National Debt Relief Review: What You Need To Know (2019)

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This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

Article Approved By Banking Expert

This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

National Debt Relief (NDR) is one of the largest debt settlement companies in the country. It works to help you settle your debt for a lower amount than you owe. The goal of NDR is to help clients regain financial independence, while also relieving the stress that comes with overwhelming debt.

NDR prevents creditors from harassing you with phone calls, letters, and other intimidation tactics. As a result, people who use National Debt Relief find peace of mind, while they wait for their case to be resolved.

While National Debt Relief cannot promise everyone it can reduce their amount of debt through a settlement offer, they work tirelessly for each client. Most clients can expect to see about a 30 to 50% reduction in their overall debt. This is a significant amount for people who are under a crushing load of debt.

However, NDR doesn’t give anyone a guarantee about their ability to lower your debt. In fact, their website is very transparent about its limitations and potential risks. However, NDR’s past results speak for themselves. National Debt Relief has a phenomenal record of achievement about which to boast. Some of the accomplishments they cite on their website are:

  • “Reducing a Bank of America card from more than $15,000 to $3,000”
  • “Slashing a Citi credit card debt from $22,500 to less than $8,000”
  • “Lowering a Discover credit card balance from nearly $11,000 to $2,000”

In addition to these astounding numbers, the NDR program, along with the other largest debt settlement company, Freedom Debt Relief, settled more than $8 billion in debt. However, even with these results, NDR advises people that success is not automatic. Beginning a debt relief program is a big step that is only right for some people.

Why You May Need a Debt Relief Program

Before diving into the specifics of National Debt Relief, let’s look at some of the reasons why people may need this program. Obviously, debt settlement services are designed for people struggling financially.

People never know when life may suddenly bring change and they won’t be able to afford the monthly payment on their credit card. One common factor connects those who seek debt relief—their debt is mounting higher than their income.

Medical bills have forced you to go into deeper debt, or you may have lost your job due to illness or disability. Whatever the cause, if your income is less than your bills, you are presented with a real problem. If you are facing financial hardship and can’t afford the credit card payments, then your options are limited.

What are Your Options for Escalating Debt?

You can choose to take one of a few different avenues if you’re in the predicament described above. However, not all of these will suit your situation.

Debt Consolidation Loans

A debt consolidation loan works by taking all of your debts and consolidating it into one large loan. Accordingly, you must get a bank to give you a large enough loan to cover your entire debt load. Since you can pay off all the creditors with the loan, you save in multiple interest rates, and the bank loan will have a substantially lower interest payment.

However, here’s the catch – not everyone qualifies for this type of program. Banks are not thrilled giving debt consolidation loans to people with poor credit. This poses a problem for many of the people who need debt relief.  They may be already behind on some of their payments and accordingly they won’t have good credit.

Bankruptcy

What about declaring bankruptcy? Is this an option for people needing debt relief?

Bankruptcy should be a last resort.

When you file for bankruptcy, the damage is more long-lasting and consequential. Not only will your credit score take a dive, but it won’t recover for at least seven years. Additionally, you may have trouble securing work, renting an apartment, purchasing a phone, or passing a background check. Finally, a bankruptcy settlement often results in a seizure of your assets.

Making the Minimum Payment

Some people figure they’ll just continue to slide by with making the minimum payments. While this will keep the creditors off your back, it’s definitely not helpful for your financial situation. You’ll end up paying thousands of extra dollars in finance fees over the lifetime of the loan, and you’ll find you never quite catch up.

Debt Settlement

The better option and the one that National Debt Relief offers is debt settlement. Debt settlement is similar to debt consolidation, but there are some striking differences. A debt settlement program helps lower your overall debt.

When you sign up with a debt settlement program such as National Debt Relief, they help lower your individual debts. Debt reduction professionals work with each of your creditors and attempt to negotiate a lower pay-off amount.

Who is National Debt Relief (NDR)? 

National Debt Relief is one of the most experienced and reputable debt relief companies in the United States. They were founded in 2008 and have already helped thousands of individuals with their goal to become debt-free. If you’re looking for a recognized company, accredited by the BBB, and that is not a scam, then NDR is one to consider.

How Does NDR Work?

NDR handles your qualifying debts by negotiating one-on-one with your creditors. In the meantime, you make monthly deposits in a FDIC-insured savings account for the eventual lump-sum payoff. The negotiation process typically takes anywhere from 24 to 48 months. At the end of the program, the debt is usually reduced significantly, although there are no guarantees.

Debt settlement is not the right program for everyone. For one thing, you have to be at least $7,500 in debt. Secondly, National Debt Relief only works with certain types of debt. When you visit their website, you fill out an information form and a credit repair specialist will call you back. Alternatively, you can call the phone number provided.

What types of debt does NDR cover?

National Debt Relief will help clients with debt relief from several sources. While they can’t handle all types of debt, they handle most unsecured debt. These debt sources qualify under their program:

    • Credit Cards
    • Credit Lines
    • Medical Bills
    • Personal Loans
    • Certain Student Loans
    • Business Debts

What types of debt are not covered?

