Best Debt Companys

164 Companies 2,932 Real Customer Reviews

How We Rank - Understanding our ranking criteria

Debt Consolidation Ranking Criteria

Accreditations: 7% of Overall Score

In multiple survey’s we have conducted, a company’s accreditations are consistently important to consumers. In the debt consolidation industry, we believe it is important for companies to have the following:

Interest Rates: 9% of Overall Score

Many companies claim to lower interest rates for customers when they consolidate their loans. However, customers won’t know how much they are actually lower their interest rates until they fully examined their case. We look at companies and see how they are able to achieve lower interest rates for their customers.

Monthly Fees: 11% of Overall Score

The obvious reason people go into debt in the first place is because they spend too much money that they don’t have. The last thing they should be doing is paying a bunch more money to try and get out of debt. A debt relief company that won’t charge customers too much is one that we feel good about recommending. While a great company does a lot of work for their customers, they also won’t charge more than they need to for services performed.

Account Management: 6% of Overall Score

If you have no idea where to start on your debt relief journey, then you’re not alone. Many people have no idea where to start. A great company will provide the following benefits:

  • Credit Counseling
  • No Cancellation Fee
  • Free Consultation

The more a company is willing to provide upfront, the better.

State Availbility: 4% of Overall Score

We reward companies that extend their services to more people. One of the easiest ways to do this is offer consolidation programs in all U.S. states. Debt Consolidation companies are judged based on the number of states they opperate out of.

Up-Front Fees: 9% of Overall Score

Up-front fees can be an unnecessary added burden to individuals that are trying to get out of debt. Some companies may find it hard to avoid upfront fees, considering the amount of work that goes into service in the beginning. Companies that charge up-front aren’t necessarily bad, but it’s always a promising sign when a company can charge little or nothing when they first get started.

Time in Business: 3% of Overall Score

Experience in the industry and multiple surveys have taught us that people trust companies that have been in business for longer than a year or two. This isn’t the only determining factor in trust, but it is an important one. A company that has been around for a while shows that they have been able to weather storms that have come their way and that it is very likely that they will be around to serve customers for years to come.

Spanish Services: 3% of Overall Score

Not many companies have representatives that speak Spanish to serve a significant portion of the population that seeks out debt consolidation services. We give companies that offer these services a few extra points for making the extra effort.

Online Dashboard 3% of Overall Score

We like to see it when companies innovate and create better services and experiences for their customers. Many companies have started to offer an online dashboard or portal where their clients can see their account information as well as track their progress. This makes the company more transparent, and allows the consumer to feel more in control.

User Reviews: 25% of Overall Score

We want to make sure that customers have a say in our rankings. They’ve had real world experiences with these business and we think it’s very important that they have the ability to tell other people about it. If you’ve had an experience with any of the companies we’ve reviewed, let us know in the comments section on their review page.

Expert Review: 20% of Overall Score

Along with the criteria points above and the user reviews, we take into account various other factors that help to determine the viability, longevity and trustworthiness of businesses that we rank and review on our site. Company size, company leaders, transparency and more play a part in our expert review criteria.


Debt Settlement Ranking Criteria

Price: 14.5% of Overall Score

When it comes to your finances, price is important. We believe that it is one of the top factors when it comes to settling your debt. We take into account how companies charge your for their services, whether they take a percentage of your overall debt or a percentage of debt saved. We want to make sure you are treated fairly when it comes to your money.

Accreditations: 11.5% of Overall Score

One of the ways we determine whether or not a company can be trusted is based on their accreditations. Some of the most important accreditations include AFCC(American Fair Credit Council) and IAPDA(International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators). We also look into see whether or not these companies are FTC(Federal Trade Commission) compliant. While these accreditations do not guarantee that a company is of good, it is an important indicator.

Account Set-Up: 9.5% of Overall Score

Taking the steps necessary to get out of debt can be difficult, and we want to make sure companies are taking care of their customers. We take want to reward companies who offer free, no-obligation free consultations and no up-front fees. The best debt settlement companies will make sure you are taken care of.

State Availability: 9.5% of Overall Score

Because of state laws, many debt settlement companies choose not to offer services in certain states. The more states a company works with, the higher they score.

Minimum Debt to Start: 7.5% of Overall Score

Because Debt Settlement companies charge a percentage of the debt they settle (or the remaining debt you have), some companies believe that settling debts under a certain dollar amount isn’t worth it. We reward companies that choose to help more people – meaning companies that have a lower debt requirement to sign up are award more points from us.

