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.

Sign Up for HighYa Newsletter

Sign up for HighYa newsletter and get our best content delivered in your inbox as well as 3 free eBooks to help you save money and shop smarter. Enter your email below to get started!

365 Consumer Reviews for Freedom Debt Relief

Average Consumer Rating: 4.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 273 4 star: 38 3 star: 17 2 star: 8 1 star:  29
Bottom Line: 89% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 365
Sort reviews by:

  • 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
  • Satisfied

    • Tarboro, NC,
    • Jan 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Since I started with the debt relief program, I have been worry free. What I like most is the personnel are well trained and can answer your questions without hesitation. They make sure you understand everything that's being said. My representative (Sara A.) is awesome.

    My goal is to become debt free. I would recommend this company to anyone that needs help.

    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)


  • Too soon to tell.

    • Fernley, NV,
    • Jan 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just signed up recently. I was told they needed $25.00 as an initial fee. I told them that I would not have the money until later this month. The representative put me on hold to check. She came back and told me the fee would be postponed until the 28th of January. Two days later they took the $25.00 from my account. This put me into an overdraft situation with my bank causing two checks to bounce and costing me $30.00 each in overdraft fees. I called FDR and was told that the rep should not have told me the fee would be postponed and nothing could be done. I have been with them for less than a month, and I am out $75.00.

    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)


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Excited for fresh start with FDR

    • San Ramon, CA,
    • Jan 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Thankful for the guidance and help without judging as things happen, so I do feel some hope in achieving my goals. Looking forward to working to get debt-free and grateful for the personal assistance.

    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)


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Still getting many calls from debtors. Wanting this to stop.

    • Phyllis, KY,
    • Jan 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am happy to be getting help with these high-interest credit cards. I just wish they would stop ringing my phone constantly. From early morning to nine o’clock at night. Very aggravating.

    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
    • Jan 21, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Sharon,

      We greatly appreciate you sharing your review. We are so pleased to take control of your accounts and provide you with financial freedom. One of our highly trained client advocates would love to provide you options to reduce your creditor calls. Simply, give them a call at 1 (800) 655-6303 and they would be happy to assist you. 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 1 people found this review helpful

    New to Freedom

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Jan 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am just starting out on this long journey, so it's hard to tell right now. Jeff has been awesome to deal with so far. I have a ton of debt to pay off so I am hoping it works and I finally have the "freedom" of being debt-free, lol.

    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
    • Jan 16, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Tim,

      Thank you for your positive review. We are very glad you enrolled in Freedom Debt Relief and we want to congratulate you on starting your journey to become debt free. We are very confident you will soon see great success! 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)


  • Review so far

    • Lansing, MI,
    • Jan 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been in the program for about four weeks. So far I can say everything has been handled very professionally. When I call to ask questions, they answer immediately. Right now, I feel a great deal of relief.

    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
    • Jan 12, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Delores,

      Thank you for your wonderful review. We are so happy you joined Freedom Debt Relief so we can assist you in becoming debt free. We care about you and we will continue to demonstrate excellent customer service and professionalism. 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)


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Worst experience ever!

    I would never recommend this to anyone! Lies, hidden fees, slow to make things happen, holds on to money in dedicated account, very poor communication, half of the employees you talk to have no clue - my list goes on and on. A three-year nightmare before I finally got a loan and took things into my own hands and paid everything off in a couple days! I ended up paying $4000.00 more on a bill due to lack of Freedom Debt Relief making things happen, and it went to NLLG (whatever that is) and was never told to me but I ended up paying more on that debt, plus undisclosed fees! This is a terrible company! I am glad to be out of debt on my own and no thanks to this place. A waste of time!

    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
    • Jan 10, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Stephanie,

      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)


  • Very satisfied

    • Jefferson, NC,
    • Jan 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am very happy that I discovered Freedom Debt Relief. It has taken a large burden off of me. I have been very pleased with the professional and courteous service that I have received. 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
    • Jan 7, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Patrick,

      We greatly appreciate you sharing your feedback. We are thrilled to have you enrolled in our debt resolution program and we will continue to take that extra weight off your shoulders. We want you to have the peace of mind you deserve! 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)


  • Customer service

    • Alabama,
    • Jan 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company has excellent customer service. I will send anyone who needs assistance to look up this company. They are very friendly and patient and listen to your needs.

    Every question I had they have answered them to make me eased.

    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
    • Jan 7, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you, Julie, for your positive review. We strive to provide all of our clients with the utmost customer service and professionalism and we are very pleased to hear about your wonderful experience so far. 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!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

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


  • Very professional and extremely easy to talk to

    • Spring Hill, FL,
    • Jan 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had a great experience with rep Martin Carby. He is professional, friendly, easy-going and knowledgeable. He explained everything to me and answered all my questions. I would recommend this service to all my friends and family who need it. 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
    • Jan 7, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you, Gail, for your wonderful response. We are thrilled to hear of your positive experience with Martin and we will continue to demonstrate the same customer service and professionalism through 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!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

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


  • Breathe

    • Clarkdale, AZ,
    • Jan 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I can breathe again. My husband's passing with no insurance left me flailing to keep bills paid. Impossible. Was shoveling crap against the tide. Property maintenance was failing and I just couldn't survive. Thank God for Freedom Debt Relief.

    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
    • Jan 7, 2019

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Rita,

      Thank you very much for your wonderful review. We are very glad you enrolled in Freedom Debt Relief so we can assist you become debt free. The light at the end of the tunnel is coming 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!

    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 365

Write a Review for Freedom Debt Relief!

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

Write a Review