This is How I Got Over Half My Debt Forgiven (National Debt Relief Review)

It was May of 2012 and I was on top the world! My gorgeous girlfriend and I had just closed on a great condo in Huntington Beach California and on Friday I was told that I got the promotion at my job!

At the age of 24 I was a senior paralegal at the law firm I worked for!

I took my girlfriend and all my friends to an Angels baseball game to celebrate. The whole thing cost me $600 but I didn’t care! I was making bank now!

On Monday morning I walked into the office in my new Armani suit with a big smile on my face but something was off. The receptionist said hello like she normally did but avoided eye contact.

I asked if anything was the matter and she just replied “no sir nothing I’m just a little tired I guess”.   I walked into my office and turned on my computer on but it wouldn’t accept my password. It said my login credentials were no longer valid.

As I was about to call IT my boss knocked on the door and asked to see me in his office.

We sat down and he just said “Curtis, when we first brought you on board we informed you of our strict social media policy is that correct?

“Yes of course”

“When you got promoted we sent your file to our director of human resources. I guess she recognized your picture and she did some digging and this is what she found.”

He handed me a piece of paper. It was a facebook post from 2004 where I said “F*&k Bush!  No Blood for Oil!” (referring to the Iraq war).

My heart sank.

I didn’t even remember that post but I knew what was coming next…

“Curtis I like you but you know our senior partners are personal friends of the Bush family. I told them it was just a stupid post from a long time ago but they wouldn’t listen…”

Tears began to form in my eyes…

“I’m sorry bro we’re letting you go”

My heart sank to my feet as he handed me my walking papers.  I was just numb acting on auto pilot. I just heard myself say ‘thank you for the opportunity’ and felt myself walking to my office and packing my stuff into a box.

I heard the receptionist say “I’m so sorry Curtis”. I just replied “I’m not worried I’ll be fine” but nothing could be further from the truth.

I now had a $2,100 per month mortgage, a $340 per month car payment, and $10,000 in credit card debt for all the furniture we just bought for our condo (and other things).

I drove home and as soon as I walked in the door. My girlfriend knew something was wrong. I told her what happened and she was supportive…at first.

I began job hunting but it was the financial crises and no one was hiring. I wasn’t about to admit failure though so all of my unemployment was going towards my mortgage and car payment. A year later eventually I had to took out a personal loan to keep up the illusion.

Essentially I was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. 

Then my girlfriend came up and asked “why don’t you have a job yet?!” I told her its tough out there. I said “Why don’t you get a job and help me out?!” to which she replied “Because girls like me don’t have to work!”.

That was the last I heard from her. She packed her things and moved out.

The very next day the calls began…

It was Bank of America wanting to know why I hadn’t paid them in 3 months. I told them the situation and the girl on the phone said that’s not the bank’s problem and that they wanted their money.

Then a week later a 7am I heard the loud beeping of a tow truck outside of my window.

They were repossessing my car!

I ran out and told the I had an arrangement with the company that they said they would work with me. He just said ‘sorry kid that’s not what I was told’ and showed me the repossession order’.

I had been paying every two months and it seems the company had enough as they confirmed when I called that the vehicle was being repossessed.

I ended up doing a short sale on my condo and had to move back in with my parents. I had no job, no car, no condo and over $60,000 in unsecured debt. The debt collectors just wouldn’t stop calling! When I stopped answering my phone they somehow got my mom’s number and began harassing her!

Devastated I asked my mom what should I do. She just  told me she loved me and not to give up.

I finally got a job…at Walmart.

That’s when everything just hit rock bottom. The next morning I was putting on my blue vest with the smiley face button to go to work when I turned around and saw myself in the mirror.   I had gone from wearing an Armani suit and my own office to this…

I began to focus on that stupid smiley face button that said “how can I help you”. After two minutes of just starring at it I collapsed on the floor crying like I had never cried before.

My dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer two years before and I didn’t cry like I was crying at that time. My mom heard me and came into my room and just hugged me.

“I don’t deserve this! I don’t deserve this!” I just kept telling her to which she replied “I know baby. I know”

Eventually I did get another paralegal job. Half of my battle had been won but then there was still the $61,245 debt. Working in a bankruptcy attorney’s office I knew bankruptcy would  be a bad idea.

Bankruptcy wasn’t the answer

As a bankruptcy paralegal I knew that bankruptcy was a bad idea.

Since I made too much money I knew I wasn’t going to qualify for a chapter 7 full discharge.  That meant I’d have do to a chapter 13 bankruptcy which would’ve taken 5 years out of my life!

After what happened to my dad  a few years back when he did a chapter 13 I knew that wasn’t the right move for me. Not to mention that the attorneys wanted about $2000 to take my case!

Also, I was pretty angry with BofA and didn’t want to pay them back all those stupid fees that they had racked up on me!

Another smaller reason I didn’t want to declare bankruptcy was because I work as a paralegal in a bankruptcy office. That meant if I filed for bankruptcy everyone in the office would know!

On top of that part of me considered filing for bankruptcy to be an admission of defeat! I wasn’t about to do that! Not after all this!