Time in Business: 7.5% of Overall Score

The amount of time a company has been in the business, is a good indicator of whether or not they are good company. In this industry especially, the longer a company has been around, the better.

Online Dashboard: 5% of Overall Score

The easiest way for people to track how much debt they have settled is with an online dashboard. Companies that provide this service are ranked higher than those that do not.

User Reviews: 25% of Overall Score

This site is designed to give potential customers the clearest picture of what they will be getting when they decide to do business with one of the companies we’ve reviewed. Part of offering a clear view is allowing customers to share their experiences with these companies. We’ve given A LOT of weight to validated customer reviews and opinions that are posted on our site. Your opinion matters, and we want that to reflect in how the companies on this site are reviewed!

Company Stability: 10% of Overall Score

We look at the legal history and financial stability of each company. This metric takes into consideration any bankruptcies, class action lawsuits, government lawsuits, or government investigations a company has had in the last five years.


Tax Debt Relief Ranking Criteria

Price: 7% of Overall Score

Price is an important component of our debt settlement rankings. While this criteria point doesn’t carry as much weight as it does in the debt settlement and consolidation rankings, it’s still important. This point is not as weighted because other factors like the staff members of a company or the overall trust in them is a more important aspect of a tax relief company. Most companies you will need to call to get a price for your specific situation. Companies are awarded the maximum number of points if they display pricing on their site. Some points are award for general pricing information online, and some for giving pricing over the phone.

Professional Association Members: 7% of Overall Score

There are various organizations or associations that both companies and individuals can become affiliated with. Just because a company is a member of one of these organizations does not mean that they are a company that you should automatically be ok working with. However, when a company is a member it greatly increases the likelihood that they are a trustworthy business because of the standards that these organizations enforce. Certification with one or many of these organizations is a sign of trustworthiness to a certain extent.

Some of these associations include: The American Bar Association (ABA), The American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS), National Association of Tax Resolution Companies (NATRC), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), and National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP).

Staff Accreditations: 7% of Overall Score

A company’s staff credibility is an important aspect to receiving tax relief. It is important to know if a company has these members on staff. Each staff member’s certification and credibility to deal with customer tax relief is an important factor to the trust and legitimacy of a company.

  • Enrolled Agent: An Enrolled Agent (EA) is an individual that has completed certain certification steps to be allowed to work with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They are empowered by the Department of Treasury. An EA is able to work with individuals in all 50 states. They are an essential part of a good tax relief company.
  • Tax Attorneys:
    Tax Attorneys have passed board exams and ideally have an excellent understanding of tax laws. They differ from regular attorneys in that they have dedicated additional time to focusing more specifically on tax laws. They are an incredibly important part of a good tax relief company.
  • CPA:
    Having a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on staff is important because they generally have a very good understanding of taxes and finance in general. They have passed specific exams and been certified to help with taxes. They are a (word cut) valuable resource for individuals regarding taxes.
Refund Policy: 6% of Overall Score

A trustworthy tax relief company stands by their word and they won’t make promises they can’t keep. A refund policy is one way of knowing whether a company will stand by their work or not.

Tax Problems a Company Works With: 5% of Overall Score

We want to see that a company can handle the following tax problems:

  • Wage Garnish Relief
  • Back Tax Solutions
  • Tax Audit
  • Tax Lien
  • Levy
  • Asset seizure
State Availability: 6% of Overall Score

Not all tax debt relief companies offer their services in every state. Because we want to reward companies that can help the greatest number of people, the more states a company works in, the higher their score.

IRS Negotiation Tactics: 5% of Overall Score

We want to see that a company has experience negotiating with the IRS in the following ways:

  • Offer in compromise
  • Installment agreement
  • Currently not collectible
  • Penalty Abatement
  • Innocent spouse relief
  • IRS Appeals
Minimum Tax Debt: 5% of Overall Score

As with most debt relief companies, tax relief companies will often only work with someone who has a certain amount of tax debt. The lower the minimum debt requirement is, the higher a company scores in this category.

Contact Information: 4% of Overall Score

The easier a company is to get ahold of, the better they are for consumers to work with. We judge companies based off whether or not they provide the following:

  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Live chat
Time in Business: 3% of Overall Score

Generally, companies that have been in business for a longer period of time are more likely to be able to serve customers best. It shows they have a proven track record. While this isn’t always the case, it’s usually how things play out. A company that has been around for a long time has most likely proven they are able to keep customers happy.

