Pacific Debt Relief: 2023 Review
The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .
At a glance
|Overview||Pacific Debt Relief is an accredited debt relief company in San Diego, California. The company was founded in 2002 and serves customers who live in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Known for its customer service, Pacific Debt Relief specializes in settling unsecured consumer debts. While Pacific Debt Relief helps consumers settle their debts at a lower cost and offers a free quote before applying, debt settlement should be a last resort due to the potential risks involved.|
|Minimum debt required||$10,000|
|Time frame||24 to 48 months|
|Fees||15% to 25% of the total debt enrolled and state of registration|
Pacific Debt Relief: Types of debt settled
Pacific Debt Relief covers unsecured debts, including the following:
- Major credit cards.
- Department store and gas cards.
- Unsecured lines of credit.
- Unsecured personal loans.
- Eligible student loans.
- Peer-to-Peer (P2P) loans.
- Debt consolidation loans.
- Payday loans.
- Medical debt.
- Collections and repossessions.
- Business debts.
Pacific Debt Relief: Pros and cons
Despite the generally positive customer service reviews, there are drawbacks to be aware of before signing your debts over to Pacific Debt Relief.
Free initial consultation.
Assigned account manager.
Payments based on your budget.
No app or online portal.
Potential credit damage.
No guarantee of settlement.
Debt relief qualifications
To qualify for Pacific Debt Relief’s settlement program, you must owe at least $10,000 in unsecured consumer debt and not be able to make the minimum payments. You must also live in one of the states it services to be eligible for any of its debt relief options.
As with all debt settlement companies, you must be able to demonstrate long-term financial hardship. This information is crucial for Pacific Debt Relief’s ability to negotiate with creditors on your behalf, so make sure you have the required documentation before applying.
Pacific Debt Relief helps you settle your debts by doing all the back-end work for you, like negotiating and communicating with your creditor. Plus, it also offers other debt solutions for those who don't qualify for debt settlement or don't wish to settle their debts.
- You'll work one-on-one with a program debt advisor in a free consultation to determine your eligibility, potential cost estimates and what your repayment plan could look like.
- Once approved, a client care representative will help you with tasks like managing creditor calls, gathering the necessary documentation and assisting you in the early stages of your relief plan.
- You'll be assigned a personal account manager once the debt relief plan starts. In order for your accounts to be settled, your manager will contact you to authorize each settlement and get it in writing.
- Each month you'll make a deposit into a specialized savings account in your name, rather than to the creditor. If you're going the settlement route, Pacific Debt will transfer the funds in this account to pay down your settlement.
- Your account manager will contact you monthly with a progress update on current negotiations and where you are in the repayment process. It generally takes 24 to 48 months of qualifying payments to settle your accounts.
Fees and penalties
Pacific Debt Relief doesn't charge any fees upfront, but it does collect a fee once all of your enrolled debt has been settled. On average, 15 percent to 25 percent of your total settled debt will be added to your monthly payments.
Credit score impacts
When you use a debt settlement company like Pacific Debt Relief, you can expect your credit score to drop. The company states that it can't accurately predict how much your credit will drop, but it does say that debt settlement may not be for you if maintaining a high credit score is your main financial priority.
What we like and what we don’t like
While debt relief may be a good option in specific situations, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. The same goes for Pacific Debt Relief.
What we like
- Free initial consultation: The company offers a free initial consultation to determine if debt settlement is the right option for you.
- Assigned account manager: After you get approved, you'll get a personal account manager to answer your questions and assist you in the settlement process.
- Payments based on your budget: Pacific Debt Relief tailors your payments to your budget.
What we don't like
- No app or client portal: It doesn't offer a mobile app or client portal, which can make the payment process difficult.
- Potential credit damage: While it's less harmful than filing for bankruptcy, settling your debts can lead to a significant drop in your credit score.
- No guarantee of settlement: Creditors may refuse to work with you, as they aren't legally obligated to work with settlement companies. Creditors also could file lawsuits against you if you stop making payments.
Customer experience and reviews
Pacific Debt Relief is known for its stellar customer service. It has an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and an average of 4.93 out of 5 stars. In the past three years, only five customer complaints have been submitted to the BBB about the company.Pacific Debt Relief also boasts a business response rate of 100 percent, which means that every complaint was quickly and effectively resolved. Plus, it was recently named the most consumer-friendly debt relief company in 2022 due to the customer reviews and its comparatively low monthly fees.
How to contact Pacific Debt Relief
Existing clients of Pacific Debt Relief can contact the company by phone at 877-722-3328, Monday through Thursday from 6:00 a.m. PT to 6:00 p.m. PT, on Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT and on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT. There is also an online chat feature and dedicated email for existing customers.
Prospective clients can call 833-865-2028 during the hours of operation, or can submit a question through its online chat feature or its inquiry email address to contact the company. You can also sign up for a free consultation with a certified debt specialist to get a savings and debt reduction estimate before signing up.
Pacific Debt Relief FAQs
How Bankrate rates Pacific Debt Relief
Overall Score 4.6 Explanation Services 4.3 The minimum debt required is standard. Affordability 4.6 Overall this company is more affordable than the average. Customer Experience 5.0 The website is easy to navigate and there are a number of free tools available. Customer Satisfaction 5.0 There are no registered complaints with the FTC and no unresolved negative reviews with the CFPB Stability 5.0 Pacific Debt Relief has been in business for over 20 years.
MethodologyTo rate debt relief services, Bankrate considers 15 factors. These factors include minimum debt allowed, what fees are charged, whether there are unresolved complaints and if the company is accredited. Categories that the services are rated on include:
- Services: Services were assessed based on minimum debt eligibility, types of eligible debt and whether or not the company provides free credit counseling.
- Affordability: Affordability was assessed based on associated fees and whether or not the company specifies money-back guarantee terms.
- Customer experience: Customer experience was assessed based on website usability and features, as well as app availability. Customer satisfaction and company reputation was assessed based on Better Business Bureau accreditation and reviews, as well as TrustPilot reviews.
- Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is determined by assessing how many unresolved complaints there are with the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Board.
- Stability: Stability was assessed based on how long the company has been in business and whether or not they maintain membership with a professional trade association.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.