest rating.

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4.5 stars
Credit.org

CREDIT.ORG Visit Site

Cost:

Most of the services offered are free. Some of the coaching services have a nominal fee depending on your circumstances.

Credit.org has a stellar reputation spanning more than 45 years in operation. Also known as Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, this service offers non-profit financial coaching for a wide range of credit and debt concerns, including housing (foreclosure, reverse mortgage, pre-purchase), bankruptcy, student loans, and debt relief. The BBB rates credit.org as an "A+" accredited business across all of the services provided. Additionally, credit.org is accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

One of the most compelling reasons for considering credit.org is that many of their services are free of charge. For example, here's what you get when you choose to use their Debt and Credit Coaching:

  • Complete Financial Review
  • Free Credit Education
  • Debt Resolution Options and Suggestions
  • Resources and Referrals
  • Personalized Financial Action Plan
  • Ongoing Support

Yes, you understood that correctly: you'll pay absolutely nothing to use credit.org's phone coaching for these services. Because this service is funded by donations and government grants, you are able to access a wealth of support at no cost to you.

Now, that's not to say that everything is free when you use credit.org for debt relief coaching. For example, if you're looking for a more traditional debt management plan - to help you pay off your debt faster, reduce your interest rates, create a realistic budget, consolidate payments, and/or stop collection calls - you may pay a small enrollment fee along with monthly service costs.

What are those fees? They vary according to a number of factors. After our investigation, we can tell you to anticipate an enrollment cost of around $35 and monthly fees up to $20. Your exact costs will depend on the state where you live, your personal situation, and whether you qualify for a reduction or waiver of your fees due to hardship. Unfortunately, we couldn't find specifics from credit.org about their eligibility requirements for those reductions/waivers.

We really appreciate that credit.org has so much to offer at no charge. And, for many consumers, some knowledgeable, friendly coaching may be all they need for debt relief - to identify the best steps to take next and the ideal resources to get them there. Plus, credit.org's fantastic reputation over nearly 5 decades is a huge advantage in an industry where it seems like some new financial or debt service is always popping up. For their wide range of services, including free coaching for consumers, credit.org earns very high marks and is worth your consideration.

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4.5 stars
CuraDebt

CURADEBT Visit Site

Cost:

CuraDebt counselors provide a free consultation to analyze your debt situation. Based on these results, they can refer you to either commission-based or fixed-fee programs.

Specializing in providing financial solutions for total unsecured (or tax debts) of $10,000 or greater, the founders of CuraDebt have been in business since 1996 providing financial advice along with creditor negotiations, settlement, and arbitration services to both individuals and small businesses. CuraDebt expanded nationally in 2000 through their web presence and has successfully helped thousands of people escape their debt issues.

On your initial free, confidential consultation, CuraDebt takes the time to understand your current financial situation, as well as your short-term and long-term goals. CuraDebt has access to the top A+ rated professionals and companies in the industry. Based on a thorough understanding of what you want to accomplish, CuraDebt will connect you with the right staff that can best help you reach your goals.

In addition to debt negotiation and debt settlement, CuraDebt counselors can help advise regarding debt consolidation plans, debt management plans, consumer credit counseling, tax debt relief, and more. Their skilled professionals are knowledgeable about each of these services, and can review the best options with you.

If you sign up with CuraDebt's online form, make sure you provide a valid phone number and email address. With your initial call, you'll be assigned a friendly, experienced financial counselor to help guide you through your financial options. This person develops a knowledge of your personal financial situation and works with you to create a comprehensive solution to meet your needs. They also stay in contact with you while you progress through your debt resolution plan, until you've reached your financial goals. This is a great benefit, since your goals may change and it's good to have a familiar, knowledgeable expert readily available to answer any questions you may have.

If you have unsecured or tax debts totaling $10,000 or more, CuraDebt is a terrific choice. They are experts in a wide variety of debt relief options and can provide you with a comprehensive solution that meets your needs. With knowledgeable counselors, extensive resources, and proven results, this dependable company earns an excellent rating.

