Best Debt Consolidation Loan Companies
Personal Finance Contributing Editor
Updated on 02/27/2018
Debt consolidation companies offer solutions to combine multiple debts–such as credit card bills, home loans, or other loans–into one easy-to-manage monthly payment. This debt relief solution may be helpful for consumers with many outstanding debts, especially if they have debts with high interest rates.
When combined with debt negotiation (also known as debt settlement), debt consolidation helps consumers save substantial amounts of money, 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.
Compare Reviews for Top Debt Consolidation Companies
|National Debt Relief|
Read 22662 Reviews
National Debt Relief offers debt reduction, financial consultations, credit counseling, debt consolidation and education. National Debt Relief focuses on helping individuals and families get out of debt and avoid bankruptcy.
|Freedom Debt Relief|
Read 12187 Reviews
Freedom Debt Relief is a credit advocacy company founded in 2002 by Stanford Business School graduates. Freedom Debt Relief employs over 1,300 people who work with over 300,000 clients to help them reduce debt.
Read 1021 Reviews
Lexington Law Firm has more than 25 years of experience helping consumers repair bad credit. Their credit repair services cover bankruptcies, charge-offs and tax liens, helping their clients achieve financial freedom.
|Consolidated Credit Counseling Services|
Read 1013 Reviews
Consolidated Credit is a credit counseling and debt relief firm that's been in business for over 20 years. Serving over 5 million people, they offer professional debt and budget counseling, including debt consolidation services.
|Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp.|
Read 1836 Reviews
Cambridge Credit Counseling is a non-profit credit and housing counseling agency that was founded in 1996. They provide various counseling services and financial literacy education to consumers across the country.
|Pacific Debt Inc|
Read 494 Reviews
Founded in 2002, Pacific Debt has settled millions of dollars in consumer debt each year. Pacific Debt offers personalized service with its enrollment and client care processes, assigning managers to each account.
|Accredited Debt Relief|
Read 251 Reviews
Accredited Debt Relief is a debt negotiation and debt relief company that helps clients take control of their finances. The trained consultants and negotiators offer a full suite of debt services that put their clients first.
|CountryWide Debt Relief|
Read 404 Reviews
CountryWide Debt Relief has over 30 years of combined experience helps consumers find solutions to getting out of debt. The company specializes in debt negotiation, debt settlement and debt consolidation for clients.
|Century Support Services|
Read 326 Reviews
Century Support Services offers custom debt settlement programs to fit their clients' budgets and resolve unsecured debt as quickly as possible. Century gets results to help clients in their journey toward financial freedom.
|New Era Debt Solutions|
Read 89 Reviews
Based in Camarillo, California, New Era Debt Solutions has been serving its clients since 1999. With a reputation for honesty and transparency, New Era Debt Solutions provides fast service and expert negotiation.
|GreenPath Financial Wellness|
Read 349 Reviews
GreenPath 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.
Read 20 Reviews
In business since 2004, Credit Saint is a credit repair company which helps customers remove inaccurate, biased or incomplete negative items from their credit reports. They offer a 90 day money back guarantee on their services.
|Ovation Credit Services|
Read 320 Reviews
Ovation Credit is a credit repair company that helps consumers rebuild their credit profiles. Ovation offers customizable credit programs by providing one-on-one service to make sure clients find the credit solutions for them.
|CountryWide Debt Consolidation Loans|
Read 16 Reviews
CountryWide Debt Relief has several options for debt relief, including debt settlement, debt consolidation and consumer credit counseling services. They help people facing financial hardships, including people facing bankruptcy.
|Midland Credit Management|
Read 194 Reviews
Midland Credit Management helps consumers resolve overdue financial obligations and improve their overall financial health. The company is headquartered in San Diego but works with clients all over the country.
Questions to ask when choosing a debt consolidation company
Do they offer credit counseling?
