About Freedom Debt Relief

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Apr 23, 2018

Founded in 2002 by Stanford Business School graduates Andrew Housser and Bradford Stroh, Freedom Debt Relief helps clients settle and resolve their unsecured debts in as little as 24-48 months, instead of declaring bankruptcy. Cumulatively, they’ve helped resolve more than $8 billion in debt for more than 500,000 clients since opening their doors, which is more than any other company in the nation.

The process is straightforward: Talk to a Certified Debt Consultant to make sure Freedom Debt Relief is the right debt solution for you, see what you could save by partnering with them, and then enroll in their program if you choose.

We all want to be debt-free faster. But is Freedom Debt Relief necessarily your best option? Let’s start by taking a look at how their program works.

How Does Freedom Debt Relief Work?

To qualify for Freedom Debt Relief’s program, you’ll need to owe at least $7,500 in unsecured debt (e.g., credit cards, medical bills, etc.) and be struggling to make your minimum monthly payments due to a financial hardship, whether caused by the loss of a job, divorce, medical bills, or the passing of a loved one.

Credit score isn’t an eligibility factor, although the company currently only offers their services to residents of the following 34 states and territories: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, DE, FL, ID, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, NY, NC, OK, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, DC, WI, Guam, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa.

If you meet these core criteria, the company’s debt relief program works over five steps:

  1. A Certified Debt Consultant—each of whom is required to undergo training and meet strict qualifications established by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA)—will evaluate your debt and advise which options are available. In these instances, the company will be upfront about whether or not their program is the right solution, and if not, refer you to other companies who might be a better fit.
  2. Then, the company will customize your program and give you all the available information about your 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 will be used to repay your debts. You’ll maintain control of the account at all times. 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 creditors and negotiate settlements for you. According to the company’s website, they’ve been negotiating with creditors for over a decade and resolve an average of 43,891 accounts each month, thereby giving you more leverage.
  5. Finally, after all your debts have been resolved, your program will be complete.

How Much Does Freedom Debt Relief’s Program Cost?

Freedom Debt Relief doesn’t assess their clients any upfront fees until after a debt has been resolved, and there are no monthly fees involved.

However, the company emphasizes that the special purpose bank account they set up for clients can charge a small monthly fee, like most other financial accounts. If this is the case, it will be included in the client’s monthly program deposit amount, which—again—is something they maintain control over at all times.

The length of Freedom’s program varies between clients. Once a settlement is negotiated, though, the final fee can range anywhere between 18 and 25 percent, depending on the client’s state of residence and the debt amount.

For example, if you owe $10,000 on one of your accounts and Freedom Debt Relief negotiates a settlement for $6,000, you could pay between $1,800 and $2,500 in fees, for a total of $7,800-$8,500. In this example, your overall savings could be between $1,500 and $2,300 off your original debt.

For additional details or to undergo a consultation, you can reach a Certified Debt Consultant at 800-230-1553.

What Can We Learn From Freedom Debt Relief Online Customer Reviews?

Since writing our original article, nearly 90 HighYa readers have provided feedback about their experience with Freedom Debt Relief, giving the company an average rating of 3.7 stars.

Common compliments related to effective debt reduction/settlements and helpful Consultants, while complaints frequently revolved around settlements that didn’t meet expectations, as well as steep fees.

We also encountered more than 12,000 customer reviews on Consumer Affairs, where the company had a slightly higher average rating of 4.6 stars. Most of the compliments and complaints mirrored those found here on HighYa.

San Mateo, CA-based Freedom Debt Relief is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has more than 1,300 customer reviews (89 percent of which were positive) and 320+ closed complaints, as of 4/17/18. Details were available for very few complaints, although a company representative responded in each instance with a resolution.

Debt Relief vs. Credit Counseling: How Can You Choose the Right Solution?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, reputable credit counseling organizations—and their certified counselors—can “advise you on managing your money and debts, help you develop a budget, and offer free educational materials and workshops.”

In other words, while they often don’t always offer settlement services with creditors, they can help you develop a financial plan that helps you pay them off in a timely manner and get back on track. They’re typically non-profit organizations as well, so their assistance might cost you little-to-no money.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to gain access to many of these same services and potentially reduce the amount you owe to creditors, a for-profit debt relief company like Freedom Debt Relief might fit the bill. Obviously, the downside is that you’ll pay a not-insubstantial fee for their services.

