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.

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405 Consumer Reviews for Freedom Debt Relief

Average Consumer Rating: 4.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 308 4 star: 43 3 star: 16 2 star: 8 1 star:  30
Bottom Line: 90% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 405
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • Withdrawal from account

    • New York,
    • Mar 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Not only has Freedom Debt Relief been a live saving program to get me out of debt in a short period of time, which has had both my wife and myself able to put money aside to do more to enjoy the years that we have together. Another great thing about this program is, after having open heart surgery for aortic valve replacement, I have been able to withdrawal from my account to help pay for some unexpected bills instead of having them pile up. I would encourage anyone to enroll in this program and make life a little easier to handle.

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

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    • Mar 17, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you very much for sharing your honest review, Robert. Freedom Debt Relief is happy to assist you in every way we can and we are confident you will become debt free soon. Keep up the great work! Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if 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)


  • Friendly service

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Mar 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Every time I have called in with questions or concerns, all of the employees have demonstrated helpful, friendly and professional demeanors. I have been a client for about four years and have only dealt with nice people. It is a comfort to know my debt will soon be paid off. Had I not worked with Freedom Financial, I would be in a world of worry.

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

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    • Mar 17, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      This is a fantastic review, Susan. At Freedom Debt Relief, we strive to provide the utmost customer service and professionalism to all of our clients. We are thrilled to hear of your positive experience thus far and we are looking forward to your graduation! Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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


  • Awesome

    • St. Cloud, FL,
    • Mar 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They have done so much for me, always on top of everything. Always answer every question. Have taken care of everything they promised me. Very easy and stress-free. Thank you.

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

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    • Mar 17, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you for sharing your feedback, Debbie. Freedom Debt Relief is pleased to assist you with your debt and we will continue to answer any questions or concerns you have. Keep up the great work, financial freedom is coming your way! Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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


  • Not a good review

    • New York,
    • Mar 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have called Freedom Debt Relief four times in the past seven days attempting to complete a settlement with a company that filed a suit against me after I was already enrolled in the debt relief program. Each time I called I was told "we have to wait" for something, either an answer from the law firm handling the suit, or the negotiator to update my account, or the fax I sent them to be taken from the fax machine and entered into my record. It was a ridiculous amount of time considering that I had only ten days from 2/28 to make the first payment on the settlement. I offered to make the payment myself and was told this would not be a good idea. Now it is day eight with the weekend coming tomorrow and I hope they get the check by phone payment done today or my settlement agreement will expire.

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

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    • Mar 17, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello JoAnn,

      We’re so sorry to hear you have had a negative experience. Could you please send us your contact information in a private message so we can look into this further and have someone contact you?

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

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


  • Thanks for getting back to sleep

    • Texas,
    • Mar 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Thank you for turning me to reconcile the dream, they are people who are prepared and concentrate on what you are going through. I thank you from the heart and God bless you. I recommended you to join this great family.

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

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    • Mar 17, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you, Jose, for sharing your review. We are very glad you enrolled in our debt resolution program and we would greatly appreciate if you recommended Freedom Debt Relief to your friends and family. Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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  • Relieved and confident in my decision

    • Durham, NC,
    • Mar 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I initially applied for a loan and was offered a debt relief program. I was a little unsure about it at first, but afterward, I realized how lucky I was to have been dealing with Daniel Rodriguez. He walked me through everything step by step and did not give up on me through answering all my questions, in which I had a lot of questions. I went from being stressed out and unsure of how to meet and deal with my financial situation, to feeling confident that I made the right decision and I now had a sense of confidence that I was not in over my head anymore. This whole process felt friendly, professional, confident, and secure.

    The client dashboard allows me to keep up with all the stages of the process and the starter packet I received in the mail covers everything and anything I could want to know, as well as how to respond to any creditors should I talk with them. I was even contacted by a LEGAL TEAM to assure me they would be here for me for any legal issues that may come up during the length of my program. I feel like this was one of the best decisions I have made for a long time. Thank you.

