Start My Answer

Largest Debt Settlement Companies

Sarah Edwards | March 28, 2024

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Edwards is a professional researcher and writer specializing in legal content. An Emerson College alumna, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the prestigious Boston institution.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Freedom Debt Relief, National Debt Relief, Accredited Debt Relief, and Clear One Advantage are some of the largest and best debt settlement companies in the US. If you're considering debt settlement, you can use SoloSettle to send an offer to start negotiations.

If you owe old debts, you’re likely receiving letters or phone calls from collection agencies. You may be struggling financially, trying to figure out how to get out from underneath your crushing debt and move on with your life.

Most people don’t intentionally get into a downward spiral of debt. It begins slowly when they sign up for a new credit card to cover their car repairs or take out student loans to cover tuition costs.

As debt piles on, it becomes more difficult to pay off. At some point, balancing minimum payments with basic expenses becomes all a person can handle.

However, you likely have other financial requirements besides paying off creditors. You need to save for your children’s college tuition, and you should be putting aside money for retirement. If you can’t balance everything and most of your money is going toward interest to your creditors, it’s time to take action. Debt settlement could be the best move.

Settle with SoloSettle

Make an Offer

What is debt settlement?

One way of getting rid of credit obligations is through debt settlement. Debt settlement agencies negotiate with creditors on behalf of their clients to settle debts for a reduced amount.

Typically, clients agree to pay a specific monthly amount to the debt settlement agency. The company establishes a bank account for you where they hold all of your payments until you have enough saved up to pay off a creditor.

Once you have the requisite amount, they work with the creditor to obtain a payoff amount. In most cases, debt settlement companies can settle your debts for 40% to 70% of their original value, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.

However, working with a debt settlement company isn’t free. Usually, you agree to pay them a certain percentage of the total amount of your debt for their services. The fee typically ranges from 10% to 25% of the value of the obligations you want to settle.

What are the largest debt settlement companies in the U.S.?

Debt settlement is a booming business in the U.S. thanks to our reliance on credit. Most people have several major credit cards and may have other financing sources like store accounts, car loans, and home mortgages. When debt becomes overwhelming, people look for a way out.

Some of the largest debt settlement companies include:

  • Freedom Debt Relief
  • National Debt Relief
  • Accredited Debt Relief
  • Clear One Advantage

Below, we take a closer look at each of these companies and their services.

Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief first opened in 2002. Since then, the company has had over 650,000 clients and resolved over $10 billion worth of consumer debts. Currently, the company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Most customers can complete their entire program within two to four years and may save money through its settlement options.

However, there are numerous consumer complaints against the company, many of which relate to its fees. Freedom Debt Relief advises that clients will incur 15% to 25% in costs for the total value of their debt.

Freedom Debt Relief says it does not collect fees for its services upfront. However, they reserve the right to charge you the total value of their services once they make an initial payment to one of your creditors, which may be part of a payment arrangement.

Let’s consider an example.

Example: Robert owes $10,000 in debt, and he hires Freedom Debt Relief to to help him reach a settlement of $6,000. Before costs and fees, Roberts thinks he’s save $4,000. However, Freedom Debt Relief charges a 20% fee based on his overall debt for their services, so Robert ends up owing them $2,000. In the end, Robert pays the collector $6,000 and Freedom Debt Relief $2,000, meaning he’s only saved $2,000.

National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief opened in 2009. Since then, they’ve helped 400,000 people get out of debt. The company has an A+ rating with the BBB. Like Freedom Debt Relief, most people can complete the debt settlement program within two to four years.

The BBB website shows many customer complaints, mainly about the fees that National Debt Relief charges for their services. Clients frequently note that the company charges them more than initially agreed upon. Some consumers even complain that the company stops payment to creditors in favor of collecting fees.

Accredited Debt Relief

Accredited Debt Relief opened in 2011. Since then, the company has helped over 200,000 people resolve $1 billion in outstanding debt. Clients agree to pay 15% to 25% to the company for handling the administrative tasks of settling their debt.

On average, customers repay 55% or less of their total outstanding debt to their creditors, not including the fees they pay to the company.

To qualify for the Accredited Debt Relief program, you must owe more than $10,000 in debt. The company accepts unsecured debts, including credit cards and medical bills.

Clear One Advantage

Clear One Advantage first began in 2008. The company has helped over 170,000 individuals through its debt settlement program. Clear One Advantage boasts an A+ rating from the BBB, though customer reviews average 3.84 of 5 stars.

Customers begin the program by undergoing a debt analysis with one of the company’s debt specialists. The specialist helps you determine how much you can afford to pay monthly toward settling your debt. Typically, you pay fees equal to 15% to 25% of the total value of your debt.

Most people complete the program within two to five years.

Is working with a debt settlement company worth it?

While debt settlement companies can resolve your debts for a fraction of their original value, you will also pay handsomely for their services.

For instance, if you have $10,000 in unsecured credit card obligations, the debt settlement company may be able to settle your accounts for 50% of their value. However, you’ll pay between $1,500 and $2,500 in fees, resulting in a savings of only 25% to 35%.

Most debt settlement companies advise you to stop making payments to your creditors so they’ll be more willing to come to a compromise with you. Stopping your payments will damage your credit score, potentially by several hundred points.

You can handle debt settlement independently without the assistance of intermediaries who charge you additional fees for their services. If you’ve already stopped making payments to your creditors, they may be willing to accept a settlement offer from you to pay off your debts.

If you decide to handle debt settlement on your own, you will need to be diligent. Make sure to save money each month toward paying off your debts and design a plan that allows you to tackle the oldest ones first.

Eliminating the older debts you’ve stopped paying reduces the potential for the creditor to file a lawsuit against you, which can be detrimental to your settlement efforts.

