Preferred Financial Services has decades of experience in the financial sector, specializing in debt settlement and helping to reduce serious debt problems for millions of Americans. They have helped thousands to escape the vicious cycle that is unsecured debt, and in this review we will find out if they can help you to do the same thing.
About Preferred Financial Services
- Address: 4200 W Peterson Av., Chicago, IL 60646-6074
- Web Address: https://www.preferredfinancial.com/
- Date of Founding: 1979
- BBB Accredited? No.
Preferred Financial Services were not the easiest company to find information on. There wasn't a great deal of reviews out there, the BBB page is all but blank, and the info we did find was not at all useful. We have updated this guide several times over the years and have tried to keep it fresh, but they haven't made it easy for us.
They seem to have switched sites, as some of the bad reviews in the past point to sites that no longer exist, and there's a good chance they have also changed names, as many sites refer to them being “10” to “11” years old, when Preferred Financial Services themselves say they were founded in 1979, making them around 40 years old.
All of this is very concerning. At best it's bad digital branding and they need to get some new online marketers, at worst it's a questionable company we wouldn't recommend.
For our Preferred Financial Services review, which you can find below, we're going to try and cut them some slack and focus on the things we know, but as you shall discover, even that isn't easy.
Preferred Financial Services offer debt settlement, but there are some questions left unanswered when it comes to their prices. Some clients have reported being charged fees between $30 and $49 a month, but we've also heard that there are no fees. As for the percentage amount, we're been told they charge no more than 20%, but we've also heard from clients who were charged 25%.
There are some bad reviews out there for Preferred Financial Services, and in most of these cases the reviewers have really gone out of their way to make their thoughts known, placing the same reviews on several sites, and placing them on sites that don't usually cater for reviews and don't have an entry for Preferred Financial Services. They have seemingly done this because they wanted to vent their anger to the world, but while that is a concern, it's also not isolated to this company and is something you will find with every company.
The one thing that is a concern, however, is that we can't find many positive reviews and the only ones we could find (even though they were few in number) were negative.
Our Preferred Financial Services Review
Do you think that Preferred Financial Services have what it takes to help you with your debt? Then read through our review below.
Low Minimum Requirement
Preferred Financial requires a minimum debt of $5,000 in unsecured debt in order to qualify for their debt settlement program. This includes the total debt of credit cards, store cards, medical bills, repossessions, and personal loans. It is less than the average household debt in the United States and should mean that the vast majority of Americans can use Preferred Financial Services.
It's also quite a lot lower than what other companies require. In the past we have discussed how some companies, Trinity Debt being a good example, require a debt of $30,000, while the average elsewhere is between $10,000 and $20,000. If you have been turned down by one of these other companies because of the size of your debt, then Preferred Financial Services may have the solution, but companies like DMB Financial can also help.
Preferred Financial Services’s goal is to resolve a client’s debt in fewer than 36 months, because every month after 24 brings with it a serious risk of litigation.
The company charges clients on a case-by-case basis, and on average, they can expect to see charges range from 15-20% of the total amount of debt. This means that a debt of $20,000 could incur fees of as much as $4,000, but it could also involve a payoff of $10,000, which means the client still saves a substantial amount of money overall.
In the case that a client becomes dissatisfied with the results or the settlement amount, they are free to keep any money in their savings account, as settlement companies are required to work on a performance-based model and cannot charge any upfront fees. This is all down to a ruling by the FTC that was made in 2010. It caused some issues for debt settlement companies, but it made life much easier for their clients.
Preferred Financial Services offers all potential clients a free consultation, during which time they will discuss whether or not the client's needs fit the services that they provide.
Questionable Level of Experience
There are a few points of concern with this company, ones that ultimately stop us from scoring them highly. Firstly, there is no information regarding the history or experience of the debt negotiators who will work on behalf of the clients.
We would also like to see some more information on the company’s procedure, background, and experience. It would be very helpful to know if the debt negotiators are actually experts and if the client can count on them to take care of their very serious debt issues, or if they are just untrained employees given a template to follow and a supervisor to refer to when needed.
Lack of Resources
Preferred Financial Services lacks resources and tools that the client can use to help them through the settlement process and to prepare them for a debt-free future. Financial literacy is one of the biggest contributing factors for keeping individuals out of debt and creating a financially independent lifestyle. They also lack an interactive dashboard where clients can monitor the status of their case. This is something that is becoming increasingly common and it's great to see, so the fact that Preferred Financial Services don't have it is a disappointment.
No Transparency with Regards to Pricing
Finally, there are many questions surrounding the pricing structure that Preferred Financial Services use. From the research we conducted, we found that some consumers were paying 15% of their total debt, while others were paying upwards of 25%.
It was made nearly impossible for us to gather any more information as the e-mail address and phone number for the company weren't active. We were also able to find a customer complaint about a monthly $30 maintenance fee for the entire duration of the program, which is unnecessary and excessive from our point of view.
The Bottom Line
There are several key points to keep in mind when considering this company for your debt settlement needs. They do not exercise any transparency with regards to their pricing, as mentioned above, and they lack general information about how they operate. There wasn’t even a working phone number or e-mail for us to use to clear the confusion, and this is a very serious concern that will (rightly) scare many potential customers away.
We suggest individuals take advantage of the free consultation to get a better picture of what Preferred Financial Services is about, but we think there are many better settlement companies out there that will be a more suitable fit. You can find reviews of these on the DebtReviews website, so be sure to browse through the best of them before you make your choice.