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Accredited Debt Relief Review 2022: All the Pros and Cons

Accredited Debt Relief provides a free consultation and works with you to help you reduce your debt by up to 50%. You can get your debts settled in as little as 12 months.

8.0 / 10
Editorial Score
Andrew Koopman
Finance Writer
June 20, 2022

Overview

Accredited Debt Relief offers a way to reduce and pay off your debt without having to take out a loan. Instead of consolidating your debt into one large amount, Accredited Debt Relief will help lower the debt altogether through the process of debt settlement.

A team of debt specialists will handle the communications with your creditors for you. By attempting to settle your debts, Accredited Debt Relief helps you save up to 50% on what you owe and may be able to get you out of debt completely in as little as 12 months.

In this in-depth review, I’ll answer any question you may have about Accredited Debt Relief, from the types of debt you can settle and how much you can expect to pay to the length of time it will take to clear your debts and how it affects your credit. While I tested the company out for myself, I discovered a few things that you’ll want to know about.

GREAT CHOICE 2022
8.0 / 10
Editorial Score
Accredited Debt Relief
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Editorial Score
8.0 / 10
Online Services
Applications, Quote management, etc.
2.0 / 10
Customer Service
8.0 / 10
Available in all states
6.4 / 10
Available loan types
0.0 / 10
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10 / 10

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Products & Services

Personalized Debt Relief Program

Accredited Debt Relief focuses on one service: debt relief. Due to the success that many clients have had with Accredited Debt Relief – $500 million resolved among 140,000+ clients –  it has become one of the top-rated companies in this field.

Accredited Debt Relief offers a way to take control of your debt without taking out a loan. This means that instead of actually consolidating your debts into one lump sum payment with a loan, the company aims to lower the amount of debt that you owe in total. This is done through debt settlement, where representatives will work with your creditors to agree to a reduced payoff amount on the debt you owe.

Once a creditor agrees to accept a lower amount to settle the debt, you pay it off in a lump sum and clear that debt off your ledger. Accredited Debt Relief will repeat the process with all of your qualified debts. This process is designed to save you money by simply coming to an agreement with the creditors to take less.

Working through a debt relief program with Accredited Debt Relief typically consists of four major steps. This is what you can expect your program to look like:

  1. Free consultation – You’ll talk to a debt specialist to go over your financial situation in detail and discuss all the debts that will be part of your program. Based on how much debt you have and what your monthly budget is, they will create a customized plan for you.
  2. Setup your Dedicated Account – Here is where the process truly begins. The team will help you open a new bank account, known as a Dedicated Account, that acts as the escrow or settlement account. You’ll begin making monthly payments into this account and the funds will eventually be used to settle your debts down the road.
  3. Stop using lines of credit and paying off your creditors – As you’re making payments into the Dedicated Account, you’ll be asked to stop using any lines of credit or credit cards that are part of your debt relief program. You’ll also likely be told to stop making payments to your creditors, to give Accredited Debt Relief more leverage. During this time, the team will start working with your creditors to come to an agreement to settle your debts for a lower amount. Keep in mind that during this step, creditors may continue to call you or even take legal action. For calls, the company recommends ignoring them or blocking the numbers – this can give the team even more leverage. If a creditor takes legal action, you should contact Accredited Debt Relief and your team will assist you.
  4. Approve settlement terms – Once the company is able to come to an agreement with a creditor, you’ll have to approve the new terms. After you’ve given your approval, the money will be taken from the Dedicated Account to pay off the new settled amount and that debt will be cleared. This same thing is done for each debt that’s part of the program.

Through its debt relief program, Accredited Debt Relief claims that you will save an average of 55% on all of your debts while only paying a 15% to 25% fee upon resolution. Each program will differ from another, but you can expect it to take anywhere from 12 to 48 months, depending on how much debt you have and how much you can set aside each month.

