Debt Settlement Industry: CreditAssociates Review for 2023
Are you considering joining a debt relief program or using CreditAssociates? Review your options with multiple companies. CreditAssociates offers a debt settlement program, but consumer credit counseling and debt consolidation options are also available.
Ensure you understand the differences between debt consolidation, debt settlement, and consumer credit counseling. After getting educated about debt relief options, you can confidently choose the best choice for your financial situation. If you need help with understanding how each program works, check out our credit card relief programs guide next.
However, the best way to consolidate debt for your situation depends on your –
- credit score,
- type of debt you owe,
- the balances on each account,
- payment history,
- and your financial goals.
OK, enough boring talk. Let’s get into the nitty and gritty of this review. The following page provides a detailed review of CreditAssociates, LLC, by our research team at NoMoreCreditCards.com. And some of the information we found you may be surprised to hear about.
CreditAssociates Customer Reviews Found Online:
CreditAssociates’ online reviews range from poor to excellent The company did make the Top 20 Best Debt Relief Companies List for 2023. And that’s an excellent accomplishment in itself, considering there are thousands of debt relief, settlement, and consolidation lenders on the internet.
- CreditAssociates BBB reviews are poor, with an average customer rating of 1.5 out of 5.
- Its Google reviews are good with over 780 customer reviews and an average customer rating of 4.3 out of 5.
- Their TrustPilot reviews are excellent, with over 12,400 reviews at an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 5.
Legal Name: Credit Associates, LLC
Industry: Debt Relief/Settlement
Address: 5050 Quorum Dr. STE 700, Dallas, TX 75254-1410
Available in: Forty-two states
Certifications and Accreditations: American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
What is CreditAssociates?
CreditAssociates offers a performance-based debt settlement program. Debt settlement services are for consumers who cannot afford to pay unsecured debts on their own and need debt reduction. Performance-based means they only charge fees after a debt is negotiated, reduced, and settled.
CreditAssociates is not a debt consolidation lender nor a consumer credit counseling company. However, the program will offer you one consolidated monthly payment. Remember that consumer credit counseling, debt settlement, and consolidation loans are all different ways to consolidate debt.
With the CreditAssociates credit card settlement program, accounts must become delinquent (if not delinquent already) and eventually get sold to third-party collection agencies before settlements occur. After accounts are with a third-party collection agency, they get negotiated, reduced, and settled. After an account is settled, it’s reported to have a zero-dollar balance and is paid.
The process starts after accounts get sold to collection agencies. At this point, the original creditors have wiped their hands clean of the debt. That’s good news because professional debt negotiators can usually reduce and settle a collection account for much less than what’s owed.
One by one, each debt gets negotiated, reduced, and settled. This process continues until you’re debt-free. Clients can finish the entire program in under four years, making this one of the fastest ways to pay off high unsecured debt.
How does CreditAssociates work?
The Credit Associates credit card debt relief program starts by setting clients up with a single monthly payment that they can afford. This monthly payment is typically less than what a person would be paying when paying the “minimum payments” on their own. The monthly payment is calculated based on a person’s budget and what they can afford.
As clients make monthly payments, these funds accumulate in a special-purpose savings account. Negotiations begin when the debt negotiators feel enough funds are available to settle one of your accounts with one lump-sum payment. For example, the negotiator may try to settle a debt if you have about half the balance (or slightly less) set aside in your special purpose savings account.
Review CreditAssociates Pros
- Free consultation, credit report, and quote
- No upfront fees
- Single monthly payment
- Flexible monthly payment options
- No pre-payment penalties if you decide to pay extra and get out of debt faster
- Can help with multiple types of accounts, including business debt
- More than ten years in business
- Login Online Access 24/7
- No credit score requirements
- CreditAssociates is Accredited with: IAPDA, BSI and AFCC
- A+ BBB rating
- Credit scores can decline, and late marks and collection accounts remain on credit for up to seven years.
