About Freedom Debt Relief

Founded in 2002 by Stanford Business School graduates Andrew Housser and Bradford Stroh, Freedom Debt Relief claims to help you settle and resolve your unsecured debts in as little as 24-48 months, instead of declaring bankruptcy. Freedom Debt Relief claims to have help their customers resolved more than $2 billion in debt since opening their doors, which is claimed to be more than any other company in the nation.

Between taxes and insurance, a good portion of each paycheck gets taken away before ever hitting your bank account. On top of this, the high interest rates associated with many kinds of debt, including credit cards and student loans, can make you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, constantly paying more to others than you’re keeping for yourself.

But can Freedom Debt Relief help you achieve financial independence from this seemingly endless cycle? Perhaps, but let’s first take a look at how their debt reduction program works.

How Does Freedom Debt Relief Help Resolve Your Debt?

If you’re unable to make your minimum monthly payments on your unsecured debt or are considering bankruptcy, Freedom Debt Relief claims to help you reduce the amount you owe and to resolve that debt in as little as 24-48 months using low monthly payments. In order to accomplish this, the company’s “Fresh Start Program” works over 5 steps:

  1. A debt specialist will evaluate your debt and advise which options are available to you. In these instances, the company is claimed to be upfront about whether or not their program is the right solution, and if not, to refer you to other companies who might be a better fit.
  2. Then, Freedom Debt Relief is claimed to customize your debt program to your specific needs and goals, and to give you all the available information and options based on your needs. Depending on how much you can afford to pay each month, you’ll be informed of your potential savings and overall program length.
  3. Once your program is in place, you’ll begin putting funds each month into an FDIC insured account, which you’ll maintain control of at all times and will be used to repay your debts. In the meantime, you’ll be asked to quit using your credit cards, which will boost FDR’s ability to resolve your debts.
  4. After money accumulates in your account, Freedom will contact your debtors and negotiate settlements for you. According to the company’s website, they often approach creditors with large portfolios of accounts like yours, thereby giving them more leverage.
  5. Finally, after all your debts have been resolved, your Freedom Debt Relief program will be complete.

If you’re at the end of your rope and need to take emergency action in order to avoid bankruptcy related to your unsecured debt, consider the following before signing up with Freedom Debt Relief:

Who Should Use Freedom Debt Relief’s Services?

According to the Freedom Debt Relief website, their services are best suited for “consumers with serious debt problems, who are unable to maintain payment obligations and are considering bankruptcy or credit counseling.” In other words, you need to be in a fairly dire situation.

Also, keep in mind that Freedom Debt Relief can only work with unsecured debt (e.g. credit cards, medical bills, etc.) that is not backed by collateral (e.g. home or auto loans).

Freedom Debt Relief’s Online Customer Reputation

Based on online reviews founds at ConsumerAffairs.com, Yelp.com, RipoffReport.com, and many other websites, Freedom Debt Relief, LLC based out of San Mateo, CA appears to have a mostly positive online customer reputation, with the most common compliment citing that the company helped to significantly reduce the amount of debt owed.

On the other hand, some of the most common complaints referenced it taking a very long time to settle debts (although website clearly says it can take 24-48 months to complete the program) – and in some instances not settling them at all, while customers continually received threatening calls/lawsuits from collections agencies during the process (we’ll talk more about this in a moment).

Also, according to a 2010 article posted on Consumer Reports, Freedom Debt Relief settled a 2009 lawsuit for $1M that alleged the company continued to charge customers fees, even if they didn’t successfully complete the program.

The company holds an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, despite having 170 closed complaints (as of 12/1/14), many of which referenced difficulty with customer service, and that these reps advised consumers to stop making credit card payments, which resulted in much larger balances than when entering the program.

The Definition of “Successfully Resolved Debt”

Speaking of which, keep in mind that, although Freedom Debt Relief’s stated goal is to help you settle your debt for less than you owe, this may not always be the end result. During our research, we read several consumer reviews claiming that debt was ultimately “settled” for the full balance, on top of fees charged by banks, as well as those from Freedom Debt Relief.

Freedom Debt Relief’s Services are Not Instant

According to the Freedom Debt Relief website, “Every case is a negotiation, and there is no guarantee on how the negotiations will wind up.” As such, the negotiation process can take as little as 1-2 weeks in some instances, and as long a 6 months in others.

Your Credit Will Be Impacted

According to Freedom Debt Relief’s FAQ, “Depending upon the condition of your credit report at the time of enrollment, a Debt Settlement Plan may have an adverse effect on your credit report and credit score. Our goal is to resolve your debt for the lowest cost, in the shortest period of time, without declaring bankruptcy.”

