DebtWave

DebtWave Reviews

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About DebtWave

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Based in California, DebtWave is a nonprofit and accredited consumer credit counseling service. It serves 46 states plus Washington, D.C. Individuals can sign up for a free, confidential budget analysis with a certified credit counselor or enroll in a debt management plan (DMP) to help pay off credit card debt within three to five years.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Free financial resources
  • Fees can be waived
Cons
  • Not available in every state

What is DebtWave?

DebtWave is a credit counseling company that offers free counseling and low-cost debt management services. It says it can help consumers decrease their credit card debt by 25% to 50%. Its credit counselors are certified through the Center for Financial Certification and are required to pass an exam and take a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education to renew their certification biennially.

Additionally, DebtWave offers free financial seminars throughout Southern California, with many events focused on increasing financial literacy among children, college students and veterans. It has a financial education podcast called “Talk Wealth To Me.”

How does DebtWave work?

Anyone can sign up for a free credit counseling session before committing to DebtWave’s DMP. After a 60-minute overview of your finances, a certified credit counselor will tell you if a DMP is right for you or if you can manage your debt on your own.

During the DMP, your creditors are contacted so that a repayment plan at a lower interest rate can be arranged. You will pay a single monthly payment until all of your debt is repaid — usually within three to five years. This is not a debt consolidation loan, and it is not a debt relief plan. You will repay all of your debt plus fees to DebtWave.

DebtWave products and services

DebtWave offers several services to help you budget and manage your debt load. Customers can expect both free and low-cost services, as well as special payment options for those in financial need. Services include:

Credit counseling
A free 60-minute credit counseling session is available to all individuals. A credit counselor will evaluate your budget and bills and advise if a DMP is right for you or if you need to liquidate assets or consider bankruptcy.
Debt management plan
With a DMP, you will work with your creditors to agree on a repayment plan to pay off your debt within three to five years. A DMP does not decrease the amount of debt you owe, but your lines of credit will be closed so you do not add to your debt.
Bankruptcy counseling
This counseling is available for pre- and post-bankruptcy filing. Completion of the course satisfies the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (EOUST) requirement for individuals and couples pursuing bankruptcy.

How much does DebtWave cost?

The credit counseling program and financial literacy events with DebtWave are free, but there are fees for other services. DebtWave does not list an exact cost for its DMP because fees are determined by state, but it will not exceed a one-time fee of $75 and a monthly fee of $49.

Bankruptcy counseling costs $25 for each session, but certain individuals can qualify for a fee waiver.

DebtWave FAQ

Will a DMP show up on my credit score?

DebtWave says that sometimes a creditor will note that debt is being repaid through a DMP, but FICO says this notation itself should not have an impact on consumer credit scores.

Will a debt management plan hurt my credit score?

Enrolling in a DMP can result in a temporary dip to your score, since you will be closing accounts. However, based on a sample of about 116 clients, DebtWave says the average client saw their FICO score increase 25 points per year once they participated in both the financial literacy and DMP programs.

Can I use a credit card while on a debt management plan?

A DMP encourages clients to enroll all of their credit card debt into the program. Once debt is enrolled in a program, accounts will be closed so that you are not tempted to take on new debt. Applying for a new credit card while on the program is highly discouraged.

Which debts can I enroll into a DMP?

DebtWave specializes in credit card debt, store-branded cards and some unsecured personal loans. It can also include select medical debts or those in collections. Car loans, payday loans, home loans and student loans cannot be added to a DMP.

Is DebtWave legit?

DebtWave is a legitimate company that has been helping individuals with their tax debt since 2001. It says it has helped more than 1 million consumers pay off more than $7 million worth of credit card debt. Along with credit counseling services, it offers free financial literacy workshops for youth, military and low- to moderate-income families.

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DebtWave Company Information

Company Name:
DebtWave
Website:
debtwave.org