The debt consolidation industry offers solutions to combine multiple debts, such as credit card bills, or other loans into one monthly payment. This debt management solution may be helpful for the consumer with many outstanding debts, particularly debts with higher interest rates. The benefit of debt consolidation is to help consumers develop a workable budget, pay off debt and save money for retirement. Debt counselors offer a variety of services in local offices, online or over the phone to help with a debt consolidation plan.

Top 10 Most Reviewed Debt Consolidation Companies

Cambridge Credit Counseling is a 501©(3) non-profit credit and housing counseling agency that was founded in 1996. They provide credit counseling and financial literacy education to consumers across the country.
Freedom Debt Relief is a credit advocacy company founded in 2002 by Stanford Business School graduates that now employs over 800 people. They work with over 80,000 customers, and have two main offices in San Mateo and Phoenix.
Consolidated Credit is a credit counseling firm that has been in business for over 20 years. They have helped over 5 million people get out of debt, and offer free debt and budget analysis to potential customers.
Lexington Law Firm has more than 24 years of experience helping consumers repair bad credit. Their credit repair services are available in all states, and they also provide of-counsel attorneys for clients in certain states.
GreenPath Debt Solutions is a non-profit, credit counseling organization that has been helping customers get out of debt since 1961. They offer free debt counseling, and specialize in helping people eliminate credit card debt.
CountryWide Debt Relief has over 30 years of combined experience helping consumers find a solution to getting out of debt. Debt consolidation and debt relief services are offered whether consumers have good credit or bad credit.
Ovation Credit has helped thousands of consumers repair their credit reports! Credit scores affect every aspect of your financial life, and Ovation makes credit repair fast and effective. They stand up for the CREDIT YOU DESERVE!
National Debt Relief offers debt reduction, financial consultations, credit counseling and education. National Debt Relief is one of the largest debt settlement companies in the United States.
Partnered with the United Consumer Advocacy Network, Century offers custom plans to fit clients' budgets & resolve debt in a short period of time. Their online portal also allows customers better engagement with their program.
Elite Financial Services is a debt settlement company. They have helped thousands of individuals begin living debt free. They offer professional help and are available to answer important questions.

Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.

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What features matter most?

Credit counseling

Before consolidating debt, the consumer should find a reputable credit counseling organization for advice on money management and debt. The credit counseling agency should provide free information about its services before the customer gives the organization any personal information. Check with the state Attorney General to investigate whether the company has any complaints lodged. NFCC also provides a list of certified consumer credit counselors. When choosing a credit counselor, the customer should look for these features.

  • Services: Look for companies with counseling, debt management and money classes.
  • Qualifications: Review the qualifications of certifications of the counselors and the agency.
  • Security: Make certain all personal information is protected.
  • Fees: Understand all fees, and do not sign any contract without reading it first. All verbal promises should be in writing.
  • Plan: The customer should look for a credit counseling service that also helps avoid future debt problems.

Saving plan

In addition to helping you with your debt, many companies offer information and assistance with setting up a savings plan. Find out if your debt counselor can help you create a savings plan. Developing a savings plan is a crucial way to stay out of debt in the future.

  • Contract: It's a good idea to find out what types of contract the debt counselor offers and if it includes long-term help with a savings plan.
  • Experience: Find out if a company has been successful helping past clients develop savings plans.
  • Cost: Some companies will offer assistance with savings plans as part of a package while others will charge extra for it. Many services include free features to help with saving.
  • Free: Look for a debt assistance agency with robust educational offerings including classes, videos, podcasts, blogs and e-books. Many agencies offer these savings aids for free on their website.

Debt management

Debt management includes learning how to pay off existing debt and stay out of debt in the future. There are a wide variety of debt management programs. Make certain when signing up for a debt management program that you understand the details, especially the fees.

  • Experience: Investigate the company’s history. Find out how long the company has been in operation and how many customers they have successfully helped in the past. Look for firms that are accredited and licensed.
  • Types of debt: Choose a company that specializes in your particular situation. Some companies are better at working with customers with excess credit card debt, while others focus on personal or student loan debt.
  • Support: Good debt management companies offer ongoing support to help the customer manage debt and develop responsible spending habits. Choose a provider with extensive phone and online customer support hours.