I explored different alternatives to bankruptcy

I looked into many different options. The first was a debt consolidation loan. On the surface it seemed like a great idea.

Consolidate all your debts into one single payment and save a ton of money on interest!

Sounds good right?


I soon found out that there was a tiny problem with that.

With my credit already being shot the interest rates I was being offered were outrageous! Upwards of 39.99% APR! What’s worse. I couldn’t find a company willing to lend me enough to cover my entire debt!

After doing the math I discovered that after the exorbitant interest rates the lending companies wanted plus the remaining balances not only would I have no saved not a single penny but a debt consolidation loan would’ve ended up costing me more than if I had just left it unconsolidated! 

Suffice it to say a debt consolidation loan was not the right option for me.

Why Debt settlement was the right choice for me

National Debt Relief vs Other Methods
National Credit Card Relief

One day I read something online about debt settlement. It’s where your creditors just call it even for significantly less than what is owed.

All I had to do was make a single payment to a debt settlement company who would then distribute the funds to my creditors after negotiating a favorable settlement agreement.

After careful research into which company I should go with I chose National Debt Relief.

About the company

This wouldn’t be a proper national debt relief review if I didn’t tell you about the company itself now would it? I went with them because

The company is well known, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and has been around a long time.

A smaller but noteworthy reason I chose them is because they are supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project (my pop is a Vietnam veteran), St Jude Childrens Hospital, Autism Speaks, Network For Good (The Animal Medical Center), and Unicef.

My experience with National Debt Relief


After calling a couple of other companies I just wasn’t so sure because they seemed a little shady and just too eager to sell me something. I called NDR and spoke with Jason for a free consultation.

Check to see if they still offer that

Expecting a hard sales pitch I thought I was ready. However, wasn’t ready for what I really got though.

Yes of course he wanted to convince me to get their services but I really liked his caring nonjudgmental tone. It really felt like he cared about my issues.

I told him how much debt I had and to be honest I was so embarrassed but our rapport was as such that it went away. Especially since he informed me that he’s had clients in much worse shape than I.

After entering in my data he told me I would definitely be a good candidate for debt settlement (no surprises there) and to let them do all of the work.

I had to give him all of my information and they told me I had to make payments to a savings account set up in my name. After some months they would negotiate with my creditors to accept a lump sum. He told me most creditors often accept settlements instead of risking losing all of their money.

The process

Jason explained that the process would take 12-48 months and my fee would be 18% of the forgiven debt but that would not be charged until after the process was complete.

I paid into the fund and after 6 months I got a call that Citibank (one of my creditors) agreed to settle. Six months later another creditor settled and finally after a year and a half BofA gave in and agreed to settle.

Much to my pleasant surprise my creditors agreed to call it even for about $18,000 out of the $60,000 that I owed!

That means after paying the 18% that NDR charged I ended up saving $37,500. I think Bank of America was willing to deal because they were under the TARP program at that time.

That being said my credit score took a hit and got knocked  down 50 points but at that point my credit was already shot so I didn’t care much. No one in their right mind would lend me money anyhow.

Overall National Debt Relief was a good experience for me! I would never guarantee specific results for anyone else as everyone’s situation is unique.

National Debt Relief Vs. Competitors

National debt relief does have competitors so we should talk about them.

Their closest competitor that comes to mind is CuraDebt. They actually charge about the same and they also have a good reputation.

The reason I didn’t go with them is because they charge a monthly fee to maintain the savings account also they had just gotten licensed in my state and that bothered me.  They also don’t offer a 100% money back guarantee like NDR does.

That being said curadebt is a decent company I just felt that National Debt Relief was slightly better for my needs.

What pushed it over the hill for me and made me go with NDR was the 100% money back guarantee. That meant I could back out at any time without losing any money.

What can I say I’m a guy. So for me the less commitments I have to make the better!

Are debt settlement companies a scam?

No, contrary to popular belief dishonest companies don’t stay around that long. National Debt Relief has been around for a decade!

Debt settlement companies are for profit organizations set up to help customers in exchange for a profit. If they–as any business–weren’t providing value they wouldn’t be around very long.

In other words if both sides don’t benefit the transaction doesn’t occur. Period. National Debt Relief has an A+ BBB rating. I seriously doubt they would have that if they were a scam or cheating customers.

What do others say about national debt relief?

National debt relief is an A+ rated business with the better business bureau

Consumer affairs 4.7/5 stars

Top Ten Reviews 9.6/10 stars

Trust Pilot 9.3/10

Glass Door 4.4/5


Other common questions about national debt relief

What are the hours of operation for National Debt Relief?
One of the things  I really liked is they are really available. You can call them at Monday through Friday 9am-10pm EST and Saturday from 10am to 10pm Eastern Standard Time 
Does National Debt Relief have a BBB rating?
Yes, as of this writing they have an A+ rating with the better business bureau
How long has National Debt Relief been in business?
National Debt Relief was founded in 2009 which means they’ve been in business 8 years as of 2018
How Does National Debt Relief Get Paid?
They charge a fee based on the total amount of debt eliminated. This is very favorable to the consumer since they have an incentive to get as much debt as possible eliminate! By law debt settlement company may not charge an upfront fee.
Can I Change My Mind During the Debt Settlement Process
Yes! One of the things I loved about debt settlement was that if I changed my mind I could back out at anytime. That being said debt settlement can eliminate over half of your debt without having to go through bankruptcy so I see no reason why anyone would want to back out. 