Before consolidating debt, the consumer should find a reputable credit counseling organization for advice on money management and debt relief. Some debt consolidation companies offer credit counseling services in-house. When choosing a credit counselor, there are numerous features to consider.
- Services and seminars: Aside from one-on-one consultation, credit counseling services often offer classes and seminars about building credit.
- Qualifications: Review the qualifications of certifications of the counselors and the agency to make sure they have the right credentials. Also, see if any substantial complaints are leveled against the counseling service.
- Security: Most credit counseling companies have access to a lot of information, and you’ll want to make sure yours is secure. Review a counseling company’s security policy before giving them your information.
- Fees: Getting a clear picture of any upfront or hidden fees is one way to make sure the debt relief service is right for you. Do not sign any contract without reading it first. The counseling service should put any verbal promises regarding price in writing.
- Planning: Credit counseling can help solve current problems, but having a good plan can help you in your financial future. Look for a credit counseling service that also helps avoid future debt problems by helping you come up with a financial plan.
Does the company help with a savings plan?
In addition to helping you with debt relief, 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 to stay out of debt in the future, and make sure to review important information before agreeing to a savings plan.
- Review contract: If you want a savings plan as part of your service, make sure it appears in your contract. That way, you can have the terms set in writing.
- Client success: It’s always a good idea to look for reviews and success stories before setting up a savings plan. A company with a track record of success means you will work with a more experienced agency.
- Extra service fees: Even if a savings plan is not part of your service deal, some companies offer assistance in setting up a savings plan at an additional cost.
- Savings resources: Debt relief agencies sometimes have robust educational resources that include classes, videos, podcasts, blogs and e-books. Many agencies offer these savings aids for free on their websites.
What qualities should you look for in a debt management service?
If you're in the market for debt consolidation, you may also want to look into debt management as well. 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 regarding customer support.
- Company history: 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.
- Specialized help: Consider choosing a company that specializes in your particular situation. Some companies specialize in debt settlement or might be better at working with customers with excess credit card debt, while others focus on personal or student loan debt.
- Customer support: You will likely want to work with a debt consolidation company with accessible experts. Look for providers with extensive phone hours or online support in case you need to contact someone. You can also find companies that offer continued support with savings or management plans after your debt is consolidated.
How do I pay for debt consolidation services?
Debt assistance agencies offer their services at many different price points. For your debt consolidation, debt settlement and other debt relief concerns, make sure you understand the pricing structure in advance and have all cost information in writing to find a payment plan that fits your needs.
- Flat fees and package deals: Some debt consolidation companies charge a flat fee for their services. These services are often available in tiered packages, charging a flat rate for each collection of debt relief services.
- Custom price: Some debt consolidation companies will work with you to create a unique payment plan to best fit your financial plan.
- Payment plans: Some debt consolidation companies offer payment plans instead of upfront payment. This method of payment may be the best option if you cannot pay for services directly out of pocket.
How do I know my information is secure?
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. Make sure you ask about a company’s information security before giving them your information.
- Encryption: Ask how the company communicates safely with its clients. You don’t need to know the specifics about a company’s encryption methods, but you will want to make sure your credit information is encrypted.
- Licensing: A debt consolidation company must pass several background checks, provide proof of accreditation and endure a lengthy application process before becoming licensed. Make sure your chosen debt consolidation company has gone through the proper channels to become licensed before you give them your information.
What qualifications should a debt counselor have?
Debt counselors who work for the debt consolidation firms should be qualified to practice in your state. It is a good idea to review not only the accreditation of a company but also an individual counselor’s qualifications to make sure you’re getting professional service.
- Certification: Your debt counselor should be certified by a reputable organization and the appropriate authorities like the National Association of Certified Credit Counselors (NACCC) or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).
- Education background: It’s fairly common to inquire about your counselor’s education background. Some companies also require that their counselors continue their education with seminars or in-house training.
- Employee compensation: Sometimes, counselors earn more money by selling additional services. This compensation model can lead some counselors to push services on clients that they may not need. Salaried employees will be more likely to have the consumer’s best interests in mind.
