TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

When debt becomes unmanageable and bankruptcy seems inevitable, one last option is debt settlement. National Debt Relief assists customers in tough financial situations by negotiating with creditors to help lower their total debt. With its debt-reduction program, you put away money each month while the service works with your creditors. Once they come to an agreement, you pay a lump sum that is lower than your original debt, and your creditors write off the rest.

National Debt Relief charges competitive fees so you benefit from the majority of the debt negotiation. It is accredited with the top debt associations and councils, and it has an excellent business rating. Because of its low fees and stand-up business practices, we award National Debt Relief our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for debt settlement services.

Cost & Reduction
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8.8/10
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This service keeps its fees low so you see the benefits of its negotiations with your creditors. To be eligible to use this service, you must have at least $7,500 in eligible debt, which includes unsecured debt such as credit cards, store charge cards, unsecured loans and medical bills, among other debt. You can receive a free consultation online to see if you qualify. Once you enroll your eligible debt, this service begin negotiating with your creditors. You begin making monthly payments into a trust account over which you have complete control; you own the money you put in and all interest accrued, and you can remove the funds at any point without penalty. Once the service and your creditors reach an agreement, those funds pay off the settled amount in one lump sum, and your creditors consider the debt repaid.

It is vital to note that the negotiations between National Debt Relief and your creditors in no way remove your responsibility for your debt, including late fees and interest. You are still responsible for the debt, and your creditors are under no obligation to accept negotiations. Be aware that creditors and collection agencies may continue to contact you and attempt to collect payments.

On average, creditors write off around 50% of your debt, and this debt settlement company charges between 18% and 25% of the total enrolled debt. This means that you enjoy a reduction of around 30% of your debt. As of Oct. 2010, debt settlement companies cannot charge advanced fees for debt settlement, and National Debt Relief complies with that law. Further, it does not charge monthly fees for its services, as some companies continue to charge. This means you pay nothing until one of your debts is settled, and the fee you pay is a portion of the settled amount rather than a set fee.

Service Features
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10/10
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The average term for a settlement program with this service is between two and four years, which is typical. Some services advertise shorter terms, but ultimately the term depends on how much debt you have and how much you can contribute to your trust account. This service uses Global Client Services to manage your trust account, which is one of the leading trust services and is utilized by a large portion of the debt settlement industry. As mentioned above, you have complete control over the account, though you should not remove the funds while you are participating in a settlement program, as the funds need to be available when one of your debts is settled.

When choosing a debt settlement company, the information it chooses to disclose on its website is a clear indicator of the type of company it is, and National Debt Relief proves it is a stand-up company. It does not sugarcoat the severity of debt settlement. It is upfront and honest about the negative effects it can have on your credit as well as the fact that it may not be able to settle all of your debt. While this is not necessarily what you want to hear, it is honest, which is better than hollow promises it cannot live up to. It discloses the necessary legal information as well as its average debt reduction and the fees it charges. You also can manage your account online so you know where you stand with your settlement at all times.

Accreditations
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10/10
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7.5

National Debt Relief is accredited with both the IAPDA and the AFCC. The IAPDA, or International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, is the leader in training and certifying professional arbitrators in the debt-settlement world. While not a government body, but it complies with federal and state legislations to ensure those whom it certifies are aware of and uphold current regulations in the industry. The AFCC, or American Fair Credit Council, is also not a government entity, but it works to advance debt settlement companies while complying with regulations enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and maintain a high standard of ethics set out by its own code of conduct.

Help & Support
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9.4/10
National Debt Relief
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10
8.1

Online, you can also find the privacy policy and manage your account, which is a bonus that many other services don't offer. You can take advantage of the budget planner and the debt calculator to help you stay on top of your finances and your debt. The FAQs page explains debt settlement, the program and the effects of debt settlement and not paying your creditors during the process. The glossary defines jargon you might hear during the process so you can educate yourself and know what terms creditors, collectors and even National Debt Relief itself use. If you would like to contact customer service, you can reach it by phone and email. This service does not offer live chat.

National Debt Relief Summary:
9.5/10

National Debt Relief is one of the best debt settlement companies. It charges standard fees and passes a large portion of the negotiated debt reduction on to you. While the time frame for settlement depends on your specific financial situation, the terms for settlement are typical and provide you enough time to save up the funds to pay off the reduced debt once a settlement is negotiated. The website is a great help and is open and upfront about debt settlement, which just proves the transparency of the company and is indicative of the honest service you receive from National Debt Relief.

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National Debt Relief

Pros
There are no advanced or monthly fees, so you pay nothing until the service settles one of your enrolled debts.

Cons
This service does not offer live chat.

The Verdict
: 9.5/10

National Debt Relief is the best choice for debt settlement with reductions up to 30% after service fees.