The types of debt that NDR can’t work with are as follows:

    • Utility bills
    • Mortgages
    • Government debt
    • IRS back taxes
    • Car loans
    • Other secured loans

How Do You Qualify for National Debt Relief Services?

If you have $7,500 in minimum debt from qualifying sources, then you’re ready for the next step in the process to determine eligibility for the program. That step involves determining whether you have a hardship situation. Qualifying factors for National Debt Relief may involve the following:

  • Already be behind on some debts and may have even skipped a few payments.
  • May have accounts in collections.
  • You can show that you are incapable of repaying your debts.

Once you speak to a debt settlement specialist, you’ll have a better idea if you are a good candidate for the program. The settlement specialist will review your case and outline the best path forward. If the National Debt Review feels that they can’t help you because of disqualifying debts or your debt amount isn’t large enough, they will refer you to someone who can help. 

Additionally, they can sometimes help you with student loan debt even though it’s on the list of things they don’t cover. The best course of action is to speak to the representative because they really do try their best to assist as many people as they can.

How do You Repay With a Debt Settlement Program?

Once you’re accepted into the program with National Debt Relief, you will begin making monthly payments to a savings account. The account is FDIC secured through NDR. Your case advisor will assist you with how much you need to put into the account regularly. This amount accumulates over the period of time that they are negotiating with your creditors. They also allow you to put money in on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. They will work out a payment schedule with you as long as you continue to make contributions.

What Does National Debt Relief Charge?

National Debt Relief does not charge its clients any upfront fees, which will be helpful for people struggling to make ends meet. Furthermore, there are no monthly maintenance fees. In fact, you only pay a fee IF the company gets your debt reduced. Once NDR comes to an agreement with your creditors to lower the debt, they charge 18-25 % of total debt.

Pros of Working With NDR

National Debt Relief offers several benefits for people struggling to become financially independent.

  • NDR won’t drain you of cash since you don’t have to pay monthly fees
  • Debt settlement won’t have the devastating effect on your credit that a bankruptcy will have. Bankruptcy often affects more than just your credit score.
  • You may see up to a 50 % reduction in your overall debt, which will help you get back on your feet again.
  • NDR offers professional consultation and support for its clients on a regular basis throughout the process.
  • NDR accepts people with all types of credit scores. Whereas people who try to get a debt consolidation loan with poor credit are often denied.
  • Even though the process may take up to 48 months (it could be less), you will be re-establishing your credit.
  • You won’t be harassed, bullied, and intimidated by collection agencies while National Debt Review is handling your case.
  • National Debt Relief is a very resourceful company, with a wealth of information on their website. If you choose to go it alone, there is information explaining how to resolve credit debt on your own.
  • NDR is fair and forthright about what your options are. They will even refer you to another institution if they aren’t able to help you.
  • National Debt Relief is transparent and posts disclosure information on their website. They also share how debt settlement will temporarily affect your credit score.
  • National Debt Relief offers a 100% money-back guarantee

Negatives of a Debt Settlement Program

Just as there are benefits to working with a debt settlement company like National Debt Relief, there are risks too.

  • There is no guarantee that the creditors will work with National Debt Relief. They are under no obligation to accept the negotiation terms.
  • During the negotiation process, you will still be accruing interest, penalties, and late fees. If the creditors don’t accept the offer to negotiate, you will have accumulated more debt.
  • They don’t offer any credit counseling or a debt management plan to help prevent future financial problems. However, the National Debt Relief website is filled with valuable material.
  • Your credit score will plummet once you stop making payments to your creditors during the debt settlement phase. For a while, your credit report will reflect bad credit. It may take some time to rebuild. However, after the 24 to 48 months it takes to settle, many people find that their credit rebounds.
  • After you settle with the creditors and make the lump-sum payoff, it will still reflect on your credit that you settled and didn’t pay the full amount.

FAQ About Debt Settlement

Do creditors always accept debt settlement if you work with a debt relief program?

Working with a debt relief company like National Debt Relief makes the chances of getting a settlement more likely. Additionally, you’ll have a greater chance to see the debt reduced significantly. However, creditors do not have to accept any negotiation. If they believe that someone is capable of paying, they can begin lawsuit proceedings to collect the money.

 

Is debt settlement a right?

There are no laws that give you the right to a debt settlement. Even if you are in a dire hardship situation, a debt settlement is not provided for under any laws. Nevertheless, creditors may benefit more if they accept a settlement, because if you file for bankruptcy, they may not get paid at all.

Can I file for a debt settlement to get out of paying my debt?

Debt settlement is NOT about shirking your duties to repay your debt IF you’re able to do so. Debt settlement doesn’t just help people avoid paying money that isn’t convenient to pay. Even if repayment forces a few lifestyle changes, that doesn’t necessarily mean debt settlement is appropriate for you. National Debt Relief reminds its clients that this program is for those who are truly in financial hardship.

FAQ About Handling Debt Settlement Yourself

Can I handle debt relief myself?

