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ZipDebt

DIY Solution for Debt Settlement

Our Score
5.7
User Score
10.0

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Our Score
5.7
User Score
10.0
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

one-time fee
$197 - $777

Accreditations

AFCC or IAPDA
None

Free Consultation

is one included?
Yes

Time in Business

total # of years
20 Years

Min. Debt

Min. debt accepted
No requirement

Guarantee

money back guarantee?
Yes

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BDC
1

This Review is maintained by

Review Last Updated: December 21, 2016

ZipDebt started in 1997 by Charles J. Phelan a former debt negotiator and industry expert on settlement. The company has a unique product offering in a Do-It-Yourself debt settlement program for both consumers and businesses.

The Good

ZipDebt’s foundation is based on a Do-It-Yourself approach to debt settlement. They have created some step-by-step programs allowing consumers to take full responsibility of their debts by negotiating them with their creditors.

They provide consumers with three product options ranging in price from $197 to $777, which is a less than what some pay to hire a settlement firm to negotiate debts, with fees running anywhere in the ballpark of 15-30% of the debt you enroll or the amount saved. They allow customers to make payments toward their higher end products, leaving them with a little room to breathe financially.

The following is a breakdown of their DIY programs and what customers can expect to receive in packages purchased:

  • Basic: Debt settlement CD’s, Forms & Letters, Workbook, 3 other bonuses.
  • Enhanced: Basic package + 6 month Email Coaching & Document Review, and access to settlement percentages of what the major credit card banks have been accepting recently.
  • Premium: Enhanced package + additional 6 months to Enhanced program, and 1 year of available Telephone Coaching to their customers.

Customers are offered a free 20 minute consultation with the founder of the company. Before the consultation they ask prospective customers to have a list of all their creditor’s names, the amounts due to each creditor, a list of questions to ask during the consultation, and a completed form which can be found on the website. This form will include a description of each customer’s current debt situation and financial background. Typically they will provide a return call during normal business days although they are unable to schedule callback appointments.

We like this company’s 365 day money-back guarantee policy giving customers peace of mind when deciding to make a purchase. If customers are unsatisfied with the results or materials and tools within the program package, they will be issued a full refund of the purchase price.

Along with the packages, the company provides consumers with additional tools and resources to help them paint a clearer picture of their financial situation as well as to become financially literate. Tools such as an insolvency calculator, DIY audio seminars and videos, and debt relief document reviews are all offered at an additional purchase price. Free resources include a Credit Relief Guide and a $100k debt relief guide, which will be delivered electronically.

Highlights to this company include:

  • Low price
  • 365-day money-back guarantee
  • 2 free financial relief guides

The Bad

We have a few concerns with ZipDebts product offering. While it can be a useful, and fairly inexpensive method for those who are highly motivated and independent, it seems as though this is not the best approach for just anyone to take. The product offers step-by-step guides to help consumers solve their own debts, but there are many criteria and necessary skill required to successful debt negotiation. Consumers may find themselves with an increased amount of work on top of their financial stress.

Professional negotiators and financial lawyers typically have built relationships with some of the top creditors out there. This gives them leverage while negotiating client debts, which the typical consumer does not have.

Another concern is with the product packages in general. They say the Premium Package is highly recommended for those with debt loads exceeding $50,000 providing 12 months of email coaching and document review, while the Basic package is reserved for those wishing to attain some information on debt options and how settlement works. This kind of information can be found all over the internet and by taking advantage of debt settlement companies free consultations.

We were also turned off by the 20-minute consultation. This sounds more like a sales tactic rather than a consultation to provide consumers with the best advice and information necessary to relieve their financial stress.

The Bottom Line

ZipDebt provides a Do-It-Yourself settlement program for customers willing to take on the daunting task of negotiating debt with their creditors. This may be a great option for someone seeking out a new hobby or to become more informed in the settlement world however, negotiation is process and takes time. For some it could be an added stress while for others it could a fun adrenaline rush. It all depends on the personality. For those people that would like professionals to work on their case with them we suggest looking into our top rated companies.

Price

There’s quite the variety of prices because ZipDebt is like an a la carte service. There are packages for both individual consumers as well as businesses. Customers can choose between “Basic” (price: $197), “Enhanced” (price: $397) and “Premium” (price: $777) packages depending on which services they’re most in need of and how much they’re able to afford.

Up-Front Fees

There are no upfront fees, it’s just a matter of choosing which package or materials you’re most interested in purchasing and learning from.