What types of debt consolidation counseling services are there?
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 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 coupled with debt consolidation or even debt settlement can help people avoid foreclosure on their homes or people who want to take advantage of different government programs.
Federal law stipulates anyone considering filing for bankruptcy must seek counseling before filing. They are also required to complete an education course before filing. Sometimes, debt consolidation can help clients avoid bankruptcy.
Student loan counseling
Student loans are difficult to repay. Some debt consolidation offer counseling services that help with student loan debt in particular. The counselor will help the student evaluate and understand her repayment and assistance options to decide which type of debt relief option is best.
How to consolidate debt
Make a list of all your debts
The first step to taking control of your finances and consolidating debt is to make a list of all your loan and credit card balances. Write down your monthly payment amounts and interest rates so that you can focus on finding a debt consolidation loan with a lower interest rate than what you're paying today. Many debt consolidation companies specialize in credit card debt consolidation. If you have multiple credit card payments, calculate your average interest rate so you can measure that against a single, lower interest rate loan option.
Consider all debt consolidation options
When seeking debt relief, consumers who opt to consolidate their debt still have a handful of options to choose from. You can transfer all your debt to a single credit card, open a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (also known as a HELOC), take out a personal loan or tap into their savings. Each option comes with its own advantages and setbacks.
Choose between a secured vs. unsecured loan
If you've weighed your debt relief options and you decide to take out a debt consolidation loan, you'll need to choose between a secured loan or an unsecured loan. Most personal loans are unsecured loans–which means there are no assets at risk. While this sounds ideal for most consumers, not everyone will qualify for an unsecured personal loan. Personal loans usually top out at $10,000 but will vary based on your credit score and credit history. Larger personal loans will require better credit scores, and not every consumer will qualify for the debt consolidation loan amount he needs to consolidate all debt into one, fixed monthly payment. Home equity loans are secured loans that often come with lower interest rates but longer repayment periods–which means you'll accrue more interest over the life of the loan.
Find the lowest interest rates available to you
Getting a lower interest rate on a debt consolidation loan is possible if you have a good credit history. Getting a debt consolidation loan with bad credit certainly isn't unheard of–but higher interest rates could mean you aren't saving much money, which could defeat the purpose of consolidating your debt into one, easy payment. When you're choosing a debt consolidation loan provider, consider the full amount of interest you'll pay over the life of the loan. Opting for a shorter term would increase your monthly payments but will also reduce the amount of interest and fees you'll pay over time.
Expert reviews about debt consolidation companies
Cambridge Credit Counseling was established in 1996 and works to provide credit counseling, debt management programs and financial literacy education to clients across America. It is a non-profit company and specializes in credit, housing, reverse mortgage and bankruptcy counseling and debt reduction services.
Freedom Debt Relief is a credit advocacy and debt resolution company that has resolved over $4 billion in debt for its clients. Freedom Debt Relief has 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.
Consolidated Credit has been in business for over 20 years and has helped over 5 million people eliminate 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.
Established in 1961 as Michigan Credit Union League, GreenPath debt solutions has grown into a full nonprofit financial services organization. The company has offices across the country and helps more than 200,000 people annually.
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.
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.
Founded in 2002, Pacific Debt Inc. was created to address the rise of consumer debt in the United States. Since its founding, Pacific Debt has settled millions of dollars in consumer debt each month by offering counseling and solutions that put the customer first.
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.
Century Support Services is a debt settlement company that was founded in 2012 with headquarters in Pennsylvania. Century Support Services helps consumers reduce their debt by negotiating with companies to forgive a significant amount of unsecured debt.
New Era Debt Solutions has been offering people debt relief options since 1999. It provides debt settlement programs for multiple types of unsecured debt, including credit cards, personal lines of credit, repossessions, judgments and private student loans.
