Who Is Accredited Debt Relief For?
Accredited Debt Relief reviews confirm their ideal customer has at least $7,500 worth of unsecured debt struggles to afford monthly payments.
More often than not, Accredited Debt Relief and companies in the same industry work with people who have significant credit card debt. Credit cards frequently have onerous interest rates that can easily become a problem if they’re used indiscriminately.
People who can’t pay off their debt within two to four years are generally advised to seek either debt relief or credit counseling services.
It’s a good idea to avoid debt relief services unless absolutely necessary. Although such services can result in reduced debt, they can have consequences on your financial history. And those consequences can take a long time to fix.
Often, people who seek out Accredited Debt Relief have suffered layoffs or other unexpected interruptions to income and want to get back on track with their debt.
It’s also worth pointing out that Accredited Debt Relief only works with unsecured debt. Debt types that ADF doesn’t work with include:
- Federal student loan
- Car loans
- Life insurance loans
- Home equity lines of credit
What Is Accredited Debt Relief?
Accredited Debt Relief is a debt consolidation and settlement service. It’s a trade name of Beyond Finance, and both companies provide the same services. It launched in 2011, and it’s available in several states.
In short, debt relief services help you negotiate with creditors to help reduce and pay off the debt that you’re struggling with.
Accredited Debt Relief programs are made for each customer and address their financial situation. The goal of these programs is twofold—to reduce the amount of money you owe, and to help you settle your debt faster than you otherwise would.
The average program lasts anywhere from two to four years but can be significantly shorter if you’re able to make larger payments.
Accredited Debt Relief Review of Risks
Reducing the amount you owe and getting your debt paid off sooner sounds terrific. But it’s not without some drawbacks.
For starters, the company’s negotiators will need to create some leverage to work with when they speak with creditors. To that end, they’ll often ask you to stop making payments directly to creditors. That may have all the consequences you’d expect, from potential late fees to lawsuits for failing to repay.
Furthermore, reviews of Accredited Debt Relief should be quick to point out that no creditor is under obligation to reduce your debt or work with negotiators in any way. It’s possible (although unlikely) that you’ll receive no loan forgiveness and still be liable for the full amount plus whatever interest accrued in the interim.
And, most programs require you to make monthly payments into a savings account as part of the debt relief process. If you can’t make monthly payments toward your debts, it’s likely you won’t be able to make them toward the program either.
The forgiven debt may be considered income for tax purposes. So even if your debt amount ends up lower, you could still be taxed on the forgiven amount. Your creditor, not Accredited Debt Relief, LLC, will send you a Cancellation of Debt 1099-C form detailing your tax burden if there is one. There are several ways to avoid paying taxes legally, but you’d better consult with a professional if the action is possible in this case.
Lastly, using this type of service is highly likely to have a detrimental effect on your credit score. In addition to the negative credit you’ll attract from missing payments, debt forgiveness will make it onto your extended credit report, so you may end up using credit repair services.
How Does Accredited Debt Relief Work?
The first step is to get a consultation about your debt and the best way forward. You can do that over the phone with one of the company’s certified debt specialists.
In the following paragraphs, you will find the steps you need to take if you accept the proposed plan and enroll in the program.
1. Set up an FDIC-insured savings account
The first thing you’ll do is set up a savings account and start depositing payments monthly. The payment amount will be what you agreed with Accredited Debt Relief’s specialists.
You can think of this as a sort of escrow account that’s under your control and will eventually be used to pay off your debt. It’s a typical arrangement with BBB-accredited debt relief companies.
The account will be under your name and control. Accredited Debt Relief won’t be able to withdraw money from it without your authorization.
2. Stop using your credit
Whether you have a line of credit, credit card, or another type of loan, you’ll need to stop using it. The company will also ask you to avoid speaking with your creditors and direct all communication to its specialists.
The sooner you can establish a connection between Accredited Debt Relief and your creditors, the better.
Accredited Debt Relief complaints are similar to what their competitors get, often pointing out that this is a surefire way to taint your credit report.
3. Accredited debt relief negotiates on your behalf
Once Accredited Debt Relief believes there’s enough money in your account, they’ll start negotiating with creditors.
You should request to know exactly how much or what percentage of the debt it needs before making offers to creditors.
Unless a creditor has good reason to believe they’ll receive prompt payment, there’s little chance they’ll agree to negotiate. That will generally happen in four to six months, but some Accredited Debt Relief reviews report it can take longer.
4. Creditors refuse or accept the debt settlement
The best-case scenario is that Accredited Debt Relief manages to reach an agreement with your creditors. And, the agreement is for an amount you can afford from your dedicated savings account.
If that happens, you pay off your creditor from the money you’ve saved up.
The worst-case scenario is that the creditor simply refuses to negotiate. In that case, the company may simply have to remove the creditor from the program and proceed with other creditors.
Accredited Debt Relief calls these “extreme cases,” but it does not reveal how often it has to remove creditors from its programs.
The entire process to pay off your credit takes between 24–48 months, according to Accredited Debt Relief.
Is Accredited Debt Relief Legit?
In this section, you’ll learn about what Accredited Debt Relief has to offer and how it compares to similar services.
Let’s start with the fees.
Accredited Debt Relief Fees
ADF charges 15–25% of the debt you have when you enroll in its program. That’s in lockstep with fees in the industry, but it presents a pretty broad range.