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Rates and Terms

One of the best things about using Accredited Debt Relief is that there are no upfront fees whatsoever to use the service. The consultation with a debt specialist is entirely free and there are no enrollment fees to begin your debt relief program. You will also be able to opt out of the program at any time without paying any early termination fees.

The team working on your program from Accredited Debt Relief will only take fees based on performance and you don’t owe anything unless they successfully reduce a debt for you. According to the company’s site, the team will take a fee from your Dedicated Account but only after the following three conditions are met:

  • You and your creditor have agreed upon a resolution with new terms
  • You’ve made at least one payment to the creditor towards that new resolution
  • Accredited Debt Relief has successfully reduced how much you owe

Once those three conditions are met, you will start having to pay Accredited Debt Relief for its services. While the fees will vary from situation to situation, it is estimated that you’ll owe between 15% and 25% of your settled debt balances at the time of enrollment. Keep in mind that’s not just a percentage of the amount you’re saving, but the actual balance of the debt.

You’ll have to pay fees for each separate debt that Accredited Debt Relief helps you with, since each debt will typically have a different timeline before the team will be able to successfully settle it. You will also have the option to pay the fee off over time, so you won’t just be hit with a 15% to 25% bill that’s due in one lump sum.

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Application Process and Qualifications

Getting started on your debt relief journey with Accredited Debt Relief is simple, and you can get a free quote in minutes by providing some basic information about yourself. To begin, you’ll need to fill out the following information and agree to give the company permission to contact you via phone (even if you’re on a federal or national Do-Not-Call list):

  • Amount of debt you have
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • State of residence

Once you fill out the information and agree to the terms and conditions, you can expect a phone call soon after. The company will set up a free consultation with you, to discuss your situation and go over the plan of attack for tackling your debt.

While the application process itself is pretty straightforward, there are also a few eligibility requirements that you have to meet in order to qualify to begin with. To use the serviced of Accredited Debt Relief, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Over $10,000 in qualified debt – Accredited Debt Relief only works with you if you have at least $10,000 in debt. This is so that there is enough leverage for the specialists to work with your creditors and negotiate down as much as they can.
  • Your debt is unsecured – Not only do you need $10,000+ in debt, but that debt must also be unsecured debt since that’s the only type the Accredited Debt Relief works with. This includes things such as credit cards, medical bills, and payday loans, but excludes mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and anything else with collateral attached.
  • You need to be able to make monthly payments – Accredited Debt Relief will require you to make monthly payments into an account in order to pay your newly negotiated debts down. So if you don’t have the ability to make monthly payments, you won’t be able to qualify.

If you’re looking for debt relief to help you take care of your student loans or your mortgage, then a debt relief program such as Accredited Debt Relief will not be able to help you.

You don’t want to go through the application process trying to get some debt relief only to be denied because of the types of debt that you have. To get debt relief on secured loans, you’ll need to look elsewhere or even into the potential for bankruptcy. That said, student loans cannot be bankrupt to begin with, and that’s a topic for another day entirely!

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How Long Will It Take to Start Seeing Results?

After your free consultation with a certified debt specialist, the company will take some time to create a personalized debt relief plan that’s suited for your own situation. This typically doesn’t take very long, and you can expect to hear back from Accredited Debt Relief within 1-3 business days with a plan to move forward and start tackling your debt, granted that you’re approved.

The first thing that the company will help you do is to open the aforementioned Dedicated Account with an FDIC-insured bank so that you can start making payments into it as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. For a while, it might seem like nothing is happening and you’re just depositing money into the account, but you’ll have to stick to it.

While every situation is different, the company states that you might be able to see your first debt resolution within the first 6 months, but it usually will take closer to 9 months to start seeing any progress. Overall, most debt relief programs through Accredited Debt Relief will take anywhere from 24 – 48 months to complete.

Customer Service

To test Accredited Debt Relief’s customer service, I needed to come up with some fake debts that I could discuss. Here’s how my journey went when I was trying to get some general info about getting debt relief for my personal debts.