Accredited Debt Relief works with several debt relief partners to help clients take control of their financial futures. Accredited Debt Relief reviews different debt relief programs and makes sure to match clients with the debt solution right for them.
This financial service company helps you settle your debt quickly by offering a selection of debt strategies catered to you. Professionals help you design a custom debt solution that meets your unique financial needs.
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.
Nonprofit 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.
Clearpoint Credit Counseling is a non-profit, education-focused credit counseling firm committed to teaching consumers better money management skills. Founded in 1964, the firm offers budget, debt and housing advice. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and has more than 40 branches nation-wide.
Money Management International, founded in 1958, is a 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.
Debt Counseling Corp. is a not for profit debt consolidation company with a program to help clients manage their excessive debt. The company employs certified credit counselors and was founded in 1995.
- Action plan: The firm offers an action plan tailored to the consumer’s specific needs to help lower consumers’ interest rates and monthly payments.
- Accreditation and licensure: Debt Counseling Corp. is a licensed 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization and is accredited by BSI for ISO 9001:2008. The company is also licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
- Fees and payments: Debt Counseling Corp. charges a combined monthly fee that includes a service charge and a debt repayment amount payable to the company, who then pays the consumer’s creditors.
- Free debt analysis: Debt Counseling Corp. provides free debt analysis for clients before they choose to enroll in their service. Once enrolled, program participants are eligible to continue free debt counseling.
- Education: Debt Counseling Corp. offers an online library, newsletter and free in-person seminars for those consumers who live near their home office.
- Best for: consumers with excessive credit card debt and those living paycheck to paycheck.
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 and people facing bankruptcy and foreclosure.
Square One Resolutions specializes in solving student loan debt. 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.
Founded in 1998, Superior Debt Relief Services 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.
- Credentials: All Superior Debt Relief Services’ consultants and negotiators are accredited through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA). Additionally, the debt negotiation officers are tested and certified by Arbitrain Training Systems. The company belongs to the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators and is a member of the U.S. Organization of Bankruptcy Alternatives.
- Services: Superior Debt Relief provides debt settlement, debt consolidation, credit counseling and Chapter 7 bankruptcy services to clients.
- Negotiation experts: Superior debt relief focuses on negotiating with creditors in an attempt to reduce interest rates and total debt payments for their clients. The company has on-staff attorneys available for consultation at no additional charge.
- Fees: Superior doesn’t get paid until the client reaches a debt settlement. After settlement, Superior will continue to offer debt management advice to clients if they need it.
- Best for: people with excessive debt loads and consumers looking to have their debt interest payments lowered.
7 Steps to 720 is an education and information company devoted to helping individuals reach their highest possible credit scores. For a one-time fee, 7 Steps to 720 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.
- Information topics: The firm has a wealth of information and referrals across a broad spectrum of money-management and debt related topics, including credit scores, credit reports, credit cards, bankruptcy and FICO.
- Additional services: 7 Steps to 720 provides additional information and referrals to appropriate attorneys and other credit-related services.
- Credit expertise: 7 Steps to 720 provides straightforward answers to some of the most common questions people have about how credit scores are determined, what credit scores mean and why they are important. Members have access to tutorials that explain how to read credit reports and fix errors that may harm credit scores.
- Step-by-step lessons: Online video lessons from 7 Steps to 720 provide step-by-step instructions to help members understand credit rating systems and how consumers can improve their credit scores within just a couple of years. 7 Steps to 720 also hosts accessible action guides for using credit cards strategically to improve credit as quickly as possible.
- User forum: 7 Steps to 720 provides a user forum where members can discuss lessons from the website and share additional tips for improving credit scores.
- Fee: The one-time fee includes step-by-step lessons, action guides and a user forum on a secure portal.
