If you are experiencing financial hardship and have unsecured debt, New Era Debt Solutions is a good choice. It charges a less-than-average industry fee and has an exceptional level of transparency and an easy-to-navigate website. However, the company has a less-than-stellar record, having recently been sued by the state of Oregon, and it’s unclear what the minimum qualifying debt amount is, which could be an issue for some.
- Pros and Cons
- Key Takeaways
Live chat available
Services and resources offered in Spanish
Areas of the U.S. where New Era Debt Solutions can provide relief are clearly defined
Fees and success rates are clearly disclosed
Minimum debt requirements aren’t disclosed
Support for existing customers isn’t available on the weekend
Legal action in April 2021 related to its practices in Oregon
- The company was founded in 1999 and has helped settle over $250 million in debt.
- Fees of 14% to 23% are slightly less than the industry average (15% to 25%).
- To qualify for services, you need to have unsecured consumer debt and be experiencing a legitimate financial hardship (e.g., job loss, divorce, death in the family).
- You can make an after-hours appointment with a debt specialist.
- Customers seem highly satisfied, describing New Era’s agents as kind, compassionate, and knowledgeable.
- Year Founded 1999
- Types of Debt Relief Unsecured consumer loans
- Fees 14% to 23% of original enrolled debt
- Average Repayment Period 27.73 months on average (up to 48 months)
- Accreditations AFCC, IAPDA
- Minimum Debt Not Disclosed
- Official Website neweradebtsolutions.com
New Era Debt Solutions helps its clients negotiate settlements for unsecured consumer debt like credit cards, personal lines of credit, and repossession balances for a fee that’s slightly lower than average. Although the state of Oregon recently took legal action against the company, it is in the process of being satisfactorily resolved.
Debt settlement companies help consumers negotiate settlements on their debts in an amount less than what they owe. Once settlements are negotiated, consumers are responsible for paying their creditors the agreed-upon amounts and the debt settlement company its fees (e.g., in the case of New Era Debt Solutions, 14% to 23% of the original enrolled debt).
There’s no guarantee that debt settlement will work and it can negatively impact your credit. For these reasons, make sure only to pursue it after you’ve exhausted all other options.
A key danger of debt settlement is it can potentially ruin your credit, so you should first consider getting credit counseling or signing up for a debt management plan. With these programs, you’ll pay the full amount of principal you owe but could get a reduced interest rate. If you decide to search for this type of debt relief program, avoid any company that says it charges an upfront fee (this is illegal) or guarantees that it will be able to settle your debt for less than you owe.
Read on to learn more about the debt settlement program offered by New Era Debt Solutions.
New Era Debt Solutions is a debt settlement company founded in 1999 and headquartered in Camarillo, California. Since its inception, the company has settled over $250 million in debt for its clients. The company is a member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and a certified member of the Independent Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
People with unsecured consumer debt who are experiencing financial hardships throughout most of the United States are eligible to work with New Era Debt Solutions or its partner, the Consumer First Legal Network (CFLN). However, there are some areas where these services aren’t provided, including IA, ME, NC, OR, SD, and the District of Columbia.
In April 2021, the state of Oregon filed a claim against New Era Debt Solutions related to its debt relief practices. The filing claims that New Era Debt Solutions did not register with the state, so its services constituted a violation of Oregon state law. The company did not directly provide debt relief services to its Oregon clients but rather helped them complete applications referred to CFLN.
As a result, New Era Debt Solutions was required to cease and desist operations in Oregon and pay a civil penalty of $50,000. However, $40,000 of the penalty was suspended if the company complies with the order, doesn’t violate Oregon state law in the next three years, repays its Oregon clients $22,265.21 in fees within 18 months, and provides proof to the state that it complied with the order.
The company’s website does not list Oregon as one of the states where it offers services, including services associated with the CFLN.
Our search did not reveal any other recent lawsuits or legal actions at the state or federal level against New Era Debt Solutions.
Debt Relief Options
As previously noted, individuals with unsecured consumer debt may be eligible to work with New Era Debt Solutions, but the company does not offer relief for debt secured by collateral such as mortgages and car loans nor does it provide support for federal student loans.
In addition to having unsecured consumer loans, to qualify for assistance through New Era Debt Solutions, you must be experiencing a legitimate financial hardship including job loss, death of a family member, or divorce.
Additionally, you need to be committed to getting out of debt and building savings that you can use toward settling your debt. One way to determine if you’re in a good position to do this is to review your budget to see if you can set aside 1.5% of your qualifying debt every month in a savings account. This means if you have $20,000 in unsecured debt, you would need to be able to set aside $300 a month toward eliminating this debt.
Unlike many of its competitors, New Era Debt Solutions does not disclose any minimum debt requirements on its website.
You can expect to pay fees ranging from 14% to 23% of the total debt you originally enroll in New Era Debt Solutions’ program, which fits well within the industry average of 15% to 25%. You also won’t pay any fees up front and will only be charged when the company negotiates a settlement on your behalf. This performance-based pricing structure is customary for the industry.