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

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    • Mar 17, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Michael,

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful review. We are very pleased to have you a part of Freedom Debt Relief. You absolutely made the best decision and we will continue to assist you in every way we can. Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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


  • Survey

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Mar 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Mr. Nicholas Tull provided me with excellent customer service. I would like to thank Nicholas for great customer service provided on behalf of GreenLink Funding. He has been a great support to me during a difficult time. I am lucky to have him to guide me through this process.

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

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    • Mar 13, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you for sharing your positive review, Rose. We are very pleased to hear of your wonderful experience with Nicholas and we will continue to provide the same exemplary service through your completion. Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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


  • Experience with Freedom Debt Relief

    • Massachusetts,
    • Mar 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    To be honest, I am a witness that Freedom Debt Relief is an honest and reliable company that is ready to work with its clients as they promised me at the beginning. So far they have resolved one of my debts after their negotiations on my behalf. I saved money on my first settlement. I had several debts and one of them is down already. For new clients, feel free to work with Freedom Debt Relief. I am not shy to say that. One of my creditors took me to court but I am not worried because my case is in safe hands, although it's not over yet. Freedom Debt Relief is there to help their clients who have problems with creditors just like me.

    Thanks.

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

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    • Mar 17, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you for sharing, Paul. We are happy to take control of your debt and assist you in becoming financially free. We absolutely have your best interest and we are confident we will resolve your legal account soon. Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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


  • Mine

    • Dearborn, MI,
    • Mar 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Comfort in making the decision to participate in your program, the ease of learning what needed to be done. Jon answers my calls within a short amount of time. That’s what made my decision to go with your company. And so far I have no regrets.

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

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    • Mar 17, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      This is a fantastic review, Herminia. You made a great decision when you enrolled in Freedom Debt Relief and we are happy to provide outstanding results. Keep up the great work, soon you will become debt free! Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Helping me out

    • Killeen, TX,
    • Mar 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    After going through a divorce and getting a lot of my wife’s debt, I was using my credit cards to try and pay things off and was falling farther and farther down the hole. I got a letter in the mail that Freedom was willing to help me out. I was very very skeptical, I filled out the online stuff just to see. Mike Lord called me and we talked for probably 45 minutes. He sent me all the stuff and told me to read over it and gave me his number so I could call anytime I had questions.

    I read over, still was very skeptical, but decided to go ahead. After I signed I was very worried so I called Mike and left a message and in about 10 minutes he called me back. I told him my fears, he reassured me they where there to take care of me, and Mike said anytime I needed to call, that’s what he was there for, and he was the only person that would be taking care of me so I wouldn’t have to explain over and over again to someone else if I called in.

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

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    • Mar 8, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you very much for your fantastic review, Christian! We're happy to be helping you get back on track with your finances and we're thrilled to hear that you had a wonderful experience with our representative! If you're ever unable to get ahold of Mike and have some questions about your account, you are always more than welcome to reach out to our client services team. They're here to help and can be reached by calling (800) 655-6303 or email support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

    • Mar 11, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Christian,

      Thank you very much for your review. You made the best decision when you started your journey to become debt free and we will continue to support you through your completion. We are very pleased to hear of your experience with Mike and we are looking forward to seeing your accomplishments in the near future. Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great decision

    • Brooklyn, NY,
    • Mar 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I feel a brick has been lifted and I am able to enjoy my kids without the anxiety of not being able to pay bills on time.

    It has helped me not to feel drown in the water. It has helped me make payment to complete my debt and teach me how to organize better in life for the future.

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

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    • Mar 11, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you for sharing, Jessica. You made a great decision when you enrolled in Freedom Debt Relief because you will soon obtain financial freedom. We are proud of your success thus far and we wish you the best in the future. Please reach out to our Client Services department at 1 (800) 655-6303 or you can log into your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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