Free Consultation

They offer a free, 20 minute consultation with their “Negotiation Expert” Charles Phelan. Before the consultation, prospective customers are encouraged to have a list of all their creditor’s names as well as the amounts due to each creditor, a list of questions to ask during the consultation and a completed form that is included on the website which will include a description of your current debt situation and financial background. They will then give you a call during a weekday, typically within a couple business days though they can’t schedule a specific appointment to talk.

Time in Business

18 years. They have been in business since 1997.

Debt Education

The entire premise of the company is based on debt education. All the materials they sell and services they provide are about training and educating others on debt management, debt negotiation and debt settlement and how to take matters into their own hands and get the debt taken care of once and for all.

Money-Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy

ZipDebt offers a no-risk guarantee because they’re confident all customers will be satisfied and impressed with their programs and services. They offer a “365 Day Money Back Guarantee” meaning that if at any point within an entire year within purchase of any of their material, if you aren’t satisfied with the advice, techniques or material that they teach and provide, you can return the kit and they’ll refund the entire price of the purchase.

Unsecured vs. Secured Loans

Unsecured loans are the only loans that ZipDebt is able to counsel regarding. Unsecured loans include store charge cards, medical bills and credit cards bills. They are not able to help with secured loans such as mortgages, home equity lines of credit, foreclosures, IRS debts or short sales.

Mobile-Friendly Site

Yes. The site is mobile friendly and reads well from any smart phone.

Customer Support Quality

Customer support didn’t keep us on hold for too long and they were very cheerful and upbeat and excited about helping me get started. They were helpful. Overall, it was a nice experience dealing with them.

Contact Information

Email Address:

[email protected]

Address: 

1835A S Centre City Pkwy #507

Escondido, CA 92025

Services Provided

ZipDebt offers debt settlement tools for those who are looking to settle their debts themselves and in so doing save money in the process. They offer both inclusive packages with full training or customers can purchase from the “a la carte” menu, so to speak, if they’re just interested in buying a few audio CDs to teach them about how to handle creditors or how to negotiate better to reduce their debt. The website is full of helpful articles with credit counseling advice, myths regarding debt settlement, common pitfalls and problems, and lots of success stories and advice from other customers who have tackled their debt themselves.

Minimum Debt Accepted

There’s no specific minimum debt required since it’s up to the person in debt to determine if their circumstances are dire enough to require some extra assistance to get it resolved. Anyone is free to purchase the CD’s, videos or seminars.

Online Dashboard

There is no online dashboard for clients with this company. In business to offer people a Do-It-Yourself way of handling your debt settlement, this is a refreshing thing to see. You simply pay for the package that you want and all materials are delivered to you.

Accreditations

This company does not handle debt settlement or debt consolidation, so this is not applicable.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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1 ZipDebt Reviews

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  1. User Score
    10
    May 12th, 2015 San Francisco, CA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    I worked closely with Charles Phela for 1 year. He was pretty accurate in dealing with particular collection agencies and banks. For example, “though you have 15k in debt with Bank X and 5k In debt with Bank Y you should deal first with Bank X because they are aggressive and Bank Y typically settle low and rarely seek lawsuits”. With no assets at the time I joined Charles’s program, I was able to save aggressively over the course of 2 years and settle 70k of debt for 16k total.

    He typically answered my emails within hours. Keep in mind, my success with the program involved perhaps 50 hours of studying and prepping and communicating with Charles and collection agencies in the initial 9 months, then perhaps another 30 hours of work communicating with Charles and collection agencies for the remaining 15 months before I settled all 70k of my credit card debts for only 16k, so be prepared to do a lot of homework and working with the credit card comapanies. After 6 months of clearing my debts my credit score shot up to 700 from 480 when I began the program.

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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
5.7
User Score
10.0
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

one-time fee
$197 - $777

Accreditations

AFCC or IAPDA
None

Free Consultation

is one included?
Yes

Time in Business

total # of years
20 Years

Min. Debt

Min. debt accepted
No requirement

Guarantee

money back guarantee?
Yes

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BDC
1
Our Score
9.5
User Score
9.6
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Price

% of total debt
15-25%

Accreditations

AFCC or IAPDA
AFCC & IAPDA

Free Consultation

is one included?
Yes

Time in Business

total # of years
14 Years

Min. Debt

Min. debt accepted
$7,500

Guarantee

money back guarantee?
Yes

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on BDC
284