- One low monthly payment
- Resolve debt in 2-4 years
- No upfront fees
- Minimum debt: $7,500
- Personal account managers and certified debt specialists
Pacific Debt Relief Inc is a debt relief and support agency that has been in business since 2002. Debt settlement companies such as Pacific differ from credit counseling firms and other types of personal finance companies.
Their objective is to help you pay off your debt as opposed to rebuilding or raising your credit score in the short term. They don’t just consolidate your debt and lower your interest rate — their goal is to eliminate your debt completely.
Based in San Diego, Pacific Debt Relief is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau with a 4.89 out of 5 rating. They are also accredited with the American Fair Credit Council, a consumer protection group.
Their feedback and reviews from both are overwhelmingly positive with customers frequently calling out their counselors by name for praise.
Debt Relief Qualifications
Debt relief is not a quick process, usually taking between 24 and 48 months to complete, but the end result is to completely free you of your unsecured debt.
Unsecured debt is debt that is not backed by collateral like your car or home loan. These typically take the form of credit card debt, payday loans, personal loans, medical bills, or a repossessed car.
In addition to requiring your debt be unsecured, they require that the amount of debt you owe exceeds $10,000. Debt settlement is a labor-intensive process with Pacific. They do not have phone banks but instead assign you to a dedicated agent that will stick with you through the entirety of the process.
This type of debt relief is also not available in every state. Check below to see if you qualify and can participate in your current location.
- DC – District of Columbia
- North Carolina
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Dakota
Debt Relief Process
Pacific Debt is set up to settle your debt for much less than you currently owe. Where credit counseling and debt consolidation services bundle your debt to get you a lower interest rate, Pacific helps develop a plan to pay off your debt at a lower negotiated rate.
The first step is to contact them for a free consultation. A certified debt counselor will discuss your individual situation to determine if you are a good fit for debt relief service. Once you agree to sign up, you will cease making payments to your creditors.
This is a scary idea for some people. The idea of receiving phone calls from collection agencies or having legal action taken against you can be a frightening one.
This is why Pacific Debt works only with people that are in way over their heads. If you have a large amount of debt and are having difficulty making even the minimum payments, then this may be the right choice for you.
Instead of paying your creditors, you now will be putting money into an FDIC insured Special Purpose account on a monthly basis. Funds will begin to grow in that account, and when you accumulate an agreed upon amount, your account manager will begin negotiating on your behalf with your creditors.
The household average for credit card debt was $8,377 in 2016. That’s a 6% jump from the previous year. If your goal is to improve your credit score or get a lower interest rate for your existing creditors, you may want to consider a debt consolidation loan or a credit counseling service.
Customers considering Pacific are usually deep in debt and are having trouble making their payments. As we mentioned earlier, the minimum they will consider for their program is $10,000 in debt. However, many of their clients are closing in on or exceeding $100,000 in debt.
A client of Pacific Debt wrote on the Better Business Bureau’s website, “Mr. Hallas has been extremely professional and informative throughout the process and has assisted me with reducing over $150,000 in debt. I’m down to a little less than $65,000 and completely settling my wife’s accounts.”
As you can see, it is a rigorous process but one that can truly settle your debt for a fraction of what you actually owe.
Signing up for debt settlement of any type is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. The first step of the process is to contact them.
Remember, these are not simply pushy telemarketers trying to make a sale. You’ll be put in touch with a certified debt counselor who can review all of your options, and help you decide if debt settlement is right for you.
They will help analyze your debt, monthly expenses, and your income. They look at your current budget and determine a payment estimate that works for you. Oftentimes this amount will be less than you are currently paying to your creditors.
Additionally, there are no upfront costs associated with their services. You don’t pay any amount until you start seeing results and their cost is in line with other services of this nature.
Once the Process Starts
You should know upfront that once you start working with Pacific Debt, your credit score is likely to go down. As previously stated, their goal is not to improve your credit — that comes later. Their goal is to get you out of debt as quickly as possible.
Because you are no longer making payments to your creditors, those accounts are likely to go into collections if they haven’t already. You may begin to receive phone calls demanding payment from credit collection agencies. Luckily, there are federal and state laws that limit how often these companies can call you.
A member of their customer service team will reach out to you every couple of weeks to help move along the process and to answer any questions you may have.
As you pay into and grow your FDIC insured account, your Personal Account Manager will negotiate with your creditors to pay off the entirety of your bill at a lower amount.
Every time an agreement is reached, your account manager will reach out to you to finalize the arrangement and gain your approval. From start to finish, you are always a part of the process.
Pacific Debt’s philosophy is to pay off your debt as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible. By helping you to save a large portion of money and using that money to negotiate an immediate payment, they can potentially reduce your overall debt by a large percentage.
It probably took years for you to accumulate that much debt and it’s going to take a few years to pay it off. But with Pacific Debt, you won’t spend the better part of your life saddled with high balances and making interest-only payments.
When is debt relief a good option?
Pacific Debt Relief provides a much-needed service to a segment of the population that is in deep debt. Whether or not they are right for you is ultimately your decision to make.
The stress of creditors hounding you may be too much for some. Also, if you’re capable of making more than just the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards and have a good credit score, you may want to consider other options.
This type of debt relief service is for those with large debt and few options left. If you value getting out of debt over improving your credit score, this may be just the right choice. A good rule of thumb is to consider Pacific Debt Relief if you are in one of more of the following situations:
- You can’t make your minimum monthly payments or are just barely making them
- You’re considering bankruptcy
- Your total debt exceeds five or six digits
Those who do choose Pacific Debt often receive the immediate benefit of a single monthly program payment which is usually much lower than the sum of their minimum payments.
They typically pay off their debt more quickly than dealing with their creditors on their own. They also, on average, pay significantly less than their total amount of debt.
It does take determination on your part, especially when you have to endure harassment from debt collectors. Remember that it takes an average of two to four years to complete the process on average. Pacific Debt Relief will be the first ones to tell you that they are not for everyone, but they may be the right one for you.