You have every right under the law to represent yourself to reduce your debt. You can choose from one of the options listed, or you can attempt to negotiate with your creditors yourself. However, creditors are relentless. Dealing with them requires a lot of work. Some people don’t have the time, especially if they work full-time. Furthermore, it’s a stressful job.

One client review wrote this about how National Debt Relief handled the stress for them:

“I fell behind on quite a few of my debts and in finding a way to try to keep a good standing with my creditors, I opted to go with National Debt Relief to help me try to at least pay off my credit. . . They receive all the phone calls and take over everything that has to be said in a professional manner.

Sometimes, one doesn’t know how to communicate with creditors or doesn’t know how to communicate very well. With National Debt Relief, it relieves you of that stress.”

Do I need to get anything in writing before paying my settlement fee?

Any time you deal with a financial transaction, you need to have everything documented in writing. Make sure you have all agreements written down and signed by all parties involved. If they agree to accept the negotiated amount, you want to see in writing that this will take care of it for good.

You don’t want anyone coming back in the future because of something that wasn’t documented properly. However, this applies more to people who are trying to do the negotiations on their own. If you are working with National Debt Relief, they will be sure to have everything properly documented.

FAQ About Payment

  1. Will I have to make payments while my case is being settled? You make payments to the savings account so you’ll have enough for the pay-off.
  2. Do I quit paying my debts after entering a debt settlement program? National Debt Relief is careful about how they deal with the issue on their website. They tell clients they can’t advise them to actually stop paying their bills.
  3. How long do I have to wait before my payoff occurs? Everyone’s case is different. Some people have more extensive debt than others or they are dealing with several more creditors than others are. Obviously, if you just owe one or two people a certain amount of money it may be faster to settle than if you owed six creditors that same money. However, National Debt Relief states that most situations can be worked out between 24 and 48 months. For some, the payoff time is remarkable:

One consumer wrote a review stating that her debt was reduced from 18 years at $500 per month to 36 months at $200 per month.

All About Taxes and Debt Settlement

Some people are concerned about their tax liability after a debt settlement. This can be a concern, however, you may not have to worry about taxes after all. Here’s a statement from the IRS:

“A taxpayer is insolvent when his or her total liabilities exceed his or her total assets. The forgiven debt may be excluded as income under the ‘insolvency’ exclusion. Normally, a taxpayer is not required to include forgiven debts in income to the extent that the taxpayer is insolvent.” – IRS.gov

So, what does this mean exactly? Solvency refers to your level of financial stability. If you are solvent, it means you are able to keep up with all your financial obligations and its related terms AND have assets left over.

On the contrary, insolvency means you can’t pay your debts in a timely manner or under normal circumstances, or to do so would require liquidizing some assets. In other words, if you could keep up with your credit card obligations but only if you sell some of your assets (i.e. furniture, etc), then you are not solvent. This represents a state of insolvency.

Of course, being insolvent is an uncomfortable state to be in and is considered “bad,” but for tax purposes, insolvency is good. When you’re insolvent, the IRS exempts you from having to pay taxes on the forgiven debt, which is technically income.

Top Rated Debt Settlement Company

National Debt Relief is a top-rated settlement company boasting of several awards and recognitions. The achievements, which are listed prominently on their website, are as follows:

  • Top Ten Reviews’ 2018 Gold Award for Best Overall Debt Relief Company
  • Five-Star Rating for 2018 via ConsumerReviews
  • Best Overall Debt Relief Company also via ConsumerReviews
  • A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Member
  • International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators Platinum (IADPA)

Not only has the company received accolades from these venues, but client reviews are also mostly positive. The overall satisfaction rating listed on ConsumerAffairs.com is 5 stars out of 10,343 users in the last year. Here are some of the reviews to give you a sense of what clients got out of the company.

“They were very helpful. I feel better about my future. Can’t wait to be debt-free. I have a program I can keep. Without this help, I could not get out of debt and I was scared. They made a payment plan I could afford.” J in CA

“Fantastic and very helpful.” P in Fl

“Everyone is very friendly and nonjudgmental. Communication was simple via phone and documents were all signed via computer. I feel that we can breathe again. Thank you.”  M in NY

Industry Accreditations

The National Debt Relief program has the following accreditations:

AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts)

IAPDA (International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators)

They are also in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

State Limitations

While National Debt Relief is able to help a great deal of the states in the country, these following ones do not have debt settlement programs available:

Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, or West Virginia.

While a debt settlement program is not offered for these states, National Debt Relief does provide helpful state information for these and all states. They make recommendations for each state for other debt relief services. If you contact them, they will refer you to one of the nearby debt consolidation companies. Check their website for your state for more detailed information.

Contact Information

The contact information for National Debt Relief is as follows:

Phone number: 800-300-9550
Monday – Friday 8:00 am – Midnight EST
Sat. 10:00 am – 10:00 pm EST

If you are an existing client, you can call the Client Success Team toll free:
888-660-7427

The mailing address is:
11 Broadway #1732
New York, NY 10004

Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts

Editor at CarefulCents
Featured in The Washington Post and published in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business Insider, Time, Inc., CNBC and others.