- Account balances can grow over the first year, due to late fees and collection costs
- Not all states qualify
- No BBB Accreditation
- Not all accounts qualify, depending on the type of account and balance
- No license found for the company
- Clients can get sued over an unpaid credit card or collection account (If you receive a credit card summons while on the CreditAssociates program, you could be required to hire your own attorney for lawsuit defense)
- Attorney protection is not included in the program
- Potential tax consequences can result from a settlement
- Low customer review rating at BBB: 1.5 out of the Best Possible Score of 5
Top-rated debt settlement company reviews:
Top-rated credit counseling company reviews:
Top-rated debt consolidation lenders:
How fast can you pay off your bills with CreditAssociates?
Your first account could get paid off within six to nine months, but there is no guarantee on how fast that will occur. Creditors must be willing to settle, accounts should be in collection status, and sufficient funds must be available. You can always speed up your plan by paying extra into your special purpose savings account. And some settlement companies will even help you get a loan to fund your settlements faster.
In many cases, “time” can be your friend with debt settlement because the longer creditors sit without getting paid, the more desperate they become, and more likely to accept less to settle. Because debt comes with a statute of limitations (similar to an expiration date), the closer it gets to the debt going past this date without payment, the more desperate creditors often will get to settle it and get paid something. Otherwise, if it expires past the statute of limitations, they could end up getting nothing for it.
Through the CreditAssociates debt forgiveness program, most unsecured debts will qualify.
What type of accounts qualify for the CreditAssociates debt relief program?
- Credit cards
- Medical bills
- Personal loans
- Business debts
- Car repossession
- Unsecured loans
- Third-party collection accounts
There are other factors to consider that could prevent an account from qualifying. For example, if an account is from a bank with which the client also holds their checking or savings account, that account would not be a good fit for the program. Or if a debt already has a summons attached to it, there’s a good chance they won’t accept it into the program.
There are also minimum account balance requirements that must be taken into consideration. For example, small balances of only a few hundred dollars may not be accepted into their program. We recommend you contact the company directly to discuss these details further.
Credit Score Requirements for CreditAssociates:
There are no credit score requirements for the CreditAssociates credit card settlement program. However, consumers must have a “financial hardship” to qualify for CreditAssociates.
Financial hardships include;
- Reduction or loss of income,
- Increase in expenses,
- Medical condition,
- Increased interest rates and monthly payments,
- Car accidents,
- Among many other possible hardships.
Is CreditAssociates, LLC Legitimate?
CreditAssociates has been a legitimate and reputable debt settlement company since 2007.
The company has excellent credentials and online reviews, with a 4.9 out of 5 stars rating on Trustpilot, with over 12,000 reviews. However, like with all debt management options, the CreditAssociates debt relief program has pros and cons that you need to consider.
Is CreditAssociates Accredited?
CreditAssociates is accredited by the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). AFCC-accredited members agree to abide by a “Code of Conduct” and are required to follow strict regulatory guidelines for operation. For example, AFCC members can only charge fees to their clients after a debt is settled and paid.
CreditAssociates is also accredited by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA). IAPDA accreditation is like getting a diploma for debt negotiators. This credential verifies that a company has received extensive debt management training. Employees can also be certified by IAPDA.
CreditAssociates also has an A+ rating from the BBB.
Does Credit Associates Hurt Your Credit?
All debt negotiation programs can adversely affect a person’s credit score because creditors don’t get paid monthly, and payments must be delinquent before settlements occur. However, some people already have a low credit score and are past due on monthly payments before joining the program, so in these instances, credit scores may improve throughout the program.
If you want to keep your credit score from decreasing, stay current on monthly payments and consider using a debt consolidation loan to consolidate your bills.
Does the CreditAssociates debt settlement program work?
Yes, the program works effectively. The company has settled over 300,000 accounts since its inception date.
