No one wants to be stuck with a bunch of debt. But what are you supposed to do if you have debt and can’t seem to get out of it? If nothing else has worked for you in the past, it might be time to consider debt settlement as an option. US News recently announced the best debt settlement companies of 2021. Sticking to this list can help you avoid getting taken advantage of by a fraudulent organization posing as debt relief.
What Is Debt Settlement?
Before digging into which organizations US News has determined to be the best debt settlement companies, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of this type of debt relief. Debt settlement isn’t like other kinds of debt relief because the aim is to actually lower the amount you’ll pay back to your creditors, not just negotiate a lower payment or interest rate.
In essence, debt settlement is a negotiation. You send money to a debt relief agency instead of paying your lenders as normal. Those payments are then set aside in a dedicated account that’s used to negotiate a lump-sum payment that’s often substantially lower than what you previously owed.
The idea is that your creditors will want to get some kind of payment from you rather than leaving things up to chance. Getting a lump sum means they can write off any losses incurred from the loan and move forward. While this sounds almost too good to be true, there are a few downsides that need to be considered before you jump headfirst into debt settlement.
First, you’re going to take a hit to your credit score when you take this path. By not paying your bills, you’re demonstrating to lenders that it’s likely you won’t repay them if they give you money. While most people who need to consider debt settlement are okay with this tradeoff, it’s worth noting so you’re not surprised after you’ve already started the process. Additionally, you might have to pay taxes on any settled debt, as it’s sometimes considered income. This is still much preferable to having to pay back your full debt; but it’s another thing to keep in mind so you’re not surprised during tax season.
Best for Top Accreditation
The first enterprise listed on the US News review of the best debt settlement organizations is Freedom Debt Relief. This is a company that has been around for almost 20 years, and has a long history of helping people beat their debt. There are a few important things to highlight about Freedom Debt Relief:
- They are able to help consumers with a variety of unsecured debt types, including credit cards and medical bills.
- They have high accreditations—American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and IAPDA Platinum accreditations to their name.
- They have assisted over 650,000 people resolve in excess of $10 billion in debt. This shows their commitment to helping people get to the other side of their debt.
It’s wise to check out some other 2021 Freedom Debt Relief reviews in order to get a clearer idea of what they can do for you. Furthermore, doing this can help you get a better understanding if debt settlement, or another kind of program, will actually work best in your situation.
Why Choose Freedom Debt Relief?
You’ve already seen some of the basic facts about Freedom Debt Relief. But oftentimes, seeing what other consumers have said about a company is more telling than anything else. These are a few excerpts of reviews on Consumer Affairs about Freedom Debt Relief and their services:
- “I’m so grateful to the staff of Freedom Debt Relief. It’s been a struggle at times, but it also has been a positive crossroad to knowing in just a few more years, I can look back and be proud of what I have now accomplished in my life. This is the best decision I have ever made for myself.” – Deborah of San Francisco, CA
- “I have had a excellent experience with FDR. They listened, got me where I needed to be, and stuck with me the entire time. It has been a journey worth taking. They are faster than other businesses my friends and family use, their website is full of material, but mostly I enjoyed the dashboard and seeing my progress. I highly recommend them and don’t be scared to join. You’ll see it’s worth it.” – Andrea of Gates, NC
These are just two of the more than 3,300 reviews for Freedom Debt Relief left on Consumer Affairs over the past year alone. They have a strong rating from consumers, with an overall 4.5 out of 5-star rating. When so many people have had a positive experience, it can help you feel better about choosing a service. Debt settlement is something where you really want to choose the right company to work with you. Looking at the best debt settlement companies out there in 2021, Freedom Debt Relief definitely resides at the top of the list.