Although you can expect it to take up to 48 months to complete the program, it usually takes New Era’s customers a little less than 28 months. Furthermore, on average, New Era Debt Solutions’ customers experience a 52.23% savings on the amount they owe (exclusive of its fees of 14% to 23%). Debt is normally settled for 47.77% of the enrolled balance. These results are not guaranteed, however, and will vary depending on your circumstances.
Debt settlement companies should not provide any guarantees regarding the amount of savings you’ll be able to experience or how long it will take to settle your debt. The results, if any, you experience will depend on your circumstances and how willing your lenders are to negotiate a settlement.
Customer Service: After-Hours Appointments Are Available
New Era Debt Solutions offers phone support five days a week for existing customers and six days a week for individuals wanting to speak with a debt specialist. You can even get an after-hours appointment with a debt specialist if and as needed.
If you want to speak with a debt specialist, you can call 1-800-527-4421 Monday through Saturday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. PT. Existing clients can reach a customer service agent by calling 1-800-988-4387 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT.
In addition to phone support, the company also has a live chat option available during its normal hours of operation. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a request form online.
New Era Debt Solutions has a dedicated section of its website for Spanish speakers, a feature many of its competitors don’t offer.
Customer Satisfaction: Kind and Compassionate Support
We reviewed a wide variety of resources to get a feel for what people think about New Era Debt Solutions. Overall, New Era Debt Solutions appears to be well-regarded by its customers. Many of the positive reviews included words like kind, compassionate, friendly, and knowledgeable in the description of New Era’s customer service agents. They also note that the company was able to help them satisfy their debt problems satisfactorily.
Notably, there weren’t a significant number of negative reviews about New Era Debt Solutions. The negative reviews that exist seem to focus on communication issues. The responses by New Era Debt Solutions note some of these issues may have been exacerbated by the clients not responding to New Era’s attempts to contact them.
Once you’ve enrolled in New Era Debt Solutions’ program, you’ll be able to manage your account and track your progress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by logging into its client portal. If you need to contact the support team, you can request assistance via its chat button, send an email, or call the customer service hotline.
Even though debt settlement isn’t available in all states, New Era Debt Solutions can help people in most parts of the United States. For many states, rather than working with its clients directly, it helps them put together their application and refers them to the Consumer First Legal Network (CFLN).
One of the things that set New Era Debt Solutions apart from the many of the other companies we reviewed was how easy it was to understand the areas it serves. This is because there’s a page on its website dedicated to this topic, along with pages containing free state-by-state debt relief information.
How New Era Debt Solutions Compares to Other Debt Relief Companies
Two of the most well-known debt settlement companies are New Era Debt Solutions and Freedom Debt Relief. In many regards the companies are similar. For example, both focus primarily on helping consumers resolve issues with unsecured consumer debt, and both offer services in Spanish, with dedicated sections on their websites indicating this.
Some of the key differences between New Era Debt Solutions and Freedom Debt Relief are:
- New Era Debt Solutions charges 14% to 23% of total enrolled debt, slightly less than the industry average of 15% to 25% at the high and low ends of the spectrum.
- Freedom Debt Relief charges fees that meet the industry average (15% to 25%).
- New Era Debt Solutions doesn’t disclose if it requires its customers to have a minimum amount of qualifying debt to enroll in its program.
- Freedom Debt Relief requires its customers to have at least $7,500 in qualifying debt to enroll in its program.
- While both New Era Debt Solutions and Freedom Debt Relief can help negotiate most types of unsecured consumer loans, Freedom Debt Relief can also provide support for some business debt. New Era Debt Solutions doesn’t mention business debt on its website.
Although you might pay fees slightly lower with New Era Debt Solutions, we think Freedom Debt Relief has a slight advantage. This is because it clearly discloses its minimum debt limits and can also help negotiate business debt. However, both companies are good choices if you want to work with a debt settlement company.
|New Era Debt Solutions||Freedom Debt Relief|
|Fees||14% to 23% of enrolled debt||15% to 25% of enrolled debt|
|Minimum Debt||Not Disclosed||$7,500|
|Services Offered in Spanish||Yes||Yes|
|Types of Debt Relief||Unsecured consumer debt (e.g., credit cards, personal loans, private student loans)||Unsecured consumer debt, some private student loans, and some business debt|
Overall, New Era Debt Solutions offers a good debt settlement option. You’ll pay a lower-than-average fee of your total enrolled debt, program completion time runs between 28 and 48 months, and services are available for Spanish speakers. While there is no information provided about whether a minimum amount of debt is required, most types of unsecured consumer debt (e.g., credit cards, medical bills) qualify.
Although New Era Debt Solutions was recently sued by the state of Oregon, the state agreed to suspend $40,000 of its $50,000 civil penalty as long as the company complies with the terms of the settlement. Other than that, New Era’s customers are mostly satisfied with the company’s level of support and services.
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 New Era Debt Solutions 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 things like customer service and the strength of each company’s offerings.
You can read our full methodology for a complete description of how we reviewed each company.
State of Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services Division of Financial Regulation. "In the Matter of: New Era Group, Inc. DBA New Era Debt Solutions, a California Corporation." Accessed April 18, 2021.