Before signing up for one, though, the FTC recommends:

  • Making sure that you can afford to regularly deposit money into the savings account. After all, if there’s no money available, the company can’t bargain with creditors on your behalf.
  • Keeping in mind that not all accounts are settled. You could end up owing just as much as you do currently, although this could certainly help you save on interest and late payments.
  • Remembering that if you decide to stop making payments on your debt, this could negatively impact your credit score.

Another important consideration is that you’re allowed to contact your creditors directly and negotiate settlements on your debt, which obviously won’t cost you anything other than time. Granted, you won’t have the leveraging power of a company like Freedom (regardless of whether or not you have a savings account in place), but it’s certainly something to keep in mind, depending on your circumstances.

Let’s go ahead and bring everything together so you can make a decision about Freedom Debt Relief.

Our Final Thoughts About Freedom Debt Relief

The bottom line is that if you meet their qualification criteria and have carefully considered the potential pros and cons of using a for-profit company discussed above, Freedom Debt Relief has been in business for more than 15 years and comes with an overwhelmingly positive online customer reputation.

As such, this could be a good indication of what you might experience after becoming a client. And if not, you might not have much more to lose than a few minutes of your time by reaching out to a Certified Debt Consultant and seeing whether or not they’re a good fit for you.


Read 630 Freedom Debt Relief Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 4.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 491 4 star: 61 3 star: 27 2 star: 12 1 star:  39
Bottom Line: 91% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 630
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  • This company is actively collecting reviews from its customers. All reviews submitted are subject to moderation and approval to ensure they meet our Review Guidelines.
  • Shortfall in bank account

    • By Thomas E.,
    • Tarpon Springs, FL,
    • Jan 15, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I survive on Social Security. I receive a large check, but have a mortgage and am involved with Freedom Debt resolving my debt aquired during my divorce a few years ago. They have negotiated a number of settlements. By mistake, I paid a bill which was going to make my bank account short by less than $5 at the end of the month and I had no way of getting an extra $5 on short notice as my only income is the SS check. I called and talked with an agent, Jeremy, and requested that my month's deposit be reduced by $5 so there would be no overdraft. He was able to do that for me. I know this sounds like a small thing, but if you can avoid overdrafts your life is much simpler. Thank you Jeremy.

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

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    • Jan 23, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thomas, we appreciate your feedback regarding our services! We understand that there are difficult times, and we try our very best to be as flexible with our clients as possible. If there is ever anything that you are concerned about please feel free to call Client Services at (800) 655-6303. Thank you for trusting us to be your partners towards a debt-free future.


  • Our experience with Freedom Debt Relief

    • By Norma O.,
    • Sunrise, FL,
    • Jan 13, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    When my husband and I were feeling as if we had nowhere to turn, we found Freedom Debt Relief information on the internet. I made the call and we were very hopeful with the information we were given, we spoke about it and we knew we needed the help before things got worse for us. We called again and were given the information they needed so we could get started. I first would like to thank the people that were helping us in every step of the way, especially Amanda Montano, she made our problem easier to deal with, she gave us a feeling that she cared, also everyone after that they took the time to walk us through the whole application. We are on our way to getting back on our feet. Again we would like to thank all of the staff in Freedom Debt Relief for all the help.

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

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    • Jan 14, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, Norma. Our team is so pleased to hear you received an excellent service experience and we are looking forward to your success in our program. We are here for your support and ready to help. If you have any questions or concerns along the way, we can be reached at 1-800-655-6303. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief.


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Excellent service

    • By Hal L.,
    • Roanoke, VA,
    • Jan 8, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just have begun my service with Freedom Debt Relief. Everything that I have been promised is actually happening. I am so happy I have selected this service to help me get out of my financial pickle. I’m excited to see what the future holds for my financial freedom and I’m ready to see this journey right alongside my new partner, Freedom Debt Relief. Thank you!

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

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    • Jan 8, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      That is wonderful to hear, Hal. Our team is thrilled to be of service to you. If you have any questions, just give us a call at 800-655-6303. Our Customer Service Representatives are ready to help. Thank you for letting Freedom Debt Relief be your partner on your journey to a debt-free future.


  • No more stress or worry about bills.

