Although American Debt Relief has a relatively good reputation with its customers, it isn’t fully transparent about its product offering. You’ll likely be better off working with a debt relief provider that’s clear about its product and process.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
AFCC and IAPDA accredited
Customer support is available on Saturdays
High customer satisfaction with the level of support received
Fees aren’t clearly disclosed
Minimum debt requirements (if any) aren’t disclosed
Services aren’t available in every state
- You need to be experiencing a bona fide financial hardship (e.g., unavoidable job loss) to qualify for American Debt Relief’s program.
- American Debt Relief’s website doesn’t have any financial education resources or tools.
- There haven’t been any recent legal actions by the government against American Debt Relief.
- Year Founded 2012
- Types of Debt Relief Credit cards and possibly other types of unsecured debt
- Fees Not clearly disclosed
- Average Repayment Period 24 to 48 months
- Accreditations AFCC and IAPDA
- Minimum Debt Not disclosed
- Official Website https://www.americandebtrelief.com/
American Debt Relief is a debt relief company that focuses primarily on negotiating settlements on credit card debt. If you choose to work with American Debt Relief, you won’t pay any upfront fees. Instead, you’ll only pay a fee once the company has successfully negotiated a settlement on your behalf.
A debt relief program should only be considered as a last resort as there’s no guarantee your creditors will accept a settlement and it can have a negative effect on your credit for up to seven years.
Read on to learn more about the debt settlement program offered by American Debt Relief.
American Debt Relief was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. It is focused on helping people negotiate settlements on credit card debt.
American Debt Relief doesn’t offer its services in all states. However, American Debt Relief’s website doesn’t have a state-by-state listing of its service area, but 32 states are listed on its online form to request a free debt assessment. While we assume these are where the company offers services, it isn’t specifically discussed by the company on its website. Service area is something the best debt relief companies disclose.
The company is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), one of the leading professional associations serving the debt relief industry, and is a gold accredited service center with the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
Our search didn’t uncover any recent legal actions by the government against American Debt Relief at the state or federal level.
Debt Relief Options
American Debt Relief focuses on helping consumers negotiate settlements on their credit card debt. It may be able to help you with other types of debt since the company says it normally recommends that its clients resolve all unsecured debts. However, it doesn’t provide details about other types of unsecured debt it helps with beyond this statement.
To qualify for American Debt Relief’s program, you need to be experiencing a bona fide financial hardship (e.g., a recent divorce, an unavoidable job loss, a recent death in the family). Besides this, the company says its program might be a good fit for you if you’re having trouble making your monthly payments or if high-interest rate debt is causing you to live paycheck to paycheck.
Other qualifications aren’t disclosed, so it’s unknown if you need to have a minimum amount of debt or meet other requirements. It’s common for debt settlement companies to require their clients to have at least $7,500 to $10,000 in qualifying debt to enroll in their programs.
With American Debt Relief, you won’t pay any upfront fees but rather a flat fee once the company has successfully settled your debts. This type of performance-based fee structure is common with debt relief companies since upfront fees are not allowed.
American Debt Relief doesn’t disclose its fees on its website. Rather, it states that clients who complete its debt settlement program can save about 55% before fees and 30% after fees based on the total amount of enrolled debt over 24 to 48 months. American Debt Relief’s program duration is average for the industry.
This disclosure suggests that American Debt Relief typically charges a fee of 25%, based on the total debt enrolled in the program, which at the high end of the industry standard of 15%-25%. It’s unclear if this percentage represents the fee it charges on average or if it’s the company’s normal fee. Most of the best debt settlement companies clearly state the range of fees customers can expect to pay on their websites.
Make sure you clearly understand American Debt Relief’s fees before enrolling with its program. If the fees are more than 25%, then you can very likely find a better deal elsewhere.
American Debt Relief doesn’t provide any guarantees about its program duration or whether it will be able to successfully settle your debts, which is a good practice. Avoid working with any company willing to provide such guarantees.
Customer Service: Phone Support Is Available 6 Days a Week
To get support from American Debt Relief, you’ll need to speak with a customer service agent by phone. The company’s normal business hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (CT) on Saturdays. While American Debt Relief is closed on Sundays, some of its competitors don’t offer any support on weekends.
You can call these toll free numbers to get support from American Debt Relief during its normal business hours:
- Potential clients: 1-800-752-3612
- Existing clients: 1-800-976-4872
In addition to calling the company, prospective clients can fill out an online form to have a debt resolution specialist contact them about a free debt assessment.
Unfortunately, the company doesn’t provide email addresses for specific purposes, like reaching a debt advisor or getting support. Additionally, American Debt Relief doesn’t offer support via live chat. Although this is a drawback, it’s not uncommon for debt relief companies to lack this feature.