- Best for: for people looking for specific tactics to improve their credit score and to learn how to manage debt.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Compare Reviews for Top Debt Consolidation Companies
|Family Credit Management|
Read 306 Reviews
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 across the country to reduce their financial burdens.
|Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada|
Read 58 Reviews
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.
|Elite Financial Services|
Read 27 Reviews
Elite Financial Services is a debt settlement company that helps clients rebuild their financial lives. The professionals at Elite Financial Services do not charge for their services until settlements are reached.
|Global Client Solutions|
Read 14 Reviews
Founded in 2003 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Global Client Solutions provides account management and debt settlement solutions to clients. They specialize in providing disbursement accounts that help consumers save money.
Read 6 Reviews
CuraDebt began helping individuals and small business manage their debts in Irvine, California before expanding nationally in 2000. The company has a team of dedicated professionals and an in-house debt management program.
Read 97 Reviews
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.
Read 10 Reviews
Century Negotiations Inc. is a debt relief agency that specializes in debt settlement and negotiation services. The company was founded in Pennsylvania in 1999 and has settled over $600 million in debt thousands of clients.
Read 7 Reviews
This financial service creates customized programs to help their clients get out of debt quickly. As a Public Benefit Corporation, they put customers first and negotiate with creditors to get you the best solution possible.
|American Consumer Credit Counseling||Read 7 Reviews|
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 free debt and credit counseling to clients.
|Consumer Debt Solutions||Read Reviews|
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.
|Superior Debt Relief Services||Read Expert Review|
Superior Debt Relief Services has negotiated debt settlements with credit card companies since 1998. The company also provides educational services that teach clients how to avoid debt in the future.
|Clear Debt Solution||Read 10 Reviews|
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.
|Meredian Financial Corp.||Read 25 Reviews|
Meredian Financial Corporation helps consumers manage their debt with a suite of educational resources. Meredian’s staff works to improve your financial management and consolidate your debt to a manageable payment.
|Credit Solutions of America|
Read 164 Reviews
Credit Solutions of America is a credit repair company that services clients in Texas, Florida, Arizona, California, New York, Illinois and more. They offer free consultation for prospective clients.
|ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions||Read Reviews|
For over 50 years, Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions has been providing customers with financial advice. They are headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and have more than 50 branches around the country.
|Debt Settlement of America||Read 16 Reviews|
Debt Settlement of America is a debt settlement company that specializes in helping individuals with financial hardships avoid bankruptcy. They help with debt settlement and debt negotiation.
|Square One Resolutions||Read Reviews|
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.
|Preferred Financial Services||Read 7 Reviews|
Preferred Financial Services is a debt settlement company that helps consumers reduce credit card debt by negotiating with creditors. They are based in Andover, Massachusetts and work with thousands of clients across the country.
|CareOne Credit Counseling|
Read 60 Reviews
CareOne Credit is a debt relief service that has helped over 5 million people improve their financial standing. They offer personalized debt consolidation counseling and a six-month money back guarantee on their services.
|7 Steps to 720, LLC||Read Expert Review|
The 7 Steps to 720 program teaches members how to improve their credit scores through strategic use of credit cards. The system was developed by mortgage broker Philip Tirone to teach people about how credit works.
|Money Management International||Read Reviews|
Founded in 1958, Money Management International is a non-profit full service credit counseling agency. The company provides credit counseling, debt management assistance, community educational programs and more.
|Homesavers USA||Read 18 Reviews|
Home Savers USA is a foreclosure mediation and consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas. They are licensed by the Texas Insurance Commission and help with partial claims, forbearances, legal assistance and loan modifications.
|InCharge Debt Solutions||Read Reviews|
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 3 million people get out of debt.
|Debt Counseling Corp.||Read Expert Review|
Debt Counseling Corporation is a nonprofit organization that has helped clients manage debt for over 15 years. They provide free debt analysis, debt management and budget planning for consumers.
|1st Financial Group||Read Reviews|
First Financial Group is a financial services organization that focuses on helping clients. They are headquartered in Clearwater, Florida and specialize in protecting current assets, investment goals and tax reduction.
|Debt Relief Network||Read 22 Reviews|
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.