Note: CuraDebt services are not available to residents in the following states: CT, GA, KS, ND, SC, VT, WA, WV, PA, PR, OR.

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4 stars
SoFi

SOFI Visit Site

Cost:

Varies

SoFi, short for "Social Finance", bills itself as a modern personal finance company, and its clean, crisp, easy-to-use website definitely matches that description. And they're clearly making an impact in the lending industry. SoFi currently has a variety of products, including personal loans, mortgage loans and refinancing, student loan refinancing, and more.

SoFi's application process is straightforward: enter your personal information, such as your name and address, current employer and annual wages/salary, and post-secondary education information, and if SoFi is able to confirm your information you'll be able to see the loan and terms for which you qualify. If they are not able to confirm your data, you will be asked to enter your Social Security Number.

There is an easy-to-miss link at the bottom of the site called "Eligibility Criteria". We encourage potential borrowers to look through the information there, as several states are excluded from their personal loan program, and there are other state-specific details to be aware of. Also, it states that personal loan recipients must be US citizens or permanent resident aliens, be of the age of majority in their state of residence, and must be currently employed.

We love that SoFi publishes its personal loan rates and that there are no prepayment penalties or origination fees: "what you see is what you get". Their loan rates are consistently very competitive with other loan companies.

Loan terms from 2 to 7 years were available for both fixed and variable interest rate loans, in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

SoFi also has several unique perks that we like, from referral bonuses for new members referred by current borrowers (both parties get a cash benefit), to unemployment protection that suspends payments required from borrowers - for up to 12 months over the course of the repayment term - who lose their job through no fault of their own. SoFi even provides help through its Career Strategy department to assist borrowers in their search for a new job!

If you're in the market for a personal loan, you'll definitely want to take a look at what SoFi has to offer. We give them a strong recommendation because of their low interest rates, transparency, and lack of loan fees.

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3.5 stars
Upstart

UPSTART Visit Site

Cost:

Varies

Upstart is a peer-to-peer lending platform founded by former Googlers. At first glance, the site is neat and includes finance-related images such as pie charts and percentage signs to emphasize their purpose, which is to help people achieve their financial goals. The fonts are large, allowing easy reading, very helpful since financial information can be overwhelming. The site allows one to process information while pacing the reader through use of space and letter size.

Professional in look, the site however does not hope to impress in graphics or photos of people enjoying newfound financial freedom. Instead, the site uses facts and figures to communicate a serious, all-business tone. The only downside to this setup is that if a customer is not familiar with loans or borrowing lingo, they might be lost until they scroll to the bottom of the Home page to click on "Contact Us".

For customers who aren't sure where to begin, Upstart has a "Get Started" icon which asks them what they want to do. Upstart offers help with loan consolidation, paying off credit cards, paying medical bills, buying a car or other big purchases. Such a wide range of services is comforting to those seeking financial advice. The site also provides education to help you prepare for future financial decisions.

With respect to personal loans, Upstart is efficient. You can apply online and find out your rate within a few minutes. You're asked simple questions about your income and education history. Upstart then presents you with loan terms and options for payment. Once a customer agrees to the terms of the loan, funds are issued - sometimes, by the next business day. If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.

Upstart's reputation is very solid - you'll quickly see links to articles on prominent sites like Fox, Bloomberg, and other news agencies, along with testimonials from satisfied clients. Their underwriting model uses machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to underwrite borrowers based on many variables, including but not limited to credit score, income, education, and employment. Such details helped us gain more confidence in the success of this company's services.

We found the blog articles very helpful. With topics ranging from selecting health insurance to saving money on groceries, a person seeking financial security could benefit from the wisdom these articles offer. Unfortunately, this tool is found at the bottom of the Home page. The website would function more effectively if they included this option at the top of the page along with "Contact" and "Team" information because it is on these pages where we found answers to our initial questions.