Price

Debt assistance agencies offer a variety of services at many price points. For your debt consolidation and other debt concerns make sure you understand the pricing structure in advance and have all cost information in writing.

  • Services: The consumer must understand the services and costs they sign up for.
  • Pricing models: Some companies will charge a flat fee for their service while others offer an a la carte menu, with different prices for each service. Another pricing model is a percent fee charged on the amount of your debt.
  • Payment plans: Some debt consolidation companies offer payment plans while others require upfront payment.

Security

When dealing with sensitive financial information, it's important to choose a debt consolidation company that will protect your information and keep your data private.

  • Encryption: Investigate how the company communicates with its clients and how they encrypt their information.
  • Contract: Review the contract for privacy policies and methods to keep personal information safe.
  • Licensing: Thoroughly investigate the firm’s credentials, licensure and accreditation. A credentialed agency may be more likely to keep sensitive information private.

Qualifications

Debt counselors that work for the debt consolidation firms should be qualified to practice in your state. Look on the company website to find out whether the agency and its counselors are accredited and/or certified.

  • Certification: Your debt counselor should be certified by a reputable organization and/or certification by appropriate authorities.
  • Training: Learn about the counselors’ on-going training requirements. Find out if they’re required to attend continuing education classes. Ask where they received training: in-house or through a third party.
  • Employee compensation: Ask how the counselors are compensated. Find out if they’re paid more by selling additional services. This type of compensation structure makes the counselors advice less reliable. Salaried employees will be more likely to have the consumer’s best interests in mind.

Types of Debt Counseling within Debt Consolidation Companies

Credit counseling

Credit counseling is the most common form of debt counseling. Most credit counseling plans are designed to teach consumers basic principles of debt reduction and how to avoid future debt and credit problems.

Housing counseling

Housing counselors help with mortgage debt and can also advise renters, people interested in buying a new home and seniors who want to take advantage of reverse mortgages. Housing counseling is great for people who want to avoid foreclosure on their homes or people who want to take advantage of different government programs.

Bankruptcy counseling

Federal law stipulates anyone considering filing for bankruptcy must seek counseling before filing. They are also required to complete an education course before filing. Bankruptcy counselors must obtain approval from the U.S. Trustees Office before counseling anyone.

Student loan counseling

Student loans are difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. Students seeking help managing their student loan payments should look for NFCC Certified Consumer Credit Counselors. The counselor will help the student evaluate and understand her repayment and assistance options.

Who is a candidate for debt consolidation?

Over-spenders

Consumers who have built up debt through overspending may benefit from debt consolidation. It’s important for these consumers to avoid taking on additional debt while repaying their existing loans.

Students

College and advanced degrees can become every expensive in America. Students sometimes leave school with exorbitant debt and can benefit from debt consolidation and counseling.

Unemployed

People who are unemployed may accrue more debt than they can pay back immediately. They may benefit from debt consolidation and counseling to help them repay their debt with manageable payments. It’s especially important for the unemployed to keep fees and costs to a minimum.

Small business owners

Starting a small business requires a lot of capital and may involve going into debt to cover start-up costs. Small business owners can benefit from debt counseling and possibly debt consolidation to make sure they stay on top of their payments while funneling money into their new business.

Average consumer

Sometimes the cost of living and lack of proper financial education can lead consumers to take on more debt than they can repay in a reasonable amount of time. Unexpected expenses or job loss can also lead to excess debt. Consumers with too much high interest rate debt may benefit from debt consolidation.

Company reviews

  • Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp.

    Cambridge Credit Counseling was established in 1996 and works to provide credit counseling, debt management programs and financial literacy education across America. It is a non-profit company and specializes in credit, housing, reverse mortgage and bankruptcy counseling and debt reduction services.