In other words, Freedom Debt Relief does not offer credit repair services, and their primary goal is to reduce the amount of debt you owe as much as possible, which could still appear as a “charge-off” on your credit report.

Freedom Debt Relief Pricing & Refund Policy

Freedom Debt Relief claims that they don’t assess any fees until after a debt has been resolved, and there are no monthly fees involved (note: we found multiple, recent customer reviews claiming FDR charges monthly maintenance fees). The company also claims to provide safe, confidential, and no-obligation financial assessments.

With this in mind, according to the company’s website: “Freedom charges a fee that depends on a number of things, including your home state, the amount of debt you are enrolling, and other factors. But, in general, if you enroll in a standard 36-month program, in most cases your fee works out to approximately 6-8% of your total enrolled debt per year.”

For example, if you have $10K debt that Freedom Debt Relief is helping you to settle, you’ll might pay $600-$800 in fees over the course of a year. And if it takes the company 3 years to settle the debt, you may have paid between $1,800 and $2,400 over this period of time. And if you had a total of five $10K accounts with Freedom Debt Relief, you could pay as much as $4K per year in fees alone, which can add up quickly. Because of this, it’s extremely important to factor in these fees when considering Freedom Debt Relief’s services.

In order to ask questions or undergo a consultation, you’ll need to contact customer service at 800-544-7211.

Can Freedom Debt Relief Help You Achieve Financial Freedom?

Chopping to the Point: Although Freedom Debt Relief appears to have a mostly positive online customer reputation, it’s important to remember that you can contact banks directly and inquire about “hardship” status in order to reduce your total debt load, which could help you save a ton of money in fees.

On the other hand, if you’d rather leave it up to the professionals, Freedom Debt Relief appears to be a solid choice.

Want to Learn How to Get and Keep a Good Credit Score?

Our FREE eBook will teach you how to get a good credit score that will help you save thousands by scoring the best deals on loans, insurance, and credit cards. Enter your email below to get a free copy of the eBook and to receive our weekly newsletter!

49 Customer Reviews for Freedom Debt Relief

Average Customer Rating: 3.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 24 4 star: 6 3 star: 2 2 star: 1 1 star:  16
Bottom Line: 63% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 49
Sort reviews by:

  • Superior service

    The folks who work for Freedom Debt Relief are truly there to help you and boost your morale during your time of frustration and suffering through this time of difficulty. You even receive congratulation messages as you progress through the program from all of the team. How many times do you get that support from any other establishment? Even my bank tells me I could not have chosen a better program to work with. That tells me a lot.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Somewhat disappointed

    I think things are being handled ok, but I don't think their dashboard is very helpful for clients (me). It is very vague for a person who is so over stressed about being harassed about paying credit card bills, and telling a client exactly what is happening and where you are at in the process of negotiating. I am more upset about the fact that when I came on board I was told I could add any bills, such as hospital bills, or I have a few payday loans that I need help with, and I have tried twice to add them on with no success. So meanwhile I am getting cards taken care of, and I am getting bashed by Pay Day loan folks.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Saved by "Freedom"

    My husband Ralph and I were facing bankruptcy as an only option to our personal financial disaster! Just in the nick-of-time, we received a Freedom Debt Relief application. Jane Wade called Freedom to get the particulars of how the debt reduction for Freedom worked. In a matter of minutes, Ralph and I were all signed up, and a new client of Freedom Debt Relief. Several creditors were offered a full debt reduction payment for the account (that they were previously unsuccessfully trying to collect from us). Creditors accepted the debt reduction account payoff. Jane Wade (wife), and Ralph (husband) have been financially saved by Freedom!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • I'm in good hands

    • Texas,
    • Jul 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I feel like I'm in good hands. Even though I've never figured out how to setup my dash. I I trust the people I'm working with. A couple of accounts have been settled, and I hope to clear some more soon. Then I guess they will help me on the taxes. One can only pray.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Our nightmare with FDR

    • Partlow, VA,
    • Jul 17, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    We signed up with FDR in 2015. We did it because I had been out of work ten months and then my husband has a stroke. Jonathan at FDR promised he could have us debt free in three years. From the beginning, it was us doing the leg work. Then the harassing calls started coming in from creditors. They had us change our address and phone number to their address.

    A few months later we get a notice on our door to appear in court even though our address was changed to theirs. I called Jonathan, and he says that happens, but there is a bank that will take it on. He did say the interest was higher so our payment would be more. We thought we were on the down hill stretch of this and I contact them to find out Jonathan never told us it increased us to over five years an an extra $28,000 on top of our debt.