Common questions about the debt settlement process

How long does debt settlement take?
For me it took 12 months to complete but keep in mind that was during the TARP years. Typically the debt settlement process takes 12-48 months to complete
Can my creditors still call me during the debt settlement process?
Technically yes but this is why having a debt settlement company–in my opinion–is worth the cost. National Debt Relief helped me to send a cease and desist letter to legally bind my creditors from contacting me via phone
Does the credit settlement process hurt your credit?
Yes, my credit went down about 50 points during the process. However, I did a credit repair afterwards and got my score increased by 55 points.
Tips before choosing a debt settlement company

Before deciding on which company is right for you make sure of the following

  1. That the company is accredited
  2. The company offers good support
  3. The company charges based on the amount of debt eliminated. This gives them an incentive to get the most debt possible eliminated

My overall National Debt Relief review

Hey I found this site where you can get a debt analysis for FREE! Isn’t that’s awesome? No fee! 


National Debt Relief






Length of Time


Overall Satisfaction



  • A+ BBB Rating
  • Great Customer Service
  • Transparent in Costs
  • Transparent on Proceedures
  • Can negotiate a good settlement


  • Negative Impact on Credit Score
  • No immediate gratification

14 thoughts on “This is How I Got Over Half My Debt Forgiven (National Debt Relief Review)

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    I used national debt relief before. They really treated me well and got them to forgive half of my debt! My settlement took 2 years though. You’re so lucky that yours only took a year. One thing to be aware of though is the debt that is forgiven can be counted as taxable income by the IRS. In my case I didn’t make enough to be taxed so it didn’t effect me but it might effect someone else.

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    I used them. I was very happy! Everyone I spoke to was very nice. Has there been a change? Anyway my creditors settled for about 60% of what I originally.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get a dedicated counselor! Maybe they are not doing that anymore who knows. If more people report not getting a dedicated counselor I’ll change my review! Let me know guys!


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    I called the number you gave and asked for Jason. They asked which one but you didn’t give a last name. Anyway it was a very pleasant experience. No hard sales we just went over options and what would be the best plan for me. I told them I was considering other companies and the girl said that was just fine! I was very pleasantly surprised! I probably will go with them though!

    • Hi Warren. Definitely they are a good company. It’s good you are taking your time. Here’s another independent review site that review a few other debt settlement companies as well. I think they also have coupon promo codes to amazon and viator! Have a look at their reviews and then make a decision.

  4. C. William do you know if national debt relief offers any sort of money back guarantee? If it does how long do I have to utilize the guarantee?


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    I highly recommend this company to any and all people seeking help to better their credit and get out of a finical rut. The payment plan worked to my budget, my credit score went up almost 200 points (and still climbing) , the customer service was excellent and extremely helpful. I have already gotten some of my friends and family to join the program and they are satisfied as well. The work they do speaks for itself. The best advice I would give someone seeking financial help so they can breathe easy in the future is , Don’t think twice about it , if you need the help just go for it. You’re not going to find a better company if you “explore your options” you will only find yourself getting discouraged and swiping that credit card to get you in more dept. I graduate from the program in 1 month and I look forward to my financial future once in my life. Best of luck to anyone who decides to move forward, you will be writing a review just like this after all is said and done. Funny thing is I hate writing reviews I only do it when I think it’s worth it.

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    I just signed up with National Debt Relief and so far the customer service has been great.
    I spoke with Jason Cole (Maybe your same Jason?) for the signing up process and he was very professional and went above and beyond to answer my questions.
    It was an easy sign up process and very helpful to my situation. I just put the money into my account and began working with my creditors. At first they said they get people out of about half their debts. They got me out of 70% of mine!

    Couldn’t be happier!

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    Curtis thank you for this. I want you to know that I am extremely pleased with the services I have received from this National Debt Relief. The person that I just spoke to, was extremely professional and kind. This is a difficult time in my life, and your company has truly lessened my burdens. I am able to keep track of my money and what you do with it . I have been with you for less than a year, and almost half of my debt has been settled. You keep me updated with calls and emails. I have never been treated as a number and have always felt you are putting my needs first. I would definitely recommend your company to anyone who needed help with debt. Thank you so much for all you have done for me. It is truly appreciated.

  8. We have just begun the process of getting our debt in order with NDR. So far, every person we’ve interacted with has been kind, compassionate, and thorough. It was difficult to let our payments to creditors go at first, while we were contributing to our settlement fund, but we had to trust the process. When my car needed more than $500 in repair work, I was able to pay cash. In the past, I would have used the last credit card that wasn’t maxed out, going further into debt and getting closer to bankruptcy. They will not attempt to settle your debts until you’ve built up some money in your account to work with. Stay diligent and trust the process.

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