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Citizens Debt Relief

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LAST UPDATED: May 10th, 2021

Citizens Debt Relief is a debt relief company based in New York City that seeks to help everyday U.S. citizens manage, settle, or resolve their credit card debt. It does this through first providing a free consultation and helping you determine the best course of action to get your debt resolved. 

The company knows that debt management can be incredibly overwhelming, and it takes a unique and personalized approach to each debt settlement case, which includes one-on-one credit counseling with certified specialists.

Regardless of your budget, Citizens Debt Relief states that it can help you create a plan to resolve and eliminate your debt that works for you. 

Citizens Debt Relief has a number of accreditations, which is reassuring for customers seeking debt relief. The company is a member of the American Fair Credit Council, certified through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA), and an authorized partner of Consumer Affairs.

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The Good

  • Credit Counseling
  • Debt Consolidation
  • Home Equity and Financing
  • Debt Resolution
  • Bankruptcy Option
  • Available Across the Country

Credit Counseling

Citizens Debt Relief offers credit counseling services, during which a qualified credit counselor reviews your financial circumstances and works with your creditors to lower your interest rates if possible and helps you create a financial plan so that moving forward, you are able to start paying back your debt.

Some benefits of using Citizens Debt Relief’s credit counseling services are that you make only one monthly payment, you may potentially achieve lower interest rates, and you won’t receive any collection calls from creditors, debt collectors, or collection agencies since Citizens Debt Relief will be handling your case.

However, as is the case with most debt relief programs, there are some drawbacks to signing up for credit counseling. With Citizens Debt Relief, these include the closing of your credit accounts, the fact that your principal debt will not necessarily be reduced, and the fact that lenders will likely view you as a credit risk due to your debts.

Debt Consolidation

Citizens Debt Relief offers a debt consolidation option where you can take out one loan and use it to pay off multiple debts, then you work on paying back the singular loan at a sometimes lower interest rate than your previous debts had.

This option also includes one simple monthly payment, and the company offers flexible terms, though we’re not exactly sure what this entails. 

While you’ll need good credit history and a good debt-to-income ratio to qualify for this debt consolidation option, consolidating your debt doesn’t have a negative impact on your credit, which is an appealing way to start getting out of debt.

The company states that with this option, however, results are varied rather than guaranteed to be successful.

Home Equity and Refinancing

By working with Citizens Debt Relief and a mortgage lender, you can relieve some of your credit card debt by taking out a second mortgage on your home, if you have one.

If you choose to go this route, you use the money from the mortgage loan to pay back your creditors and then just work toward paying off your mortgage at what is often a lower interest rate than your credit card companies were charging. 

The drawbacks of this option are mainly that you take on additional mortgage debt on top of what you already owed, and that you may be at increased risk of foreclosure. 

Debt Resolution

Debt resolution involves you working with Citizens Debt Relief to make monthly payments into an account and then the company will work on your behalf with your creditors to get them to accept less money than the debt that you owe. Then, Citizens Debt Relief will use the money that you have been paying into the account to pay off your debt(s) until your debt is resolved.

Using the debt resolution process is appealing because often, the time to resolve your debt is faster than other methods of debt relief.

However, this method will still likely negatively affect your credit score, and will lead to the closure of your existing credit card accounts. In the long run, however, resolving your debt will allow you to start building a positive credit score again.

Bankruptcy Option

Of course, declaring bankruptcy can be a scary experience. However, since it is a debt relief option, Citizens Debt Relief may recommend that you meet with a bankruptcy attorney if other debt relief options are unavailable to you.

Usually, if you declare bankruptcy, your debts are forgiven and your creditor(s) can no longer collect debt from you. However, this option does bring about a long-term negative impact to your credit score, so it should be carefully considered with a licensed attorney, which Citizens Debt Relief does not provide.

Available Across the Country

While Citizens Debt Relief is based in New York, it offers its debt relief services to U.S. citizens across the country.

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The Bad

  • Pricing Not Listed
  • Negative Impact to Credit Score
  • Minimum Debt Requirement Unknown

Pricing Not Listed

We can’t find any pricing information listed by Citizens Debt Relief, so we don’t know how much the company’s services will cost. Usually, debt relief companies do not make money until they help you start resolving your debts, but otherwise, we can’t say what the setup fees or interest rates would be to enlist the help of Citizens Debt Relief.

Negative Impact to Credit Score

As is fairly common when resolving debt, you will likely experience a decrease to your credit score as a result of using Citizens Debt Relief’s services. The company states this in a disclaimer on its website, and is transparent about the reality of a decreased credit score as a result of using debt relief programs.

Minimum Debt Requirement Unknown

We don’t know the minimum debt requirement to use Citizens Debt Relief’s services. Thus, we can’t compare it to that of other companies’ minimum debt requirements to know who might be the best customers of Citizens Debt Relief.

You will have to schedule a free consultation with the company to find out if you are eligible for its help in resolving your credit card debt.

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The Bottom Line

We don’t yet have enough Citizens Debt Relief reviews to feel confident recommending it to you, but we do feel that its third-party recognitions and personalized approach to debt resolution make it worth your time to schedule a consultation and learn more about whether its debt management program could be right for you.
 
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