Yes and no. The purpose of debt settlement is not explicitly to save your credit. Rather, the purpose of debt settlement is to get rid of, or at least reduce, the amount of debt that you owe. Therefore, if a debt settlement company has to hurt your credit to achieve their goal, they may do so.
On the other hand, there are many different types of debt settlement. The most common and probably the most useful is to hire a company to bargain down the amount of money that you owe. These debts will show up on your credit report as settled, and that almost always hurts your credit. The only time that it does not is if the debt is reduced by enough that the amount of debt has a tangible effect on your credit score- but that is highly unlicuntarily. On the other hand, there are still the other types of debt settlement, such as changing the terms of your debts, including the amount of time that you have to pay it off and / or the interest rates. This sort of bargaining will not explicitly hurt your credit score.
Finally, there is one more consideration when you are considering debt settlement. This is to consider it with respect to your alternatives. The most common alternative is normally bankruptcy. Even if the debt settlement plan that you get is one that hurts your credit score, it could not possibly hurt it so much as to make bankruptcy look good in comparison.
Bankruptcy is the single worst thing that you can possibly do to your credit, and you would need a lot more cleaning up if you had to go through that process. Debt settlement is very neat and clean by comparison, and I think it is a much better option for almost anyone.
By the way, by researching and comparing the best debt settlement services in the market, you will be able to determine the one that meets your specific financial situation. Nonetheless, it is advisable to go with a trusted and reputable debt counselor before making any decision, this way you will save time through specialized advise coming from a seasoned adviser advice and money by getting better results in a shorter span of time.