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Find the Best Debt Relief Companies in Boston, MA

If you’re overwhelmed with credit card bills or other unsecured debts, a debt relief company can help. Boston.com has partnered with ConsumerAffairs to create this guide by comparing fees, services and customer reviews of 34 businesses to find the top 10 debt relief companies in Boston.

This content was created by a Boston.com partner. The editorial department of Boston.com had no role in writing, production, or display. Boston.com may be compensated for publishing this content and/or receive a commission on purchases of products or services described within the post.

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How to get debt relief in Boston

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When you fall on hard financial times, it can be overwhelming to find a reputable company to help. Regarding debt relief and settlement, you need a company that won’t take advantage of your vulnerable situation and will guide you through the entire process.

If you are struggling to get out from under a mound of debt, now is the time to start researching debt settlement companies. Not all debts are eligible for settlement, but those that are include:

  • Credit cards
  • Medical bills
  • Personal loans
  • Some private student loans
  • Some types of business debts

Boston has specifically correlated student loan debt with negatively affecting homeownership opportunities. If you find yourself behind on student loan payments and it’s hindering your ability to purchase a home, debt settlement may be right for you.

There are a variety of considerations when choosing a debt relief company. Debt amount is a large factor because some companies don’t work with low debts. Additionally, you may want to work with a company offering more than just debt relief services. Some feature counseling and mentoring services, too, which can help maintain debt-free living after settlements are reached.

“When it comes to debt relief, be sure to do your research,” says Paw Vej, COO at Financer.com. “Many scams are designed to take advantage of people in need.”

Vej says red flags include refusing to provide detailed information on services, high-pressure sales and sudden price or service availability changes. Asking friends and family for recommendations, reading online reviews and researching debt relief companies are great ways to ensure you’re not going to be ripped off. The Federal Trade Commission regulates debt relief companies. Additionally, the American Fair Credit Council and International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators offer accreditations and advocate for fair debt settlement procedures.

Types of debt relief in Boston

If you’re looking for Boston debt relief, there are a few options. These include:

  • Debt consolidation: Debt consolidation is taking a lump sum from a credit card or loan company, paying off multiple debt accounts and then having one monthly payment. Ultimately, this leads to paying less in interest over time, and you may even qualify for no interest if paid off in a certain amount of time. Fees apply, so be sure to read the fine print of any consolidation agreement.
  • Debt settlement: Debt settlement means negotiating with creditors to pay less than the total amount owed. This is typically only for those who have not been able to make payment over an extended time. Debt settlement can be done through a settlement firm or you can go DIY if you’re confident in your negotiating skills.
  • Bankruptcy: Filing for bankruptcy can sometimes reduce and eliminate your debts, but there are consequences. The biggest is damage to your credit score. There are two common bankruptcy types: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 stays on your record for 10 years and Chapter 13 for seven.
  • Credit counseling: Credit counseling can advise you on managing your money and debts, develop budgets and organize a debt management plan. These companies are typically non-profit organizations, so there is low or no cost for services.
  • Balance transfers: Balance transfers move credit card debt from one card to another. This could be a new credit card or an existing account. Credit card companies often offer promotional or introductory interest rates, which might be as low as 0 percent APR for a certain length of time. Balance transfer fees may apply.

How much does debt relief cost in Boston

Most debt relief company fees range from 15 to 27 percent*. One benefit of debt relief is that companies legally can’t charge you fees until debts are settled. This typically means no upfront fees are required, and many companies offer free financial assessments before you commit to a debt relief program. Fees will typically be charged based on the total amount of debt in the settlement. Some companies offer referral bonuses to lower your costs.

Company Debt amount Minimum fees* Term
National Debt Relief Min. $7,500 15-25 percent 24-48 months
Freedom Debt Relief Min. $7,500 15-25 percent 24-48 months
CreditAssociates Min. $10,000 Flat performance-based 24-36 months
CountryWide Debt Relief Min. $10,000 Undisclosed 24-60 months
JG Wentworth Min. $10,000 18-25 percent 24-48 months
New Era Debt Solutions No minimum 23 percent 24-48 months
Total Financial Freedom Min. $5,000 Undisclosed 18-36 months
Accelerated Financial Services Min. $10,000 25 percent 36 months
*Fees accurate as of the time of publication.

There are several things to consider when it comes to the cost of debt settlement. The biggest is the debt amount. You will pay higher fees on higher amounts. However, many debt settlement companies are transparent with fees in the beginning so there are no surprises.

In addition to debt amount, interest rates will affect your overall cost. During the settlement negotiation process, you will likely still be responsible for making debt payments. The longer it takes to reach a settlement agreement, the more interest you are responsible for.

Another cost factor is settlement length. Programs can take anywhere from 18 to 60 months to fully settle debts. Throughout this time, you set money aside to pay settlement amounts. As the settlements are reached, the money you’ve set aside is used to pay. It is not always a quick process, but after you’ve completed the program, you’ll be on your way to being debt free. Boston had around $3.5 billion in household credit card debt in the first quarter of 2022, so being debt free may be an important goal for you to work toward.

Boston debt relief FAQ

What is the downside of filing for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy can be a quick way to get out of debt, but there are some cons. Public records, income limits and having to rebuild your credit are all downsides to bankruptcy. This is particularly true if you have a credit score above 600.