    • Free credit counseling: Non-profit Cambridge Credit Counseling offers free credit counseling by nationally certified debt experts to consumers who need to find ways to get out of debt.
    • Services: The counselors analyze the client’s financial situation and help with saving and debt reduction plans. They offer a variety of debt related services including credit card, housing, reverse mortgage, foreclosure, bankruptcy and financial education.
    • Expertise: Cambridge Credit Counseling counselors have, on average, 13 years of experience and hold national certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, the Partnership for Financial Education, NeighborWorks and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    • Credentials: Cambridge Credit Counseling is a 501(c)(3) non-profit credit and housing counseling agency. Cambridge is an ISO 9001:2008 FCAA Code of Practice compliant debt counseling agency.
    • Best for Those with excessive credit card debt, mortgage debt, student loan debt and individuals in need of credit counseling.
  • Freedom Debt Relief

    Freedom Debt Relief is a credit advocacy and debt resolution company that has resolved over $4 billion in debt for their clients. They have over 900 highly-trained professionals at their company. Their individualized approach first reviews every customer’s personal situation to determine whether they are the best fit for the company. If the company can’t help the consumer, they refer them to a more suitable agency.

    • No fees upfront: Freedom Debt Relief doesn't charge any fees until after they have resolved a debt for you.
    • Training: Employees receive in-depth training and frequent quality assurance monitoring.
    • Customer support: They have friendly customer support specialists available online 24/7 and an online consumer portal to help clients stay informed and in control.
    • Certifications: The company is a Platinum Member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA), a Charter Member of the American Fair Credit Council and accredited by BSI Management Systems.
    • Services: Freedom Debt Relief offers options for debt management such as debt settlement, credit counseling, debt consolidation and additional methods of financial assistance.
    • Bankruptcy: Freedom Debt Relief can help consumers work through their bankruptcy plans and options as well as manage their debts.
    • Best for Consumers worried about bankruptcy, over-spenders, individuals with excessive credit card debt and more.
  • Lexington Law

    Lexington Law was founded in 1991 and helps consumers understand their rights regarding credit reports and credit repair. They have over 20 years of experience helping consumers repair bad credit. Their services include education and credit repair.

    • Fees: Lexington Law doesn't ask for any payment upfront. Consumers pay only after services are rendered.
    • Secure: They offer legal services in a private and professional manner and protect your personal information.
    • Services: Lexington Law provides a wide range of services including assistance removing negative items from the clients’ credit reports, consumer rights, bankruptcy, divorce, child custody and general litigation services.
    • Pricing Plans: Tiered and transparent pricing structure. The company offers several affordable monthly plans based on the consumer’s credit repair needs.
    • Best for Average consumers and small business owners with negative items on their credit.
  • Consolidated Credit Counseling Services

    Consolidated Credit has been in business for over 20 years and has helped over 5 million people with their credit card debt. The company offers a wide range of debt assistance programs including debt management, credit improvement, avoiding foreclosure and bankruptcy plans. Consolidated Credit also offers a strong counseling and financial education component.

    • Accredited: They are an ISO 9001:2000 Registered Organization.
    • Certified professionals: The majority of their counselors and staff are certified financial counselors (CFC). They are required to renew their certifications every 3 years as well as undertake additional training.
    • Services: They offer an extensive list of services and resources to help consumers deal with their debt. A few of their offerings under the debt solutions category include debt management, debt consolidation, counseling, consumer credit rights information and helpful calculators. Their financial advice offerings are extensive with a library of information, webinars and individual counseling. Financial advice topics include budgeting, credit report, credit score, student loan and more.
    • Free assistance: Consolidated Credit offers a host of free calculators, including credit card debt repayment, credit score loan cost, debt-to-income, debt restructuring, saving and more. Their online educational resources are easily accessible from their website.
    • Customized programs: The company offers customized programs to help tailor debt relief solutions to the client’s personal needs.
    • Support: The company’s online chat support populates with the first visit to the site. Consolidated Credit offers easy access to company services through their phone support. There is a walk-in branch in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
    • Best for Average consumers with debt and credit issues, homeowners facing foreclosure, along with small business owners and those seeking extensive financial education resources.
  • GreenPath Debt Solutions

    Established in 1961 as Michigan Credit Union League, GreenPath debt solutions has grown into a large financial services organization. The company has offices across the country and helps more than 200,000 people annually.