    • By Thomas C.,
    • Delaware,
    • Jan 7, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Freedom Debt Relief has been a Godsend. I am deeply in debt just borrowing from Peter to pay Paul when I started looking into filing bankruptcy. But I checked in with Freedom Debt Relief and signed up right away. My bills are going to be negotiated and paid by FDR and I just make sure a much smaller payment is in my account like 75% less than the monthly bills I would have to pay monthly. The people at FDR explained everything thoroughly and easy to understand. Would recommend them to family and friends 100% and anyone else who has found themselves over their head in debt.

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

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    • Jan 8, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      We appreciate your valuable feedback, Thomas. Our team is thrilled to be working with you in resolving your debt. We are here to support you at every step of your debt-free journey, so please feel free to contact our Client Services team any time you have questions! Give them a call at 1-800-655-6303 or reach them by email at support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great people

    • By Janet O.,
    • Alabama,
    • Jan 7, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Exactly what I needed, everyone from my first phone call to my most recent has been over the top helpful. I feel like I've made the best decision for my circumstances. I would recommend them to anyone who is in the need for this type of service.

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

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    • Jan 8, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, Janet. Our team is thrilled we have been able to serve you. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Client Services, they can be reached at 1-800-655-6303 or via email at Support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for allowing Freedom Debt Relief to guide you to your debt-free future.


  • Easy breezy

    • By Melanie B.,
    • Pearl, MS,
    • Jan 3, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Having Freedom Debt Relief working for me was a burden off my mind. Sign up was no more than calling FDR and speaking to one of their CSR named Cory and answering those questions to get my account started. I was in turmoil for days over what to do until I was one of their TV commercials and thought, "I need to check this out." I’m so glad I did.

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

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    • Jan 7, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      That is wonderful to hear, Melanie. Our team works hard to provide the best service possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Client Services, they can be reached at 1-800-655-6303 or via email at Support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for allowing Freedom Debt Relief to guide you to your debt free future.


  • Great customer service

    • By Jorge H.,
    • California,
    • Jan 2, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had lots of questions about my options. I spent a few days considering my options and continued to ask questions. The customer service was excellent and gave me the confidence to go forward.

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

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    • Jan 7, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      We are pleased to be of service, Jorge. Our team takes pride in offering exceptional customer service. If you have any questions, just give us a call at 800-655-6303. Our Customer Service Representatives are ready to help. Thank you for letting Freedom Debt Relief be your partner on your journey to a debt-free future.


  • Debt freedom

    • By Angela W.,
    • Brooklyn, NY,
    • Dec 28, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am a new member of Freedom Debt Relief, I am still in my beginning phase, so far it has been smooth the entire transition. It is also easy to keep in touch we with the team if you have questions and you can look up your progress on the dashboard any time.

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

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    • Jan 7, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thanks for sharing your feedback on our program, Angela! Our team is thrilled to be of service to you. Keep up the great work and please reach out to us anytime you have questions about your program! You can contact our Client Services team seven days a week by calling (800) 655-6303 or email support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!


  • Freedom Debt Relief

    • By Shane W.,
    • Florida,
    • Dec 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    So far very easy process, friendly staff to speak with. They followed up with my inquiries and I was able to get access to my online dashboard and do a lot of the things I needed to do myself, which made it nice.

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

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    • Jan 7, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Welcome to Freedom Debt Relief, Shane! We are thrilled for the opportunity to serve your financial needs. Thank you for taking out the time to share your experiences thus far. Also, great job becoming familiar with your Client Dashboard. This is an excellent tool to use when monitoring your progress in our program. You can also chat with us live when logged in! Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief to reach your financial goals.


  • Ask for amounts owed if I paid early on a certain date.

    • By Jim W.,
    • Inwood, IA,
    • Dec 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Were completely useless. Too stupid to answer my question. Told me to look at the darn dashboard which in no way helped me!

    Totally useless, incompetent people.

    What good is a company that cannot answer a simple payoff question?

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

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    • Dec 23, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      We appreciate your feedback, Mr. Walling, and apologize for any disappointments you've experienced in our program. Our team wants to make sure your questions are answered and will have a member of our team reach out to you shortly.


  • Professional

    • By Charles F.,
    • Michigan,
    • Dec 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Ryan was very professional and walked me through the signup procedure, costs, timeline and legal protection afforded with the plan. He was helpful, courteous, and as I said, professional.

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

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    • Dec 23, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Charles, thank you for your feedback! It's always in our best interest to make sure we give you the best experience we can. We are thrilled Ryan did that for you. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Client Services. They can be reached at 1-800-655-6303 or via email at Support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for allowing Freedom Debt Relief to guide you to your debt-free future.


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