National debt relief reviews just came out for 2021, and here are the top 10 debt settlement and consolidation companies. It is important to check these BBB accredited and IAPDA certified debt consolidation companies before applying for any national debt relief program. We have considered national debt relief reviews with Yelp, BBB, and Google, comparing positive to negative reviews about each company. Other factors used when determining the best debt relief companies on this list include specific industry licensing, accreditation and certifications, online complaints, time in business, the success rate of programs, average savings, and the overall cost of each program.

Reputable debt relief, settlement, and consolidation companies are needed more than ever before because credit card and student loan debt are both at an all-time high and expected to rise due to the long-term impacts of COVID-19. This high-debt crisis is causing new debt relief companies to open up all across the nation.

Unfortunately, most new debt relief companies (i.e., with less than five years in business) lack the experience, resources, and expertise needed to administer debt relief programs properly. Many non-profit certified debt counselors are available to help you on the internet, but finding the right one can sometimes be the first hurdle to get over. Even at a licensed non-profit consumer credit counseling company, they will try to sell you on only what they offer (i.e., consumer credit counseling and not explore all of your options.)

Does Debt Relief Ruin Your Credit?

Not paying your creditors every month in full is the action that hurts your credit score. Debt relief programs, including debt settlement and validation, require clients to fall behind monthly payments.

Your credit score has already been negatively affected if you’ve fallen behind on payments to where your accounts are with a third-party collection agency before joining a debt settlement program. Consequently, debt settlement may not hurt your credit score. On the other side of the coin, if you’re only 1-2 months behind on credit card payments and join a debt settlement program, you will see your credit score continue to decline at least until accounts are all with a debt collection agency.

But also, carrying maxed-out credit card balances and paying only minimum payments hurts credit scores and can be your most expensive route to repaying debt. The best way to improve your credit score is to pay your balances in full every month and remain current on monthly payments. If you can’t afford to stay current on monthly payments, you have a few options to choose from, including debt settlement, bankruptcy, and debt validation. After a debt is invalidated, it can no longer legally remain on credit reports. Validation can be a person’s least expensive route to dealing with third-party collection debt, potentially getting debt removed from credit bureaus entirely. Paul Paquin, the CEO at Golden Financial Services, recommends, “Before using debt settlement, start with a debt validation program because it’s potentially less expensive and can result in removal of the account from credit bureaus. You will only need to settle an account if the account gets validated.”

Whether you need consumer credit counseling, credit repair, tax relief, debt relief, or debt settlement, this list includes the top companies for each industry. The companies are ranked in order (i.e., the top companies have the highest accumulative score). Debt consolidation loan companies are not mentioned on this list; for the “top 10 debt consolidation loan companies,” visit this page next.