    • Recognition and certification: GreenPath was one of the first agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide bankruptcy counseling and education services. GreenPath’s accreditations include the Counsel on Accreditation (COA), National Foundation for Credit counseling (NFCC) and The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA).
    • Free counseling: The company offers free credit and debt counseling along with financial education. Their other services offer low and transparent fees.
    • In-person help: GreenPath has 50 branch offices and can help consumers in all 50 states.
    • Services: GreenPath’s services span the debt and credit landscape including help with credit counseling, debt management, housing issues, student loan debt, credit report problems, reverse mortgages and bankruptcy. Their extensive GreenPath University provides financial education and includes financial calculators, eLearning, videos and webinars.
    • Credit report support: They have specialists to help clients review their credit report and improve their credit score.
    • Bankruptcy: The company is approved by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide bankruptcy counseling needed to file Chapters 7 or 13.
    • Best for Individuals with credit or debt problems seeking individual branches in addition to online help, those with too much credit card debt, those with student loan debt, those with credit report problems and those seeking bankruptcy help.
  • CountryWide Debt Relief

    CountryWide Debt Relief is a 30-year-old debt settlement company that educates its clients about options to avoid bankruptcy. The firm is a proactive company that negotiates with debtors, coordinates repayment and teaches clients about improving their credit scores.

    • Best for Consumers facing financial hardship, individuals who are late paying debts, those who lack the possibility of paying their debts in the future and those facing a bankruptcy.
  • Elite Financial Services

    Elite Financial Services is a debt settlement company that can help consumers eliminate debt in as little as 12 months. They only charge consumers a fee once they have successfully settled their debts, which can ease the financial burden of debt settlement.

    • Best for Elite Financial Services is best for average consumers.
  • Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada

    Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. is a nonprofit credit counseling organization that helps Canadians eliminate their debt responsibly. Their educational resources guide consumers to handle their current debt and learn money management skills that can prevent debt in the future.

    • Best for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. is best for Canadian individuals, families and businesses.
  • National Debt Relief

    National Debt Relief helps consumers find relief from burdensome debt with their debt settlement services. They offer alternatives to bankruptcy along with educational resources for people who are considering filing for bankruptcy.

    • No upfront cost: There are no upfront fees to use National Debt Relief’s services, and you only pay them when they succeed in reducing your debt. Fees range depending on where you live and will be anywhere from 20-25 percent of the total debt paid.
    • Free budget planner worksheets: Start managing your budget by downloading a free budget planner worksheet from National Debt Relief’s website. This tool will help you figure out if you will have a surplus or deficit at the end of the month based on your monthly income and monthly expenses.
    • Learn how where you live influences your debt: Credit laws and living costs can impact the amount of debt you rack up, which means some states have more consumers in debt than others. Find out how your state compares on National Debt Relief’s website, along with what you can do to manage your debt, even if you live in a state that isn’t yet served by National Debt Relief.
    • Qualify for debt relief in seconds: Simply fill out a short form on National Debt Relief’s website to see if you qualify for debt relief. You will be contacted by a representative who can help you figure out your next move.
    • Low rate of return customers: Unlike retailers or other companies, National Debt Relief does not want to see repeat customers. Repeat business means they did not succeed in setting their clients up for financial success through debt management and education. Over 99.9 percent of their clients walk away and never return, which is a statistic National Debt Relief plans to maintain.
    • Best for National Debt Relief is best for average consumers and overspenders.
  • Century Support Services

    Century Support Services is a debt settlement company that was founded in 2012 with headquarters in Pennsylvania. The help consumers reduce their debt by negotiating with companies to forgive a significant amount of unsecured debt.