While Upstart's website is good, it could use some enhancements to make it more user friendly. Still, Upstart earns high marks for their quick processing of loan applications and many helpful financial features.

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4 stars
LendingTree

LENDING TREE Visit Site

Cost:

Varies

LendingTree is one of the most recognized names in the personal loan market. They connect borrowers with a wide variety of lenders that can meet their debt relief needs with loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.

As a connection service rather than a direct debt relief lender, the loan products that LendingTree offers and their terms and conditions naturally vary with each individual lender. One advantage of using LendingTree is the ability to survey multiple lenders' debt relief offers without having to disclose one's personal information to those lenders. You only have to make yourself known when you've made the decision to apply for the loan that best fits your debt relief needs. Borrowers can also use offers obtained on LendingTree to negotiate directly with lenders; LendingTree provides customers with lenders' direct contact information for that very purpose.

If you choose to research debt loans using LendingTree, be aware that you will need to provide your credit score, which is used by lenders to determine if they would like to compete for your business. Even if you have a low credit score, you may still receive loan offers, because LendingTree works with such a large variety of lenders.

One thing to note is that LendingTree's main website takes you to the page for entering your information to get started in the loan process. Other than that, there is very little information on that page. We were able to determine that entering your personal information will not impact your credit report or your credit score, although we would have liked to see that fact clearly spelled out on LendingTree's landing page.

With a solid A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, reliable history, and its ability to connect debt relief borrowers with a wide range of potential lenders, we give LendingTree good marks.

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4 stars
LendingClub

LENDINGCLUB Visit Site

Cost:

The current loan rates at LendingClub range from 6.16% to 35.89%

For those looking for debt relief, traditional debt consolidation loans may not be the most affordable option. Other solutions, such as a personal loan, may be cheaper in the long run. LendingClub is a top leader in the social lending market and facilitates personal loans. A social lender simply means that individuals can provide the financing for personal loans. LendingClub's role is to bring together borrowers and lenders via a sophisticated and secure website. Without a bank in the mix, borrowers are typically able to get a lower interest rate on their personal loan.

LendingClub currently holds an "A" Better Business Bureau rating and helps facilitate thousands of loans for happy customers and lenders each month. Shoppers can expect a loan rate between 6.95% and 35.89%. Best APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit.

To see if a lender is available for your needs is easy. You simply input the amount you want to borrow, what the loan is for, and your credit score, contact information, and income level. LendingClub then validates this information before presenting you with the loan terms available. Once you choose a loan, personal lenders have a few days to fund your request. Borrowers with a better credit rating typically have an easier time attracting those lenders. In the end, not all customers have lenders that are willing to work with them.

If questions come up, you can speak to a LendingClub representative for assistance. Like any peer-to-peer lending company, a fee is built into the loan in order to cover costs. Also, you can anticipate a one-time processing fee that ranges from 1% to 6% of the loan amount, depending on your loan and loan terms.

If you're looking for an affordable debt relief plan that involves a personal loan between $1,000 and $40,000, LendingClub may be a solution that works better for your financial situation over traditional debt relief options.

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3.5 stars
Avant

AVANT Visit Site

Cost:

Varies by lender

Avant is one of the newest providers in the debt consolidation loans marketplace. They opened their doors in 2012 and received their first accreditation with the Better Business Bureau in March 2015. They currently have an A+ rating with the BBB.

Avant provides access to one of the larger ranges of debt consolidation loans available, anywhere from $2,000 to $35,000. Loans through the Avant platform include terms from 2 to 5 years. As an example, a $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

Avant's debt consolidation loan application and approval process is very simple:

  • You provide basic information about yourself, such as your full name and address, income details, and social security number
  • After you receive your electronic loan offer, you digitally sign the contract they send
  • If approved, you could receive your money as soon as the very next business day‡

Although Avant is relatively new to the online lending business, the Avant platform has issued more than $1 Billion in loans with over 450,000 customers. Their Chicago offices hold nearly 500 employees that are dedicated to providing affordable loans to consumers in need, and they bring a professionalism and dedication that is welcome to this industry.