Customer Satisfaction: Positive Reviews Outweigh the Bad Ones
We evaluated reviews from many different sources to gain insight into what it’s like to work with American Debt Relief. The vast majority of the reviews we saw were positive. Many reviewers called their representatives out by name, citing they had a pleasant experience with them.
The main drawback to these positive reviews was they mostly focused on the initial discussion. Plus, quite a few of the reviews lacked details. There weren’t many reviews from people who completed American Debt Relief’s program.
Some of the negative reviews noted customers experienced problems getting funds returned when they attempted to cancel their accounts. Responses from American Debt Relief suggest the funds were ultimately returned to the customers as requested. Other complaints centered on confusing expectations about the program’s duration and how debt relief programs work.
Make sure you understand how debt settlement works before you sign up for services. There are risks associated with this program, and it won’t work for everyone.
Once you’ve enrolled in American Debt Relief’s program, you’ll be able to manage your account 24/7 by logging into its client dashboard. The company also says you can access various financial tools, tips, and techniques via its dashboard. No other details about these resources are provided, so it’s unknown what they can specifically help you do (e.g., build and manage a budget).
If you need one-on-one account management assistance, you can speak to someone on the phone by calling during the company’s normal business hours. Other details about what you can expect after you enroll (e.g., how frequently your advisor will contact you) aren’t provided. Ongoing communication expectations are often clearly described by the best debt relief companies.
American Debt Relief focuses solely on debt settlement and doesn’t offer other types of debt relief. If you decide you want to pursue another option, like credit counseling, you’ll need to find another provider. It’s common for the best debt settlement companies to provide referrals to partners for these types of services and to disclose partnerships they’ve established with these alternative debt relief companies on their websites.
As typical with debt settlement companies, you’ll get a free debt assessment before you decide to sign up for American Debt Relief’s program. This type of free consultation is expected since debt relief providers can’t charge upfront fees. Unfortunately, American Debt Relief’s website doesn’t include other financial education resources, such as a blog, calculators, or other tools.
How American Debt Relief Compares to Other Debt Relief Companies
One of the primary competitors to American Debt Relief is Freedom Debt Relief. Both companies can help you negotiate settlements on your debt. However, American Debt Relief focuses mostly on credit cards. In contrast, Freedom Debt Relief also provides support for a wide variety of unsecured debt, plus private student loans and some unsecured business debt.
Consider these differences between American Debt Relief and Freedom Debt Relief:
- American Debt Relief doesn’t clearly disclose its typical fees, although it’s estimated that you’ll likely pay 25% of the total debt you enroll in its program.
- Freedom Debt Relief clearly discloses its fees, which are typically in the range of 15% to 25% of the total enrolled debt.
- American Debt Relief doesn’t disclose whether you’ll need to meet any minimum debt thresholds to qualify for its program.
- You’ll need at least $7,500 in qualifying debt to enroll in Freedom Debt Relief’s program.
- American Debt Relief is closed on Sundays.
- You can get support seven days a week with Freedom Debt Relief.
When comparing American Debt Relief with Freedom Debt Relief, the better option is Freedom Debt Relief. Not only is Freedom Debt Relief more transparent about its debt relief program than American Debt Relief, but it can also help you negotiate settlements on a wider variety of debts.
Read our full Freedom Debt Relief review.
|American Debt Relief vs. Freedom Debt Relief|
|American Debt Relief||Freedom Debt Relief|
|Type of Debt Relief||Mostly credit card debt||Unsecured debt (e.g., credit cards, medical bills), some private student loans, some unsecured business debt|
|Fees||Not disclosed||15% to 25% of the total enrolled debt|
|Minimum Debt||Not disclosed||$7,500|
|Customer Support||6 days a week (closed on Sundays)||7 days a week|
Although clients seem to like doing business with American Debt Relief, the company lacks transparency in some key areas. For example, it doesn’t disclose how much it usually charges in fees, and it doesn’t say if you’ll need to meet a minimum debt threshold to qualify for its services. These are items that should be fully and transparently disclosed.
The best debt relief companies make it easy for potential clients to understand their program requirements and what it’s like to do business with them. Rather than working with American Debt Relief, a better choice would be to work with a company that’s fully transparent about its debt settlement program.
All of our reviews of debt relief companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company based on offerings, customer service, pricing, years in business, accreditation, and more. To rate American Debt Relief and other providers, we developed a debt relief review methodology that compares the debt relief options offered, additional features, fees, success rates, and reported customer experiences to help us provide insights into elements like customer service and the strength of each company’s offerings.
IAPDA Certification. "IAPDA Accredited Service Centers." Accessed May 6, 2021.