DS Financial has operated out of its Florida and New York offices for around 20 years now, offering a wealth of experience to customers who need a knowledgable company on their side. They provide consumers with debt settlement programs that differ in many ways from what their competitors have to offer. In this guide to DS Financial Services we'll look at the ways in which they differ and will also evaluate whether this is the company for you or not.
About DS Financial Services
- Address: 902 Perry Hwy Fl 1, Pittsburgh, PA 15229-1130
- Web Address: http://www.dsfinancial.com/
- Date of Founding: 2/18/2001
- Contact Number: (412) 366-0900
- BBB Accredited? No.
DS Financial Services go by several other names, including DS Wealth Advisors and DS Financial Advisors, but the goal is always the same: to help clients escape from debt and to better manage their finances going forward.
DS Financial Services offers a somewhat unique setup in that they require no minimum amount of debt to enroll in their program. This is very rare, as many programs require a minimum of $10,000 to $20,000, and it truly sets DS Financial Services apart from others in this sector.
It means you can signup to DS Financial Services whether you have a few thousand or a few hundred thousand worth of debt. And this is great news to millions of Americans as the average household credit card debt is $8,600, yet the average settlement program requires a minimum of $10,000.
There are a number of other services offered by DS Financial Services, many of which come under their DA Wealth Services brand. The focus of this review is debt settlement, but you can also take a look at the DS Financial Services website if you need assistance with any of the following:
- Financial Planning: Including specific services related to ElderCare, College Students, Estate Planning, and more.
- Life Insurance: Learn more about life insurance policies and companies here.
- Accounting: A range of bookkeeping services for individuals and businesses.
- Tax Services: Including preparation, representation and resolution.
- And More: There are also investment services, payroll services, and other business services.
Our DS Financial Services Review
Our DS Financial Services review was first posted in 2017 and has been updated several times a year since. We strive to provide the best information at all times and to be as thorough as possible, but this is still just our opinion and is based on our experience, which may be different to yours.
Along with the low minimum debt requirement, DS Financial Services are also different in a few other ways. One of these is the transparency they provide throughout the process.
Everybody can get a understanding of their processes by taking advantage of their no-risk, no-obligation free consultation. Representatives are 100% honest with how the settlement process works and will use it to assess the situation and then prescribe the best course of action, even if it means referring customers to another service with another company.
They only take on debts in collections or debts that have been charged-off. Other settlement firms ask clients to stop making payments to their creditors in order for their arbitrators to begin the settlement process. Representatives at DS informed us that this is often a dishonest tactic to lure in consumers in debt distress and that they have never done this themselves.
All accounts must, in fact, be in collections in order for any creditor to agree to reduce the amount owed. The logic here is that if creditors see is the consumer is still making payments, then why would they bother to settle?
DS Financial’s fee structure differs from most other settlement companies in the sense that most clients pay a little as 10% and as much as 50% of the total debt enrolled. This is made possible because they do not require clients to set up a trust account during the settlement process.
DS Financial Services ask that clients build up the funds necessary to begin the negotiation process, which reduces the length of time it takes to settle debts and the monthly maintenance fees charged by the banks tasked with holding onto the trust account. It is worth noting that clients with a substantial amount of debt will be charged a lower percentage than those looking to settle just a couple thousand dollars. This process allows clients to see debts settled in a shorter amount of time while paying fewer fees over the long haul.
Highlights to this company include:
- They offer a free consultation.
- There is no minimum enrollment amount.
- They charge 10% to 50% service fees.
DS Financial Services stands out from the crowd by being upfront and honest throughout the entire process. However, we would like to see more structure and transparency outlined on their website, as information is relatively limited here.
What's more, they have no accreditations with the AFCC and IAPDA. Do not expect this to change because the company is for-profit.
Another cause for concern is their inability to set up a trust account for clients. Although this method may save on client fees and produce results in a shorter amount of time, many of their clients got into financial trouble in the first place by not being able to save funds for a rainy day.
Finally, we would like to see more educational tools and resources offered to website visitors and to clients enrolled in their program. They do have some info, but it's not enough. The issue with debt is that it can be cyclical, with debtors relapsing just like addicts do. They need to be provided with proper information and guidance in order to stop this from happening, and not providing this info is like helping an addict through rehab and then sending them right back onto the streets where they will invariably get hooked all over again.
The Bottom Line
The unique approach to debt settlement provided by DS Financial Services is sure to be an eye-opener for some. They settle debts faster than most of the competition, which may save consumers some money, but this doesn’t mean they are the best choice for all consumers. It is paramount to weigh the pros and cons carefully before enrolling with any company to help determine if the program will fit your specific needs.
The fees are reasonable and even some of the lowest in the industry depending on the total amount of debt enrolled. If a client can come up with a large lump sum, at least 40% of your total debt, this company may be what you are looking for. Otherwise, we recommend some of the other top settlement companies we have covered, like Donaldson Williams and Century Negotiations.