    • Best for Those with unsecured debt who want to quickly reduce the amount they owe.
  • Family Credit Management

    Non-profit Family Credit Management, a credit counseling agency has been in business for more than 20 years. The company has helped over 100,000 people get out of debt.

    • Best for Average consumers and small business owners with past due credit cards, student loans and other debt.
  • ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions

    Clearpoint Credit Counseling is a non-profit, education-focused credit counseling firm committed to teaching consumer’s better money management skills. The 50-year-old firm offers budget, debt and housing advice. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and has more than 40 branches nation-wide.

    • Best for Individuals looking for counseling and educational resources, consumers with excessive debt and those concerned about foreclosure or bankruptcy.
  • Money Management International

    Money Management International, founded in 1958, is the largest non-profit, full service credit counseling agency in the U.S.  Their services include professional financial guidance, credit, bankruptcy and housing counseling, as well as education and debt management services.

    • Best for Consumers with financial problems including over-spenders, students, home-owners, the unemployed and those dedicated to improving their financial situation through counseling.
  • Debt Counseling Corp.

    Debt Counseling Corp. is a non-profit debt consolidation company with a program to help consumers manage their excessive debt. The company has certified credit counselors and has been in business for over 15 years.

    • Best for Average consumers with excessive credit card debt and those living paycheck to paycheck.

  • InCharge Debt Solutions

    InCharge is a 501 (d) (3) non-profit organization offering free and impartial debt relief solutions to consumers struggling with debt. In business since 1997, InCharge’s Certified financial counselors have helped 1.2 million people with credit card debt as well as people facing bankruptcy and foreclosure.

    • Best for Consumers with financial problems including over-spenders, students, home-owners and the unemployed.
  • Square One Resolutions

    Square One Resolutions is a niche player in the debt management field. The firm gathers the client’s student loan information and additional details and works with attorneys and lenders to resolve the underlying debt. They have a variety of programs designed for the individual’s specific situation.

    • Best for Former students of private institutions of higher education with excessive student loan debt.
  • Superior Debt Relief Services

    Superior Debt Relief Services, operating since 1998, is a debt settlement and consolidation company committed to helping clients become debt free. The company attempts to negotiate the consumer’s debt to lower the total amount due. The firm uses ethical approaches to reduce debt for qualifying clients.

    • Best for Those with excessive debt loads and consumers looking to have their debt interest payments lowered.
  • 7 Steps to 720, LLC

    7 Steps to 720 is an education and information company devoted to helping individuals reach their highest possible credit scores. The company provides several tools that make it possible for individuals to reach credit scores of 720, even if they’ve had financial problems in the past. The company’s ultimate goal is to help consumers raise their credit score in order to lower interest payments and the total amount of interest paid on debt.

    • Best for Those looking for specific tactics to improve their credit score and to learn how to manage debt.

