Review of Debt Settlement Companies

The team at has tried to make it a little easier to find a reputable debt settlement company that can help you. We have conducted online searches, reviewed company history's and web sites, and called these ten companies to ask the tough questions that will help you select the right firm. Our goal was simple, find and rate reliable companies that we can recommend to you. Since most of the companies offer similar services with one low monthly payment, savings of 40%-60%, with 12, 18, 24 or 36 month plans our criteria for ranking each company is as follows:
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Ratings: Overall | Settlement Fees | Company Services | BBB Complaints | Comparison Chart

American Credit Group

BEST OVERALL - The choice was easy. This full service (work done in-house) company provides debt settlement services with one of the most affordable pricing models in the industry. American Credit Group only charges 10% of debts they settle with fees spread out over the full length of the program, unlike the industry standard 15% of your total debt paid in the first half of your program. Of the companies we included in our review this organization is the only one with 0 complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau in three years. They utilize trust accounts to secure your low monthly payments and you are automatically enrolled in their credit program to help you rebuild your credit during your financial hardship.

Rating: Best Overall

Total Debt Services

Total Debt Services another full service company ranks high overall based on their low number of BBB complaints (13) and their use of trust accounts to keep your money secure as you resolve your debt. They charge the industry standard 15% settlement fees. Their no pressure sales rep explained how their service works without making us feel obligated which was nice in this highly competitive industry. Only the lack of additional services and their middle of road pricing keeps them from competing for the top spot.

Rating: Very Good


When you review all of the categories Debtmerica seemed to be in the middle of the pack because they have some things we really like and things we really don't like. However the numbers added up and based on their low number of BBB complaints (15), the use of trust accounts to secure your money and the fact that they spread their fees out over your full term makes them pretty good. We didn't like that they are not a full service company. They use a third-party (Freedom Debt Relief - see below) to negotiate and settle your accounts. Their fees are also higher than the industry standard (17% settlement fee) and they are going to be even higher in late October. But they are very capable at a slightly higher price.

Rating: Good

Christian Debt Consolidators

This is another mixed bag with great reasons to use them and a couple of reasons you may want to consider another firm. Their fees are the industry standard 15% for settlement. However that will not be increasing anytime soon which may improve their rank on this list as other firms increase their fees.. Trust accounts are used and they also are one of the few companies who offer both debt settlement and consumer credit counseling which gives you more options.. However they are not a full service company. Their work is sent out to third parties. We are also concerned about the number of complaints registered with the BBB (43), All in all the pricing, security and program options still give you something to consider.

Rating: Okay

National Debt Resolution

Though they have not released any information about their new pricing model, their current fee structure is slightly below (14%) the industry standard and they have a manageable number of BBB complaints (18), They also work on your account in-house. Unfortunately they are missing something we think is very important to your success in a debt settlement program, a trust account. With National Debt Resolution you will have to save the funds necessary for settlement on your own. Asking a client who is struggling financially to save money on their own is discouraging since the consumer is reaching out for help. Good price, not enough help.

Rating: Okay

DMB Financial

DMB Financial is a leader in consumer protection. They have already instituted the post FTC regulation pricing model for their customers. They collect no advanced fees prior to settling your debt. They use trust accounts for your protection and the work is done in-house. However their fees are very expensive. They charge 40% of what they save you (see pricing for examples). If they had more reasonable pricing they would rank much higher on this list.

Rating: Okay

Oak View Law Group

Oak View Law Group is in fact a law group. However, when questioned about access to legal services two different reps informed us we would be referred to a law firm and have to pay for legal services separately. That combined with a significant retainer (5%) paid upfront, then a typical settlement fee 10% (15% combined) plus the most expensive trust account on our list makes this firm one that you will really want to research and consider prior to enrolling. Their BBB record (16 complaints) isn't bad and the work is done in-house. We just have concerns about the upfront fees and the expensive trust account.

Rating: Okay, but...

Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief is well known, accredited and has won several serivce awards. They also rated very high in our review for additional services. They are a service provider for other debt enrollment companies. The work is done in-house and they utilize trust accounts for your protection. However they currently charge a 5% retainer, then a settlement fee of 10% which combined is normal, but its heavy on the front-end. There are a significant number of BBB complaints (249). Granted they have a very large number of clients and proportionally their number of complaints is low. However, we feel that they should be able to resolve more issues before the client feels the need to go to a third-party for help.

Rating: Okay, but...

Superior Debt Relief Services

"...One of the first debt settlement companies and have been a trailblazer in the settlement industry for more than 10 years now," according to their web site. They do the work in-house and have a reasonable number of BBB complaints (17). However their fees are slightly higher than the industry standard (28% of savings) and they do not provide trust accounts for their clients. They believe it is better for clients to manage their own savings. We reiterate our belief that clients are hiring debt settlement companies for help. A trust account provides security and structure for clients in the middle of financial hardship. This is otherwise a very good company, however we can not over look the FTC recomended trust accounts.

Rating: Okay, but...

Credit Solutions

Over 250,000 people from every walk of life have entrusted Credit Solutions to help them become debt-free according to their web site.However that size has lead to far too many BBB complaints (1255). Add to that the fact that they do not provide trust accounts makes it very difficult for the team from to recommend Credit Solutions. Their fees are reasonable (15%) and they do the work in-house, but we are not willing to overlook the number of complaints. Almost all of their BBB complaints are resolved to their customers satisfaction. We, however, believe customer service should happen prior to the customer seeking a third-parties help.

Rating: Poor