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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290 Consumer Reviews for Freedom Debt Relief

Average Consumer Rating: 4.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 213 4 star: 31 3 star: 14 2 star: 5 1 star:  27
Bottom Line: 88% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 290
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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
  • So far so good

    • Idaho,
    • Sep 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Just getting started but communication is good. No late payment calls yet, but should be starting soon. I have set up a dashboard and am ready to make the second payment. I am looking forward to getting the first bill settled.

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

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  • My review went perfect and Reagan was very knowledgeable and great to work with

    • Pearland, TX,
    • Sep 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I can't express the feeling of relief after speaking with Reagan, very great at what she does and would definitely refer her to anyone in need of their services. I would give my experience with this company 5 stars for the professionalism I experienced.

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

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Good afternoon James,

      We love to see your positive feedback. We are very happy to hear Reagan demonstrated outstanding customer service in the enrollment process, and we are so happy to see you enrolled in Freedom Debt Relief. We would greatly appreciate if you recommend our program to all your friends and family. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.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

    Debt relief

    • St Charles, MO,
    • Sep 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just joined the program and just made my first payment, so far I am satisfied with everything going on. I am excited to experience what is going to happen with my credit in the future.

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

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Yay Flora! This is awesome to hear. We want to congratulate you on starting your journey to become debt free, and we are very proud of you making your first payment. Keep up the great work. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Doubts. And fear.

    • Houston, TX,
    • Sep 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Sitting at work one day and I was wondering how I could consolidate some of my credit cards, so I started to get familiar with the program. After doing some research, I decided to contact a counselor, who walked me through the program with ease and relief. I can breathe again. Thanks so much for helping me with my situation and being debt free. Thanks again.

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

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Sandra,

      We appreciate your amazing feedback. This is great to hear because we want to reduce your debt and take that stress away. We have your back through your financial journey, and we will be very proud to see you graduate debt free. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.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

    Best decision ever.

    • North Carolina,
    • Sep 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Choosing Fredom Debt Relief is probably the best decision I have ever made. Everyone I have talked with is very friendly and will do whatever it takes to assist you. I feel that my situation will be solved and my finances will improve.

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

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Robert,

      Thank you for your positive response. We are so proud to have you enrolled in Freedom Debt Relief because we are here for you, and we are extremely excited to see you become financially free. We have your back throughout this, and we are confident you will succeed in this as well. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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  • Great experience

    • San Pedro, CA,
    • Sep 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was unsure about doing a debt consolidation but was drowning in debt and was unable to sleep. Once I made the call to Freedom, a huge load was lifted off my shoulders, and I feel I can breathe again. The people here make you feel welcome and listen to everything you say. Huge relief. I have already referred a few people and hope they do call because now I feel like I have my life back. Thank you, Freedom Debt, for making this so easy.

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

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    • Sep 19, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Elsa,

      Thank you very much for your positive response. We are so happy you chose to enroll in Freedom Debt Relief because are absolutely the best debt resolution program. We are here for you throughout your graduation and becoming debt free. We are here to take that stress off your shoulders. Success is coming your way soon! Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great experience

    • Lincoln, NE,
    • Sep 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have just started the program. My initial call from Freedom Debt Relief was from a well-spoken representative who spoke of the program with assurance and knowledge. He thoroughly explained about how it works and the history of the company putting me at ease. He gave me a time-frame of 2 to 3 months to start seeing the results. Imagine my surprise when less than two weeks later I received my first settlement to approve. This attention to my rather difficult situation gives me confidence that I picked the best company to help me.

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

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    • Sep 12, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Carol,

      Thank you very much for your positive response and feedback. We love to hear that Freedom Debt Relief has been an amazing experience from the time you enrolled! We are so happy you have received clear and detailed explanations of how our program works and we are very proud to have you enrolled with us. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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  • Review of Freedom Finance

    • Kansas City, MO,
    • Sep 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    They answered all my questions, gave me details of everything happening, and I am happy with my experience and would recommend them. They showed me a different way to pay off my bills instead of borrowing the money to pay them and still be in debt. Thank you.

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

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    • Sep 12, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Travis,

      We love to see your positive review. We strive for outstanding customer service and you deserve it as well! We would love to see you recommend our program to all of your friends and family. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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  • Freedom Debt Relief

    • Artesia, NM,
    • Sep 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    So far so good. I've not had any issues. And my representative was very knowledgeable in all that pertained to me. I am definitely recommending them to all who need you. As a matter of fact, my daughter was wanting to talk to them.

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

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    • Sep 12, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Yolanda,

      We appreciate your positive review. Our representatives are extremely knowledgeable in debt settlement and your program with Freedom Debt Relief. We would love to see you recommend our program to your family and friends. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.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

    New client

    • Missouri,
    • Sep 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Freedom Debt representative Ana was amazing to work with. She gave us a full understanding of how the program works and answered all our questions. We feel this was an excellent decision for our situation.

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

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    • Sep 12, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Patricia,

      This is so outstanding to hear! We love to see your feedback and especially to hear Ana demonstrated excellent customer service. You definitely chose the best option to relieve you of your debt and we will show you this! Success is coming soon. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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  • FDR

    • Sedona, AZ,
    • Sep 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Francis was very helpful, as have been all customer support personnel. The packages have been very understandable. I particularly care for the way they handle a very delicate and embarrassing situation, like debt relief.

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

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    • Sep 12, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Mark,

      We love your amazing feedback. Hearing Francis was able to assist you with any questions or concerns you have had is wonderful. You do not need to feel embarrassed or delicate with your situation because we have your back throughout your journey to financial freedom. Please reach out to our client services department at (800) 655-6303 or support@freedomdebtrelief.com if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!

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