There are no extra charges for prepayment of your consolidation loan, although late fees may apply if a payment is missed. Customer service is available 7 days a week.

Another area where Avant earns high marks is in how quickly they provide access to funds. The Avant platform can often provide funding for your loan as soon as the next business day‡ through direct deposit.

We're encouraged to see this lending platform enter the debt consolidation marketplace and earn such a high BBB rating in such a short period of time. With the quick loan application process and lack of exorbitant fees, Avant easily earns very good marks.

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Continued from above

However, not all debt relief companies and plans are the same. You need to find the right debt relief solution, and just as importantly, the right debt relief company, to work with in order to address your financial needs.

With all the debt-related offerings available, it can sometimes be confusing when examining the different debt relief programs and companies. When comparing your debt relief options, there are a number of important features you should consider. Some of these include:

  • Solutions.  Does the company only offer one debt relief solution? Or are they well-versed in a number of options? Having a variety of choices means they can find the right debt relief program that fits your specific needs.
  • Cost.  How does the debt relief company get paid? The best ones will earn their money from a percentage of what they save you; that way, they only get paid if you save money.
  • Dependability.  There are many fly-by-night debt relief organizations out there. How long has the company been in business? Are they affiliated with the BBB (Better Business Bureau)? Is this a company you can trust?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best debt relief programs available today. We hope these reviews help you in your quest to become debt-free!

What To Do When You Find Yourself Deeply in Debt

If debt is mounting and you continually find yourself struggling every month, it may be time to seek debt relief. An important part of selecting the best way to eliminate your debt is to realize when it's time to ask for help. Debt consolidation and debt settlement programs are both very popular ways to help consumers get out of debt in a short period of time, but are they right for you? Neither of these programs are available for people who are simply tired of paying their bills, but they are available to those who are already late with payments, have bills in collections or have had a sudden change in their income.

There are a number of non-profit organizations currently offering debt management services, which include both debt consolidation and debt settlement. Some companies may offer both, while others may specialize in one or the other. In order to be eligible for either of these programs, you must be able to show that there is not sufficient income to pay your bills as they currently require. If this sounds like your situation, debt relief may be just a phone call away.

If you are receiving calls from your creditor's collections department, speak with them openly and honestly regarding your situation. Once you have signed up with a debt management company specializing in either debt consolidation or debt settlement, inform your creditor(s) of the name and telephone number of the company. In most cases, this will stop the collection calls while the creditor verifies the information that you provided. By explaining the fact that you are working with a company who will be submitting a proposal on your behalf, most creditors will accept this information as your good faith desire to repay your debts. As the telephone begins to stop ringing, you will gain some much needed relief from the stress associated with being constantly reminded of your financial woes.

When a debt management company sends your proposed new monthly payments, interest rates and/or debt settlement offers, the creditor(s) will either accept or deny the offer. Within weeks, you will be informed of their decision and will have the ability to call the debt management agency to remain updated with creditor's responses. After 1-3 months of consecutive payments made through a debt relief agency, most creditors will begin to list your account as current with credit reporting agencies.

It is recommended that consumers check their credit report periodically in order to maintain the accuracy of the content and to prevent them from being a victim of identity theft. Each year, you are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. If you enroll in a debt consolidation or debt settlement program, it's a good idea to check your credit report prior to enrollment and then again after six months. When you compare the two timeframes, you will likely see a great improvement as creditors begin to receive their payments and update your credit reports accordingly. If any of the information is inaccurate, you can file a dispute with the credit reporting agency and get the corrected version updated in a short amount of time.

Dealing with debt is not an easy task. In fact, it can be a very exhausting experience. Once you have faced your finances and made an important step toward eliminating your debt, your life will begin to improve right along with your credit score.

 

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