How can I get out of debt with no money and bad credit?

Bankruptcy is an option to consider for those with limited cash to pay off debts. There are pros and cons to bankruptcy, so it’s important to research it to make sure it’s the right choice for you.

How does debt consolidation work?

Debt consolidation is taking multiple debts and combining them into one monthly payment. You can also get lower interest rates when you consolidate, and consolidation takes months off the payoff time.

What percentage of a debt is typically accepted in a settlement?

Usually, a creditor will take 40-50 percent of your debt. Sometimes it could be as high as 80 percent. Factors that determine the amount include if you’re working with a debt settlement company and if it’s with the original creditor or a collector.

How does a credit card settlement affect your credit score?

Every situation is different, but most people see an improved and/or recovered credit score after finishing a debt settlement program. Initially, your credit score could decline, but as debts are paid off, it should start to rise again.

Boston debt relief company information

National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief offers free consultations for its debt settlement program to those with a minimum of $7,500 in debt. When working with National Debt Relief, you set aside a monthly payment into a dedicated account and the monthly amount is built around your budget. As funds are deposited, National Debt Relief negotiates with creditors to reduce balances. Once an agreement is reached, you’ll pay off the negotiated amount and National Debt Relief’s fees, ranging from 15-25 percent. National Debt Relief also connects you with credit counseling services, bankruptcy referrals, credit counseling services, consolidation loans and other financial services.

National Debt Relief Learn More

Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief requires a minimum of $7,500 in debt for debt settlement services. It starts with a risk-free consultation. Settlements can take 24 to 48 months to complete, and settlement fees range from 15-25 percent. Freedom Debt Relief is a founding member of the American Fair Credit Council and a platinum member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.

Freedom Debt Relief Learn More

JG Wentworth Debt Relief

JG Wentworth Debt Relief strictly works with unsecured debts. This includes credit card debts, some private student loans, personal loans, store card debt and more. On average, it takes around 24-48 months to pay off settled debts with JG Wentworth. Clients save around 51 percent on their total debt balance on average. JG Wentworth fees are calculated into the monthly lump sum payment upfront. You can also enroll in legal insurance for an additional monthly fee. This secures coverage if a creditor takes any legal action against you.

JG Wentworth Debt Relief Learn More (888) 505-1754

CountryWide Debt Relief

CountryWide Debt Relief helps reduce debt in around 24-60 months. Approval is guaranteed for those with at least $10,000 in debt, who are able to afford a minimum monthly payment of 1.5 percent of the total credit card debt or $250 (whichever is greater) and whose status of payment no more than 60 days delinquent. If you don’t meet these criteria, you may still be eligible to work with CountryWide Debt Relief. You can fill out an application online to begin the process.

CountryWide Debt Relief

CreditAssociates

Credit Associates offers free consultations and a $2,000 money-back guarantee. You pay nothing until your debt is settled, then performance-based fees start. Credit Associates can help you even if you have bad or no credit. Typically, Credit Associates can complete your debt relief program in about 36 months or less.

CreditAssociates

New Era Debt Solutions

New Era Debt Solutions does not require a debt minimum for settlement services. You must make a $300 minimum monthly payment into an account that will be used for debt settlements. Additionally, you must face financial hardship, like job loss or divorce, to be eligible for settlement services. New Era Debt Solutions’ programs take 24-48 months to complete. Once debts are settled, a 23 percent fee for the debt amount will be charged. This fee is included in the monthly deposits.

New Era Debt Solutions

Elite Financial Services, Inc.

Elite Financial Services offers debt settlement programs that run around 12-36 months. Once enrolled, you have 24/7 access to a portal that monitors deposits and payments. It recommends that all credit cards with a balance of $500 or more be considered for settlement program enrollment. All team members are certified by the IAPDA. Elite Financial Services has an office at 100 Cummings Center, Ste. 141A, Beverly, MA 01915.

Elite Financial Services, Inc.

Total Financial Freedom LLC

Total Financial Freedom (TFF) works with those with $5,000 of debt or more. Debt settlement programs take around 18-36 months to complete. TFF works on unsecured loans, which include medical bills, gas cards, overdue rent, personal loans, repossessions and credit cards. There are no prepayment penalties with TFF, and a free consultation is available to start. Total Financial Freedom is located at 13 Pauline St., Ste. C, Winthrop, MA 02152.

Total Financial Freedom LLC

Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) offers free debt and budget counseling services. This includes repaying credit card debt, balancing income and expenses, avoiding foreclosure, buying a home, bankruptcy and much more. MMI is a non-profit organization, and it offers counseling sessions lasting from 45-60 minutes. It also offers debt management plans, contacting creditors on your behalf to make and manage payments.

Money Management International

Accelerated Financial Services

Accelerated Financial Services (AFS) offers debt settlement programs that typically take around 36 months to complete. Generally, you need to have $10,000 in debt to work with AFS, although there are some exceptions that take this down to $5,000. AFS charges 25 percent of the debt enrolled when settlements are reached. You can lower that fee by referring others who enroll in AFS services. Consultations are risk-free. Accelerated Financial Services is located at 199 Rosewood Dr., Ste. 360, Danvers, MA 01923.

Accelerated Financial Services