11 – 84 Most Reviewed Debt Consolidation Companies

Family Credit Management is a non-profit credit counseling agency that has been in business since 1999. They have worked with over 100,000 people on their debt burdens and offer their services across the country.
Credit Solutions are a credit repair company that has been in business since 2003. They are based in Texas, and work with clients on improving their credit in Texas, Florida, Arizona, California, New York and other states.
Midland Credit Management helps consumers resolve overdue financial obligations and improve their overall financial health. They are headquartered in San Diego, but work with clients all over the country.
LowerMyBills.com is a free online service that lets consumers compare rates on monthly bills to reduce the cost of living. They work with over 500 service providers on services such as home loans, credit cards, and insurance.
Care One Credit is a debt relief service that has helped over 5 million people improve their financial standing. They were founded over 20 years ago, and offer customers a six-month money back guarantee on their services.
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a non-profit credit counseling organization that's helped Canadians remedy their debt problems since 2005. They provide free educational resources and debt analysis tools.
National Recovery Agency is a nationwide provider of accounts receivable management. They help consumers, businesses and other organizations resolve debts and work with thousands of people every day to collect overdue payments.
Meredian Financial Corporation helps consumers consolidate their debt into one low monthly payment. Consumers can enhance their money management skills with Meredian’s online educational resources.
The Debt Relief Network is a debt relief services company that has been helping debtors since 2001. They help with services such as student loan consolidation, tax debt relief, bankruptcy help and more.
Home Savers USA is a foreclosure mediation and consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas. They can help with partial claims, forbearances, legal assistance, and modifications, and are licensed by the Texas Insurance Commission.
Debt Settlement of America is a national debt settlement company that specializes in helping individuals with financial hardships. They can negotiate lower settlements for clients who are having a hard time paying off bills.
Fire International is a debt settlement and credit correction program based in New York City, NY. They help consumers with issues related to debt settlement, credit correction, bankruptcy and more.
Clear Debt Solution is a debt relief services company. Though it continues to offer support to pre-existing clients, the company is no longer accepting any new business.
Century Negotiations Inc. is a debt relief agency that specializes in debt settlement and negotiation services. They were founded in Pennsylvania in 1999, and have worked with thousands of clients on their debt relief.
Preferred Financial Services is a debt settlement company that helps consumers reduce credit card debt by negotiating with creditors. They are based in Andover, MA but work with thousands of clients across the country.
American Consumer Credit Counseling is a nonprofit credit counseling agency that helps consumers bring down their debt. They have been in business since 1991, and offer credit counseling to clients with free debt consultation.
Debt Management Credit Counseling Corp. is a nonprofit debt consolidation company located in FL. They specialize in debt relief services, credit services, housing, counseling and educational services for consumers with debt.
Consumer Debt Solutions was founded in June of 2000 in Doral, Florida and is a debt solutions directory and information resource. They compile information for consumers about a variety of debt and credit related services.
Global Client Solutions is a service provider to consumers and their debt settlement companies that was founded in 2003 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They specialize in providing disbursement accounts that help consumers save money.
Crusader Consumer Services is a company that offers debt consolidation, debt settlement and merchant cash advance programs as well as credit repair. They were founded in 2004 in New York State and provide services nationwide.
New Era was established in 1999 and has help settle more than $200 million in debt. They provide debt settlements for most types of unsecured personal debts. New Era negotiates with creditors to help consumers save money.
DebtFreeAmerica.com is a debt solution provider that works with clients nationwide, and are a member of the Better Business Bureau of Virginia. They provide certified counselors and free financial counseling classes.
First Financial Group is a financial services organization that focuses on helping retired individuals. They are headquartered in Clearwater, FL and specialize in protecting current assets, investment goals and tax reduction.
Atlas Settlement Group, Inc. is a structured settlement insurance agency that offer consumers help with medical malpractice, casualty claims, worker's compensation and more. They have office locations around the country.
CuraDebt was founded in 2000 and helps individuals and small businesses manage and reduce their unsecured debt. They can help with several types of debt, including credit cards, personal loans, medical bill, back taxes and more.
County Financial Services is a provider of mortgage rates, life insurance policies and house insurance products for consumers. They offer many types of protection including income, critical illness, payment protection and more.
Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions has been providing customers with budget, debt and housing advice for over 50 years. They are headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and have more than 50 branches around the country.
Larson Tax Relief has been in business since 2005 and has helped clients with help paying off and reducing their tax debt. They have a team of licensed tax professionals that work with both individuals and businesses.
Consumer Legal Center is a law firm that provides legal services that help with bankruptcy, real estate litigation and default resolution. They have a staff of over 25 consultants, and provide free assessment for homeowners.
Geared toward recent grads who need to restructure student loan debt, Square One Resolutions offers basic private loan protection. Consultants work with clients to tailor solutions to their specific circumstances and needs.
Money Management International is the largest non-profit full service credit counseling agency in the U.S. They were founded in 1958, and are a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
InCharge Debt Solutions is an organization that provides free and impartial debt relief solutions to consumers that are struggling with debt. They are based in Orlando, FL and have helped over a million people get out of debt.
Superior Debt Relief Services has negotiated debt settlements with credit card companies for almost 20 years. The company also provides educational services that teach clients how to avoid debt in the future.
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