If you’re drowning in debt, dodging phone calls from creditors, you’re probably feeling trapped. Helpless.
The truth is, many Americans are in the same predicament. But there are ways out.
Take Kerry Smith, for instance. He was a Green Beret who did four combat tours in Iraq and four more in Afghanistan. He fought terrorists and insurgents, dodged grenades and roadside bombs.
After he retired from the Army due to combat wounds, Smith, now 42, tried his hand at real estate. But he got overwhelmed with $84,000 worth of debt from deals that went south.
Looking for help, he found a debt-resolution company called Accredited Debt Relief. He was wary of scams and ripoffs, but he decided to give it a try because of its A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau.
He’s floored by how much difference it’s making. Now, he’s paying $700 less per month on his debts.
How This Company Negotiates Your Debts Down For You
Your debt is uniquely yours, and paying it off involves a lot of strategy.
A debt specialist will review your situation — the initial consultation is free — and figure out your best path out of debt. They’ll talk you through your options and spell out a strategy for lowering your payments and maximizing your savings.
This program is all about setting you up for future success. That’s why it’ll have you open a savings account in your name that you’ll control. That’s where you’ll send monthly deposits that’ll go toward paying off your debts.
You’ll also need to stop using credit cards or drawing on that line of credit. This will help the negotiators build your case.
Then, the negotiators will work with your creditors on securing a settlement, a lump sum that’s less than what you owe. That’s how you save money. Once you approve the deal, you’ll pay the settlement out of your savings account.
How This Green Beret is Saving $700 a Month on His Debts
When Smith retired from the U.S. Army after 21 years, he was ready to try something different, so the married father of three got into real estate investing.
He bought and started remodeling a duplex in Olympia, Washington. To save money, he tried doing it himself with a home renovation loan, but he still ended up owing tens of thousands of dollars to his Home Depot and Lowe’s credit cards.
Then his dad got sick, and the family moved to North Carolina to take care of him full-time.
“I started missing payments, and then it was a massive snowball,” he says. “It was just a maelstrom of different things in my life.”
In retrospect, he would have done things differently. But hindsight is 20/20.
“That’s how I got into this spot,” he says. “It wasn’t that we were out buying Gucci or designer threads or anything like that. I was just trying to do right by my family.”
By the time he reached out to Accredited Debt Relief in late 2019, he was $81,000 in the hole.
The company is working with him on a debt-settlement plan and has been negotiating his credit card balances down by 50%.
“They’ve been able to negotiate these accounts that were $15,000 or $20,000 down in half, and that’s just something that I can’t do on my own,” Smith says.
The company charges for its services. For debt settlement, it typically charges 18% to 25% of the total debt, which is standard in the industry.
Still, it’s worth it for Smith and his family and is a huge relief. He’s making his monthly debt payments to Accredited Debt Relief instead of his creditors, which leaves him more money to take care of his family.
“I give them $960 a month, which is $700 less than I was paying before,” he says. “We haven’t been getting any more phone calls from creditors — which is nice.”
Getting Started With Your Free Consultation
If you want to see if Accredited Debt Relief can help you out of debt, the program generally works with people who owe more than $15,000. The idea is to help you out of debt without declaring bankruptcy.
How long this process takes varies, but the average person enrolled in the program is debt-free within two to four years.
Curious if it could help you? It takes less than a minute to sign up for a free initial consultation.
Accredited Debt Relief doesn’t directly service the following states: CT, DE, GA, HI, IL, KS, ME, ND, NH, NJ, OR, OH, RI, SC, VT, WA, WV and WY.
Mike Brassfield (email@example.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.