More importantly, they use a performance-based debt negotiation plan. That means, the company only gets paid after settlements occur, ensuring the program works for clients.
In other words, clients don’t pay if they don’t get results.
How Much Does CreditAssociates Cost?
CreditAssociates charges 25% of the total debt enrolled. The fee is incorporated into the monthly payment and only gets earned after each debt is settled and paid.
So, based on $25,000 in total unsecured debt, the CreditAssociates debt relief program fee would be $6,250. A client with $25K in debt could save $9,000 by using CreditAssociates, resulting in a monthly payment of $445 over 36 months.
This information is from the online program calculator tool on the CreditAssociates website.
Detailed Review of CreditAssociates’ Complaints at BBB:
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) illustrates 90 complaints against CreditAssociates in the last three years, but all were responded to in a timely manner. Consequently, the company has a 100% response rate. Although 90 complaints may seem high at first glance, keep in mind the size of this company. They are one of the largest debt negotiation companies in the nation.
This information was collected on November 1st, 2022. Since then, information may have changed at the BBB.
A Detailed Look at CreditAssociates Reviews at BBB:
- CreditAssociates has 27 reviews listed at the BBB, with an average customer review rating of “2 out of 5 stars”.
- The BBB rates CreditAssociates with an A+ rating.
The BBB letter rating system (i.e., A-F rating) is based on factors including;
- Time in business
- Complaint history
- Transparent business practices
- Companies having appropriate licenses and bonding
- Does a company have any government action against them?
- Compliance with advertising
These are all factors a consumer should investigate before doing business with a credit card relief and consolidation company. Therefore, if you’re searching for a reputable debt settlement company, CreditAssociates’ A+BBB rating is a significant factor to consider.
Is CreditAssociates BBB Accredited?
CreditAssociates is not BBB Accredited, but it does have an A+ rating. In some BBB jurisdictions, debt settlement companies cannot be accredited by the BBB due to the industry.
For more reviews about CreditAssociates, check Consumer Affairs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB),
Source: BBB, Credit Associates Profile
How to Cancel CreditAssociates?
Sometimes, clients will need to cancel CreditAssociates. For example, a client may lose their job and income, needing to file for bankruptcy. Canceling CreditAssociates is relatively easy.
A cancellation notice (i.e., Notice of Intent to Cancel) will be one of the pages inside your program contract. If you want to cancel the CreditAssociates debt settlement program, sign and send this cancellation notice. Then, call CreditAssociates to confirm your cancellation and details about the refund. If no creditors were settled, you should get a full refund.
Will CreditAssociates Clients Get Refunded After Cancelling?
If you paid fees into the program, they are refundable unless they have already been earned due to services performed.
Traits of the Best Debt Settlement Companies
- Compliance: They are licensed and bonded in every state. Charge no up-front fees.
- Transparent: Offer a free consultation, explaining the pros and cons of the program. Review the client agreement page by page before enrolling a client. Provides free financial education on its website, educating consumers about all debt consolidation options, not just advertising the one plan they offer.
- Offer lawsuit defense or have protocols in place to deal with a credit card summons and explain this subject before enrolling a client.
- Credentials and Reviews: Reps are IAPDA Certified. A+BBB rated with no unresolved complaints or government action against them. Have hundreds of reviews online, and a high percentage are positive.
- Time in Business: Over ten years.
Disclosure for this CreditAssociates Reviews:
NoMoreCreditCards.com does its best to provide factual and truthful information aimed at helping the public by giving honest debt relief, settlement, and consolidation reviews. However, please email us at Info@NoMoreCreditCards.com if you believe any of the information on this page needs to be revised, and we will make appropriate edits if provided with proof of the information. Always do your own research, and do not rely solely on the information provided in this review. We are not responsible for the results of any program you choose to join. Check multiple sources for reviews, including your state’s AG office, FTC, and BBB. Reviews about Credit Associates on Yelp and Reddit may also be helpful.