San Diego is home to Accredited Debt Relief, a debt settlement company founded in 2011 by Shawn Syndergaard, Ben Schwan and Brian Stone. The company has built a solid track record of customer satisfaction evident through its A+ Better Business Bureau rating and multiple industry awards. Those looking for debt relief on unsecured debt like credit card debt, medical debt, department store cards and more should consider utilizing Accredited Debt Relief as a debt settlement option when it comes to that.
Accredited Debt Relief at a glance
|Company||Min. Debt||Average Savings||Fees||BBB Rating||Key Benefit|
|Accredited Debt Relief||$10,000||25% – 32%||Not Disclosed||A+||Experienced negotiators on staff|
What we like about it
Even though Accredited Debt Relief has only been in the business for less than a decade, the company has racked up an impressive list of accolades, awards, and positive reviews. Accredited Debt Relief has an A+ rating with the BBB and is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC).
People that choose to use Accredited Debt Relief can expect to have experienced negotiators working on their behalf. The company’s negotiation service providers, aka the people who talk to the lenders on your behalf, have over 20 years of experience in the debt relief industry. Collectively, these negotiators have conducted over one million consultations and settled thousands of accounts with creditors. The better your negotiators are, the better deals you may be able to secure.
Things to consider
You’ll want to be aware that Accredited Debt Relief is primarily a debt settlement company and does not offer debt consolidation loans. The company does have partners through which you can apply for a loan, but this is not its primary area of business. This can be a little difficult to gauge from the company’s website as it refers to the program as a form of debt consolidation. While it is consolidating your debt, it does not fall under the traditional definition of debt consolidation that involves taking out a new loan to pay off an old one.
Be aware this most likely will have at least a short-term negative effect on your credit score. While that’s the case with any debt settlement company (not just Accredited Debt Relief), it’s still something you need to fully understand before choosing to move forward. Furthermore, keep in mind that debt settlement is a last-resort option of seeking debt relief.
Fees and savings
Accredited Debt Relief does not publicly post the average fees associated with its programs. While this is not ideal for shopping around, these numbers will be different for every client. Using an average may give you a ballpark figure, but it could be misleading. The good news is you’ll be fully aware of the fees you’ll be charged by your consultant before agreeing to anything.
Regarding average savings with Accredited Debt Relief, customers who make all of their Accredited Debt Relief payments pay on average 68% to 75% of the enrolled debt, including fees. This means savings of between 25% and 32%.
The company showcases 17 different case study examples from past clients on its website to display some results. The biggest savings shown were 70% for a customer with $20,704.65 in debt who ended up paying $6,212.00. Again, each case will be different, so schedule a consultation to better understand your potential savings.
The Accredited Debt Relief program starts with a free consultation with one of the company’s certified debt specialists. During this call, the specialist will get to know your situation and help you to determine what you can pay monthly based on your financial goals, how much debt you have and your current budget.
From this point on, you’ll only make payments to Accredited Debt Relief. While the payments are to Accredited Debt Relief, they will be to an account that you have full control over. You’ll be advised to stop making payments to any of your credit accounts and cease communications with your creditors.
Most likely, this is going to have a negative effect on your credit score as your creditors will report your missed payments to the national credit bureaus. While this is never good, it may be a necessary step in your long-term plan to recover your financial picture. Be aware as well that you will need to stop using the credit cards or lines of credit that you’re seeking settlement on.
Once you deposit enough money into your Accredited Debt Relief account, the company will begin reaching out to your creditors to negotiate debt settlements. While the timing of this will vary based on your situation, the company states the average time to begin reaching out for negotiations is four to six months.
Additionally, keep in mind that debt settlement programs may not work. Creditors can reject debt settlement negotiators offers, leaving you with a backlog of unpaid bills and serious hits to your credit score.
The bottom line
While Accredited Debt Relief has a shorter track record than some of the other debt relief companies in the industry, the company has already established itself with countless positive reviews, industry awards, and accolades. Additionally, the company’s negotiations service provider has been in the industry for more than 20 years, so you’ll have some of the most experienced professionals working on your side to secure the best settlements.
Just be aware that Accredited Debt Relief is a debt settlement company, and not a debt consolidation loan provider. Because of the nature of debt settlements, these programs should only be used as a last-resort option, as it is entirely possible that your creditors will reject settlement offers or refuse to negotiate with debt settlement companies in general. When this happens, you may be left in a worse position than when you started.