User Reviews: 20% of Overall Score

As always, user reviews are essential to what we do at BestDebtCompanys.com. Your opinion is important, and the community wants to hear it!

Expert Review: 25% of Overall Score

We’ve spent a long time figuring out why the criteria points above are important, in addition to multiple other factors including: number of employees at a company, a companies ability to scale and much more. Because of this, we reserve the right to a portion of the ranking score.


Student Debt Ranking Criteria

Fixed Interest Rates: 12% of Overall Score

When you refinance your student loans, you have the option to choose between two types of interest rates. Fixed rates mean your interest rate will never change during the length of your term. It also means that your monthly payments will never change as well. Many companies will allow customers to choose what kind of rate they want.

Variable Interest Rates: 10% of Overall Score

If you don’t want to refinance with fixed rates, some companies give you the option to refinance with a variable rate. This rate changes based on different industry benchmarks. The most common benchmark the interest rate is measured by is the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) rate. This can be measured in 1 month, 3 months or 6 months terms. While the LIBOR benchmark is not the only way to measure variable interest rates, it is one of the most common. Variable rates can either increase or decrease during the length of the term.

Account Set-Up: 10% of Overall Score

When it comes to refinancing your student loans, you want the best service possible. It can be complicated issue and you want to make sure you are being helped through every step. We look for companies who offer a free consultation, easy payment guidelines and sign-up process. Good companies will also give a variety of term lengths and the possibility of having a co-signer. We want you to choose a company that will cater to you and your needs.

Payment Flexibility: 12% of Overall Score

With federal loans, the government provides a variety of programs to help customers if they experience hardships. Refinancing with private student debt companies sometimes changes their ability to offer all the payment flexibility. We like to reward companies who also offer clients certain flexibility plans. Some of these plans include deferment option, forbearance option, unemployment protection and discounts for auto-pay.

Loan Type: 6% of Overall Score

When you choose to refinance you student loans with private companies, many will refinance both your private and federal loans. The best companies will be able to refinance both types of loans.

BBB Score: 5% of Overall Score

Many companies and individuals have mixed feelings about the Better Business Bureau and in a number of cases these feelings are justified. Some ratings seem a bit odd and unfounded. However, we feel that overall a BBB rating is a great starting point for people when trying to determine the trustworthiness and viability of a business. These ratings can provide excellent insight into how a business deals with consumers and the efforts they make to insure that both past and current customers are happy.

Time in Business: 5% of Overall Score

Experience in the industry and multiple surveys have taught us that people trust companies that have been in business for longer than a year or two. This isn’t the only determining factor in trust, but it can be an important one. A company that has been around for a while shows that they have been able to weather storms that have come their way and that it is very likely that they will be around to serve customers for years to come.

User Reviews: 15% of Overall Score

We want to make sure that customers have a say in our rankings. They’ve had real world experiences with these business and we think it’s very important that they have the ability to tell other people about it. If you’ve had an experience with any of the companies we’ve reviewed, let us know in the comments section on their review page.

Expert Review: 25% of Overall Score

Along with the criteria points above and the user reviews, we take into account various other factors that help to determine the viability, longevity and trustworthiness of businesses that we rank and review on our site. Number of employees, revenue, historical and more play a part in our expert review criteria.


You can’t buy love… or rankings

Disclosure: We do not have any relationships with companies that guarantee position, rank, or score…and we never will. Our ranking of home security companies is based on our Ranking Criteria algorithm, and backed by real user reviews. We are compensated by some companies we review, depending on their willingness to work with us. (Not all companies are fans of an honest review site)

Poll

  • How important is it to you for a debt consolidation company to offer financial education resources?
  • 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.

Find A Company

Recent News:

Recently Reviewed:

Trending Blog Post:

Want us to review a company?

If there is a debt company that you don't see on our site, and would like us to review, please contact us.

Real Reviews (yes they’re real)

With so many debt relief companies out there, and a lack of sites willing to bring you the HONEST breakdowns of each company, what source can you turn to for the real information you can trust?

We are dedicated to bringing the truth out, and rank debt relief companies as they should be. Through our investigation, and experience with each company, we rank each company, and bring you our honest, unbiased opinion. We also include authentic user reviews by past customers of each company that are moderated and verified.

Like many sites, we are compensated through affiliate relationships with each company we review, however all of our rankings are based on our 11-Point Ranking Criteria.

All reviews are subject to moderation and approval. Any reviews that may resemble false information, or competitors of another company will need to be verified by our staff before being approved and published. We reserve the right to approve or deny any reviews left on this site.