When you first call the company, a specialist will do everything they can to learn more about you and your situation. This can be a great thing if you’re interested in working on your debt, but not so much when you’re just trying to test the service.

Instead, I checked the site for a live chat option, but unfortunately that is not offered anywhere. Next, I checked for an email option, which I did find. I sent the email message below and was promptly kicked back the automated email saying that my message could not be delivered. So no chat option and no functioning email support either. Not off to a great start!

Customer Service

Lastly, the Contact Us page on the website directs you to the FAQ page to find your own answers. The FAQ page does, in fact, have lots of useful information that will likely answer most of your questions. At this point, there was nothing left for me to do except call customer support.

Fortunately, the phone lines are open from 8am – midnight (EST) Monday through Friday and 8am – 7pm EST on the weekends, so it’s easy to get in touch.

The representative that answered the phone was nice and seemed genuinely happy to help, beginning by asking for my name and contact information in case we got disconnected. While this was surely so they could contact me later to see if I wanted to move forward with anything, it’s standard industry practice and is expected at this point.

After getting some of my general information, I was asked what types of debt that I have. I mentioned the same credit card, student loan, and medical debt as in the screenshot above. The representative quickly let me know that the student loan debt could not be included in a program since it’s secured, which I was of course expecting to hear.

At that point, the representative wanted to either direct me towards the online application process or start discussing everything in much more detail over the phone. I accepted my way out (to apply online) and thanked them for their time.

Overall, the representative was polite and knowledgeable, and I’m confident that if I really needed a consultation, they would’ve been able to give me thorough advice and could help get me into a personalized plan.

Summary

Debt can be overwhelming, not to mention working out a plan to tackle it on your own. If you’re struggling to do so, then Accredited Debt Relief might be a good option for you. Through debt settlement, the company will help you pay off your debts for less than you owe, potentially saving thousands of dollars in the process.

Keep in mind, however, that debt relief programs like this will negatively affect your credit score as you stop making payments on your debts. Furthermore, Accredited Debt Relief can only help you with unsecured debt, so you won’t be able to settle a mortgage, auto loan, or student loan with these programs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Accredited Debt Relief cost?

There are no upfront fees to use Accredited Debt Relief and you won’t owe anything unless the company is successful at reducing your debt balance and improving your terms. At that point, you can expect to pay around 15% to 25% of your debt balances at the time you enroll in the program.

Is Accredited Debt Relief BBB-accredited?

Accredited Debt Relief is currently accredited with the Better Business Bureau and boasts an A+ rating. This is the highest rating offered by the BBB and indicates that a company is operating in a trustworthy manner.

Does debt relief hurt your credit score?

In most cases, debt relief will lower your credit score. But as you work your way through a debt relief program and practice good financial habits, you should eventually see your score go back up, possibly even higher than it was to begin with.

Andrew Koopman
Written by

Andrew Koopman is a freelance finance writer. He's written hundreds of articles over the years, specializing in topics such as improving credit, paying off debt, and applying for loans. Andrew graduated from Miami University with a Master's degree in mechanical engineering. He loves watching sports and enjoying the great outdoors with his friends and family.

Pros:
  • No upfront fees, you only pay once you’ve settled each debt
  • A+ rating with the BBB indicates a trustworthy company
  • Potential to save 50% or more on your qualified debts
Cons:
  • High fees (up to 25%) on settled debt
  • Negatively impacts your credit score
  • No online portal or mobile app so it’s tough to monitor
Bottom Line

Accredited Debt Relief could be a possible solution if you’re in over their head with their debt and struggling to get ahead and make any real progress. By settling your debts with your creditors, you’ll be able to save a potentially substantial amount of money.

That said, using debt relief in this manner will lower your credit score, making lenders less likely to lend to you in the future, at least temporarily. If you’re able to make headway on your debts on your own and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, this option might not be the best choice for you.