Your fee will be personalized for your loan, but the company will not collect fees unless it’s able to settle with creditors. Accredited Debt Relief is not a scam, but it won’t appeal to everyone who’s struggling with debt.
To put all that into context, assume the following example—a personal loan of $10,000 with 10% APR over 12 months.
If you make prompt monthly payments of about $880, you’ll pay $550 in interest for the loan.
If ADR negotiates with the creditor instead for a 25% fee and reduces the debt by 40%, you’ll owe the creditor $6,000, which seems like substantial savings.
But, you’ll owe ADR $2,500 (25% of the loan amount at enrollment) plus the accrued interest of $550, assuming it takes 12 months to settle the debt.
So you would end up paying $9,050 on this $10,000 loan. And you’d likely be taxed on the $4,000 of debt that was forgiven.
Accredited Debt Relief Ratings
Accredited Debt Relief has a BBB rating of A+ and a 4.8 Trustpilot rating as of December 2020. The company seems to make every effort to respond to consumer complaints made through these services and resolve any issues.
Accredited Debt Relief Credentials
Accredited Debt Relief and Beyond Finance essentially work as two parts of a whole. So while ADR isn’t directly accredited by the BBB, Beyond Finance is. And that accreditation can more or less apply to ADR as well.
Accredited Debt Relief had Shark Tank star Kevin Harrington as a spokesperson. He endorsed the company as one of the “nation’s top debt consolidation firms.”
Accredited debt relief is also accredited by the American Fair Credit Council and the International Association of Personal Debt Arbitrators. Both of these are leading organizations that represent the debt settlement industry.
Accredited Debt Relief Address
If you need to send mail to ADR, its mailing address is:
P.O. Box 660442
Dallas, Texas 75266-0442
The company’s corporate office is located at:
7322 Southwest Freeway, Suite 1200
Houston, TX 77074
Accredited Debt Relief Phone Number
To reach the corporate office use these numbers: 281-801-4515 or 800-495-4069 (toll-free number)
To speak with a certified debt specialists call: 877-411-4533
Accredited Debt Relief Lawsuit
Accredited Debt Relief was the target of a class-action lawsuit in 2017 by several former employees alleging a series of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the California Labor Code, among others.
The plaintiffs dismissed the class action with prejudice in 2019, and Accredited Debt Relief was not ultimately held liable in the case.
Debt Resolution FTC Requirements
According to the Federal Trade Commission, companies like Accredited Debt Relief have an obligation to disclose certain information to consumers.
When comparing accredited debt relief reviews, make sure the companies disclose the following:
- How the company price sits services and sets relevant conditions to receive those services
- How long it will take for the company to settle with creditors
- How much money you have to set aside before the company makes an offer to creditors on your behalf
- The company has to disclose the possible consequences that could arise from non-payment if it requires or encourages you to stop making payment to creditors
As far as debt relief services go, Accredited Debt Relief is as transparent as it can be with customers.
It’s honest about what it may be able to achieve, and how much it will charge for its services. It’s squarely in the middle when it comes to fees, success rate, and debt reduction.
Most customers seem to praise the company’s services. And the few Accredited Debt Relief bad reviews mostly stem from intrusive sales and marketing practices. All that said, it’s still a debt relief service, with all the drawbacks and benefits it involves.
Pros & Cons
- Competitive fees compared to similar services
- Money-back guarantee
- Relatively short settlement periods (as short as 12 months)
- Free consultation and quote
- No enrollment fees
- Accredited Debt Relief reviews from customers are overwhelmingly positive
- Advertised debt reduction is lower than similar services
- Outdated website
- Not available in all states
Is Accredited Debt Relief real?
Yes, it’s very much a real debt settlement and reduction service provider. The company’s specialists will look at your debt situation and craft a strategy that could help you reduce your debt by a significant amount.
The service won’t come cheap (up to 25% of your loan amount) but may be worth it for people who have exhausted all their other options.
Does Accredited Debt Relief hurt your credit?
Accredited Debt Relief will likely ask you to stop making payments on your debts to ultimately put pressure on creditors to accept a negotiated settlement. These missed payments will be reported in your payment history and negatively impact your credit score.
What happens to unpaid credit card debt after 7 years?
Generally speaking, any negative items on your credit report are excluded after seven years. That includes credit card debt and any accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay the debt.
Each state has different laws when it comes to time-barred debt. If you want information specific to your debt, contact your State Attorney General’s office and ask about the statute of limitations on credit card debt in your state.
Is it better to pay off a debt or settle it?
It’s certainly better to pay off a debt if you can afford it. Settling debt means your creditor agreed to receive a reduced sum in the interest of ensuring the collection.
But it has a lot of potential consequences and will likely badly affect your credit score. Besides, you could end up paying more than you originally owed.
What is the best debt relief company?
Accredited Debt Relief is among the top competitors.
Other companies worthy of the top spot include Freedom Debt Relief, National Debt Relief, and DMB Financial. While they all provide the same broad service, each specializes in a slightly different kind of negotiation and debt.
Is Accredited Debt Relief a good company?
In the main, yes it’s a reputable debt relief company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Rating and a 4.8 rating from Trustpilot reviews (Dec 2020). Accredited Debt Relief reviews show high customer satisfaction across numerous review aggregators.
The company tries to be as honest as possible with its customers and appears to adhere to FTC regulations pertaining to debt relief services.