    I have asked them for copies of anything we signed to show we agreed to this no response. We are considering a lawyer at this point.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Stress relief

    • East Palo Alto, CA,
    • Jul 13, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    First and foremost I want to THANK YOU to Freedom Debt Relief for taking out the time to listen and understand what I was going through. When I called their company and explained what was happening, and I was told they will meet with their supervisor and will call me back if approved by 5 pm, my blood pressure went to the roof. I was thinking to myself I wasn't going to get approved, but they called back and said: "Joyce you are approved and let's get things started." My blood pressure went back to normal and everything is starting to go into place.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (1)
    View all 1 commentsHide comments
    • Jul 17, 2017

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Dear Ms. Spencer,

      Thank you for the wonderful review! We are pleased to know the program has provided you not only debt relief but also stress relief. We look forward to your continued success with Freedom Debt Relief! Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or [email protected], should you have any questions or comments regarding your account.

      Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief.

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    They steal your money

    They steal your money and do not pay your debt. I had to cancel because they refused to make a $126 payment. I had $240 in the account to make payment. Then I canceled, and they took money out of my bank account. I then had $450 in my account, and they told me I only get $139 back. They kept the rest of my money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (1)
    View all 1 commentsHide comments
    • Jul 17, 2017

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Lea,

      We apologize that the program has not met your expectations. We would like to resolve any concerns that you are currently experiencing. Please let us know the best time we may reach out to you, to further discuss your account!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Feeling better since I called FDR

    If you are feeling down and out about your finances, do what I did, call Freedom Debt Relief. They are there for you. I hesitated to call them, but I am so glad I did. They are working hard for me, and I really appreciate them!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (3)
    View all 3 commentsHide comments
    • Jul 3, 2017

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you for your wonderful review, Shirley! We strive to provide excellence in negotiations, as well as financial stress relief, to all of our clients. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com should you have any questions or comments regarding your account.

      Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

    • Jul 11, 2017

      Jeffrey Miller

      Freedom Debt Relief doesn't inform customers of their hidden fees. They settled my $11,548.93 debt for $5,774.46 and then bragged about saving me $5,774.46. However, when I tried to pay off my balance early, they informed me that I owed them $2,278.92 in fees.

      Therefore, I actually only saved $3,495.55. I probably could have negotiated a better deal myself. If you can afford to pay off any of your remaining unsettled accounts, you would be better served to contact them personally and make a deal, rather than letting Freedom Debt Relief "Jedi mind trick" you!

    • Jul 13, 2017

      Kristina Wolf

      It's been five months, no word from the company. I have called twice, each time the agent was bored and annoyed and said "we will get back to you when we have a settlement," and was also told me that no settlement negotiations had even been attempted at this time. It has been more than five months. So my credit is ruined, it was 800 before this and now it's in the low 400's. I have no credit access, and I regret this so much. Don't do it.

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great process

    Freedom Debt Relief worked with five companies to reduce our debt amount and intervene with creditor contacts. This has been a special blessing to us after my husband's health issues.

    Thank you!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (1)
    View all 1 commentsHide comments
    • Jul 3, 2017

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Mary!

      Thank you for your wonderful review! We are so glad to hear about the debt reduction you are experiencing through our program! Please consider changing your star rating to 5 stars, based on the review you have left! Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com should you have any questions or comments regarding your account.

      Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Satisfied

    I am happy I decided to go with this company. They send me constant updates, and it has been a pleasant experience so far. I would definitely recommend this company. I'm glad to see that Shark Tank suggests them as well.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (1)
    View all 1 commentsHide comments
    • Jul 3, 2017

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Marcia!

      Thank you for your outstanding review! We are thrilled to hear about your satisfaction with the program and we appreciate your referrals to others who may be in need of our assistance. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com should you have any questions or comments regarding your account.

      Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Seems to be working well

    • Brooklyn, New York,
    • Jun 6, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The product seems to work as advertised, and they research your individual situation to qualify you.

    In turn, you decide which debts you'd like to include in your package. After your schedule is accepted, they test your account to see if your banking information is current and are able to take on the debts from your bank that you agree upon.

    Your payoff is made available to you through your personal account that you can view, to keep you abreast as to where your funds are going toward which bill and when it will be paid off.

    I would say that only a portion of the funds taken can be seen at which they are applied.

    Still awaiting results from others in quo.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (2)
    View all 2 commentsHide comments
    • Jun 7, 2017

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you for your great feedback! We are glad to know the program is proving to be successful for you and we look forward to your continued success with Freedom Debt Relief! Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com should you have any questions or comments regarding your account.

      Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

    • Jun 17, 2017

      Paula Dax

      I don't have my Welcome Package yet so I'm a bit uneasy.

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


Showing 1-11 of 49

Write a Review for Freedom Debt Relief!

Share your experience to help others shop smarter & discover great products.

Write a Review