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Take Charge America

Take Charge America holds over 30 years of experience with high client satisfaction. However, the company does not disclose interest rates.

Our Score
4.5
User Score
--

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Our Score
4.5
User Score
--
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Ratings Breakdown

Price

monthly fee
Undisclosed

Up-Front Fees

setup & activation fees
Up to $25

Free Consultation

is one included?
Yes

Time in Business

total # of years
30 years

Credit Counseling

do they offer credit counseling services?
Yes

Certified Credit Counselors

are there certified counselors on staff?
Yes

ISO Certified

is this business ISO certified?
No

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BDC
0

This Review is maintained by Chase Sagum

Review Last Updated: January 2, 2017

Since 1987, Take Charge America has helped over 1.6 million people pay back over $5 billion in debt through their debt management and consolidation plans. The company has a considerable amount of experience, a money-back guarantee, and is available in all 50 states. However, the high monthly fees and unknown interest rates raise questions as to how affordable their services really are.

Rank Chart
Monthly Price
Accreditations
Review

#1

Up to $69
FCAA & ISO

#2

$10-$40
AFCC & IAPDA

#3

$10 - $49
ISO

#13
take charge america logo

Undisclosed
FCAA & NFCC

The Good

  • Money back guarantee
  • Certified credit counselors
  • AICCA accredited

Experience

Take Charge America brings over 30 years of experience to the table. Take Charge also carries AICCA, and FCAA accreditation. They are also a member of the NFCC. This is an impressive list of certifications and accreditations that not many other companies have.

Low Costs

Take Charge offers free consultations with certified debt counselors and a money back guarantee to help people feel more comfortable with giving their services a shot. In accordance with state regulation, Take Charge charges a one-time enrollment fee no more than $25, and some consumers may have this fee partially or entirely waived under extreme economic hardship.

Customer Service

Credit Counseling is an option consumers have and can participate in completely free of charge. During the 45 to 90 minute session, consumers can expect to receive a financial assessment and help create the best plan of action to get them on the right track to financial freedom. Counselors are available to get those sometimes difficult budgets back on track, and provide solutions to meet personal expense needs, as well as offering consumers educational tools and resources to help them remain debt free.

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The Bad

  • Undisclosed monthly fees
  • Unknown interest rates
  • Lawsuit with the IRS

Undisclosed Monthly Fees

Undisclosed monthly fees.

Undisclosed Interest Rates

Another thing we were unhappy with is that this company does not disclose average interest rates offered on its debt management plans. This makes it impossible to perform an apples-to-apples comparison of costs with other companies in the space.

IRS Trouble

Another issue for concern is that Take Charge America was forced to settle a lawsuit in 2012 with the IRS in a dispute over its “non-profit organization” status. The IRS had concluded that this company was abusing its non profit status to financially benefit the founder’s family. This is very troubling and is another point to consider before considering to settle your debts with Take Charge.

Want to see the top rated Debt Consolidation Companies? Click Here

The Bottom Line

With over 30 years of experience, great accreditations, and a money back guarantee, Take Charge America does offer some quality services. However, their lack of transparency, higher possible costs, and issues with the IRS are all concerns that potential customers should consider. In addition, we have seen some of their competitors offer lower rates than Take Charge. We recommend further research to decide if Take Charge America is the right fit for your circumstances.

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About Take Charge American

For approximately 30 years, Take Charge America has provided credit counseling, debt management programs, bankruptcy counseling, and debt settlement services to anyone seeking financial stability. Take Charge America is considered a true debt consolidation agency by consolidating their customers unsecured debt into one monthly payment and negotiating with their creditors to lower interest rates. Take Charge America also offers financial education, student loan support, and housing assistance to help customers be as financially stable as possible and debt free.

Price

Prices are undisclosed at this time.

Up-Front Fees

Just like other consolidation companies the up-front or set-up fees vary by state. However, it will not exceed $25.

Time in Business

They have been in business for 30 years. The business was started in Arizona in 1987.

Free Consultation

Yes. An extensive consultation is given for free to determine exactly which program is best for you, as well as what it would cost you.

Debt Education

They offer different kinds of financial education, as well as financial calculators, teaching resources, a blog, Q&A, as well as consumer resources. The consumer resources they offer include general consumer information, employment, food, housing, medical, and mental health. In the debt education section of their web site, there is a handy search tool for you to search anything you might need in their library.

Cancellation Policy

If you have any issues with your program and would like to cancel, simply call the office and they will work with you to either fix why you are unsatisfied, or work with you to end any program you are in. Keep in mind that if you were to cancel a debt management program, your creditors are then not held to the agreements that they made in terms of your fees, or interest rates. Once you leave the program, beware that your financial state may suffer once again.

Online Dashboard

Yes, they offer a dashboard on their website. Clients are able to receive messages and send messages to Take Charge America, as well as keeping track of personal information, and viewing any activity going on with their debt consolidation program, or other programs.

Secured and Unsecured Loans

Take Charge America assists with unsecured loans.

CPFC Certified

Unknown. They are AFCPE certified.

ISO Certified

No, this company is not ISO certified.

Contact Information

Address: 

20620 N 19th Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85027

Services Offered

They offer credit counseling, debt management, do it yourself tips, bankruptcy, and debt settlement solutions. We were told that a very thorough consultation is given for free to all potential customers to determine the correct program for their needs. They do not want you to get into a program that will not be beneficial to you in the long run.

Minimum Debt Accepted

There are no minimum debt limits.

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Poll

  • When looking for a debt settlement company, which of these two aspects is most important to you?
  • Takes your existing debt and try to settle with your creditors for a lower amount. If you pay off the settled amount, your debt will be considered paid in full.
  • Negotiates with your creditors on your behalf.
  • Fee based on a percentage of your total starting debt or a percentage of the debt they save you.
  • Most settlement companies have you create a separate "escrow" account where you will make monthly contributions over a certain amount of time to contribute to your settlement. Once there is a substantial amount of funds to show your creditors, the settlement company will try to negotiate a lower amount of debt.
  • Combines all your debts and creditors into one monthly payment.
  • Allows you to pay one monthly payment to the consolidation company, instead of multiple payments to different creditors.
  • You no longer owe your original creditors; instead you pay one monthly payment to your consolidation company.
  • Consolidation companies can help negotiate lower interest rates on your debts and help lower your total debt payment in the long run. A lower interest rate will lower the amount you owe in the end.
  • Allows you to consolidate all your different debts into one personal loan that can be paid off over time.
  • Can offer borrowers a lower interest rate with a longer payback term (compared to high-interest credit cards or medical bills). This will lower the amount of money required to pay off the loan over time.
  • Personal loan debt consolidation can be an effective way to raise your credit score quickly (within 3-6 months).
  • Borrowers can receive funds from their loan within only a few days.

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Our Score
4.5
User Score
--
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

monthly fee
Undisclosed

Up-Front Fees

setup & activation fees
Up to $25

Free Consultation

is one included?
Yes

Time in Business

total # of years
30 years

Credit Counseling

do they offer credit counseling services?
Yes

Certified Credit Counselors

are there certified counselors on staff?
Yes

ISO Certified

is this business ISO certified?
No

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BDC
0
Our Score
9.4
User Score
9.6
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

monthly price range
Up to $69

Up-Front Fees

setup & activation fees
Up to $49

Free Consultation

is one included?
Yes

Time in Business

total # of years
24 years

Credit Counseling

do they offer credit counseling services?
Yes

Certified Credit Counselors

are there certified counselors on staff?
Yes

ISO Certified

is this business ISO certified?
Yes

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BDC
609