Settle your debt for good with SoloSettle

If you’re being sued by a debt collector, there is a good chance you can settle the debt for a percentage of the original amount on your own. SoloSettle makes it esy to get the process started. As a tech-based approach to debt settlement, SoloSettle is different from traditaional debt settlement companies. Our software helps consumers, like you, send and receive settlement offers and reach an agreement with debt collectors and creditors alike.

If you are dealing with a debt buyer — someone who bought your debt from the original creditor — then they will probably accept a settlement between 1%–50% of the amount they're suing you for. On average, debt collectors buy debts for 8 percent of the face value of a debt. Meaning if they settle for 10 percent of the debt, they will earn 2 percent. If you are dealing with the original creditor, they will be less willing to settle for a low amount. You may be able to settle for 20%-70% of the debt.

Put together a realistic offer based on your finances and the debt itself. If you can't afford a lump sum payment, then monthly payments may be your best option.

Check out this video to learn more about how to reach a debt settlement in three parts:

What is SoloSettle?

In a lawsuit, settlement is the best way to resolve a debt. Most collectors will accept a small percentage of the debt even if they are owed thousands. When a settlement is reached, the collector will provide a settlement agreement and the case will be dismissed upon payment.

SoloSettle makes it easy to settle with your collector. Here’s how it works:

  1. You get sued for a debt and file an Answer.
  2. Use SoloSettle to make an offer to begin negotiation.
  3. When you and the collector agree to an amount, we’ll arrange payment.

Result? You save thousands by settling the debt, and the collector leaves you alone. Check out this video to watch a real SoloSettle customer’s debt get settled:

Here are some of the great features that make SoloSettle unique:

  • You only pay if a settlement is reached.
  • Automated offer drafting is done for you.
  • You don’t have to make any direct contact with the collector.
  • The debt collector leaves you alone.

Sign up for SoloSettle here.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

Get Started

Debt settlement tips from a lawyer

We want to learn more about. how to negotiate a debt settlement, so we asked a debt lawyer. Here's what we learned:

  • Make a realistic offer, and be prepared to negotiate. Most collectors and creditors will counteroffer.
  • For junk debt buyers, settlements of 10-35% of the total debt are typical, while original creditors may accept 50-75%.
  • If you propose a payment plan, ensure it's realistic for your budget.
  • Be truthful about your financial situation, as creditors often have detailed information about you.
  • Avoid threatening bankruptcy if you don't mean it, as this empty threat is often ineffective.
  • Paint a picture of your financial hardship to the creditors or their lawyers.
  • Show proof of your limited ability to pay, like being on Social Security, facing multiple debts, or having wage garnishments.

Watch the video below for the full interview on debt settlement with consumer rights attorney, John Skiba:

How to Answer a Summons for debt collection in all 50 states

Here's a list of guides on how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in each state:

The Ultimate 50 State Guide

Guides on how to resolve debt with every debt collector

Are you being sued by a debt collector? We’re making guides on how to resolve debt with each one.

Resolve your debt with your creditor

Some creditors, banks, and lenders have an internal collections department. If they come after you for a debt, Solosuit can still help you respond and resolve the debt. Here’s a list of guides on how to resolve debt with different creditors.

Settle your medical debt

Having a health challenge is stressful, but dealing medical debt on top of it is overwhelming. Here are some resources on how to manage medical debt.

Guides on arbitration

If the thought of going to court stresses you out, you’re not alone. Many Americans who are sued for credit card debt utilize a Motion to Compel Arbitration to push their case out of court and into arbitration.

Below are some resources on how to use an arbitration clause to your advantage and win a debt lawsuit.

Stop calls from debt collectors

Do you keep getting calls from an unknown number, only to realize that it’s a debt collector on the other line? If you’ve been called by any of the following numbers, chances are you have collectors coming after you, and we’ll tell you how to stop them.

Federal debt collection laws can protect you

Knowing your rights makes it easier to stand up for your rights. Below, we’ve compiled all our articles on federal debt collection laws that protect you from unfair practices.

Get debt relief in your state

We’ve created a specialized guide on how to find debt relief in all 50 states, complete with steps to take to find relief, state-specific resources, and more.

Debt collection laws in all 50 states

Debt collection laws vary by state, so we have compiled a guide to each state’s debt collection laws to make it easier for you to stand up for your rights—no matter where you live.

Statute of limitations on debt state guides

Like all debt collection laws, the statute of limitations on debt varies by state. So, we wrote a guide on each state’s statutes. Check it out below.

Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection by State (Best Guide)

Check the status of your court case

Don’t have time to go to your local courthouse to check the status of your case? We’ve created a guide on how to check the status of your case in every state, complete with online search tools and court directories.

How to stop wage garnishment in your state

Forgot to respond to your debt lawsuit? The judge may have ordered a default judgment against you, and with a default judgment, debt collectors can garnish your wages. Here are our guides on how to stop wage garnishment in all 50 states.

How to settle a debt in your state

Debt settlement is one of the most effective ways to resolve a debt and save money. We’ve created a guide on how to settle your debt in all 50 states. Find out how to settle in your state with a simple click and explore other debt settlement resources below.

How to settle with every debt collector

Not sure how to negotiate a debt settlement with a debt collector? We are creating guides to help you know how to start the settlement conversation and increase your chances of coming to an agreement with every debt collector.

Other debt settlement resources

Personal loan and debt relief reviews

We give a factual review of the following debt consolidation, debt settlement, and loan organizations and companies to help you make an informed decision before you take on a debt.

Civil law legal definitions

You can represent yourself in court. Save yourself the time and cost of finding an attorney, and use the following resources to understand legal definitions better and how they may apply to your case.

Get answers to these FAQs on debt collection

How-to debt guides

Learn more with these additional debt resources