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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338 Consumer Reviews for Freedom Debt Relief

Average Consumer Rating: 4.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 253 4 star: 36 3 star: 15 2 star: 7 1 star:  27
Bottom Line: 89% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 338
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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
  • Debt relief

    • Pittsboro, NC,
    • Nov 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am only in the very earliest stages of working with Freedom Debt Relief, but I've been very satisfied with the program so far. The staff seems professional and courteous and plenty of updates on what is going on with the process as it unfolds.

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

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    • Nov 12, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you very much for your review, Robert. We are enlightened to have you enrolled in our program so we can direct you towards financial freedom. We will always provide you with excellent customer service and professionalism because we care about you at Freedom Debt Relief. Also, we will inform you of any changes made to your program and we are counting down the days until we see you 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!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

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


  • Hopeful

    • Niagara Falls, NY,
    • Nov 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just joined, I’m hopeful.

    I feel some remorse for the accounts that I will not be paying the full amount too. But I feel in order to stabilize my life and get on the right track, this is something that I need to do and help not to repeat the future.

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

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    • Nov 12, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Kristen,

      Thank you very much for your review. We are so proud to have you apart of Freedom Debt Relief because we are excited to take control of your accounts and provide you with financial freedom. We are here to give you the peace of mind you deserve and lead you towards 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)


  • Perfect

    • Massachusetts,
    • Nov 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I just want to thank you guys for your help. I can't wait to get out of debt. This is the best company to have to help getting you out of debt. Thank you so much. In only 4 years I'll be out of these cards. If I didn't find Freedom Debt Relief, I would be out of this for the next 15 years because of the interest.

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

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    • Nov 8, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Vanessa,

      Thank you for your outstanding feedback and for enrolling in our debt resolution program. We are definitely the best debt relief option and we are so excited to take control of your accounts and lead you to financial freedom. We are very confident you will see fantastic results, keep up the excellent 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)


  • So far so great

    • Roxboro, NC,
    • Nov 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    So far so great! Customer service has been excellent throughout!

    I hope this is as good as I’m hoping! I got myself into a situation, and so far it appears I’ll be able to work on reestablishing my credit score and get financially stable!

    Best of luck to everyone using this! I’ve got my fingers crossed and will do my part!

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

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    • Nov 8, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Ronald,

      Thank you for your positive feedback. We are so thrilled to hear about your positive experience and we will continue to demonstrate outstanding customer service! We care about you at Freedom Debt Relief and we are very excited to see you 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!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

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


  • Good company

    • Lake Worth, FL,
    • Nov 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am new to this company. So far my experience has been very positive. I was in a bit of a bind credit-wise and a friend highly recommended this company. I also checked them out online. The BBB gave them an A- rating, which is very good.

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

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    • Nov 5, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Daniel,

      Thank you very much for your positive review. We are so thrilled to have you apart of Freedom Debt Relief and we want to congratulate you on starting your journey to become debt free. We have your back through your graduation and we definitely believe you chose the best debt resolution option. We are very confident you will see fantastic results and we are counting down the days until you are 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!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

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


  • Questions, questions, questions.

    • Alabama,
    • Nov 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Being new to Freedom Debt Relief, I found myself being a little apprehensive and I called Customer Service, feeling like I might be treated like a dummy, but instead the conversation was courteous, and all of my questions were answered in a very professional manner, which really put me at ease. If I have other questions, I will not hesitate to call. Thanks again!

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

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    • Nov 3, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Thank you for your wonderful review, Linda! We strive for customer service excellence and we're proud to hear that we're meeting your expectations! Please don't hesitate to reach out to our client services team any time you have questions or concerns, they're always willing to help! Thank you for being a part of Freedom Debt Relief!

    • Nov 5, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Linda,

      Thank you very much for your wonderful feedback. Congratulations on enrolling into Freedom Debt Relief! We are so happy to have you apart of our debt resolution program and we absolutely care about your success. We will continue to provide you world class customer service and professionalism through your graduation. We are very confident you will see outstanding results and we are very excited to give you financial freedom. 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)


  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Just a very easy and professional experience

    • Arkansas,
    • Oct 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Well, these days most everything is done over the phone or the computer, which is very stressful for people of a certain age. The staff walked us through the process very easily. We have only made one payment, so we are very new clients, but according to my Credit Karma report, Freedom Financial has already closed two of our accounts. That's great!

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

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    • Nov 1, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Harold,

      We appreciate your positive review. We are happy to aid you in enrolling into Freedom Debt Relief, and we are glad to provide you the assistance you need. We have your back through your graduation and we are glad to negotiate and resolve your accounts. We are very confident you will become debt free soon and we want to congratulate you on your success thus far. 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)


  • I wish I would have done this sooner

    • Florida,
    • Oct 30, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    If you have out of control debt, this is the place to go. The knowledgeable and informative staff helped me set up a plan that will help me recover my credit and pay off years of outstanding and charged off accounts for a fraction of the cost of paying them myself. Call them today the sooner you do, the quicker you can have control of your finances again.

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

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    • Nov 1, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello LJ,

      Thank you very much for your fantastic review. We are so proud to see you enrolled in our debt resolution program because we are definitely the best debt resolution option. We strive to provide our clients with the utmost customer service and professionalism, and we will continue to demonstrate this to you. The light at the end of the tunnel is coming 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)


  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Very unfortunate

    • St Louis, MO,
    • Oct 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I joined Freedom Debt Relief about seven months ago. The sales pitch was excellent; I asked lots of questions and felt I understood the program and the credit score consequences, but felt the light at the end of the tunnel would be the pay off in a few years. I make my payments without a hitch.

    My first account, one of the larger ones, was settled within the first few months with a three-month payoff. I noticed fees were taken out and continued to be taken out even after the account payoff. The fees are based on the actual debt and not the settled debt, adding back on to the savings I think I am getting. Then, I am offered a "loan" that only a few select people get is what I am told. The interest rate was set at 25% and extended the term another year, also adding another $100 to what I was already paying. So, now they get 25% interest and 21% settlement fees, again with no guarantee of a timeline or settlement.

    I feel very mislead. I have lots of funds in my account, but no new settlement efforts, have a few small accounts that you would think they would get to first and quick. So, after 7 months, a 100-point drop in my credit score and only one account settled. They don't even do any type of outreach to the creditors to notify them. I gave the notice to withdraw, which took me 5 separate phone calls, and I expect they will keep some of my monies for their fees and expect the withdrawals to stop as promised. We'll see.

    It is unfortunate that they prey on folks who are wanting to get upright again, put trust in these companies to help, but to only find we are paying just as much to them. I agree with others - I could have done this on my own.

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

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    • Oct 25, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Teresa,

      We're very sorry to hear you are dissatisfied with the program so far. We would like to review your account with you and hopefully resolve the concerns you are having. A member of our team will reach out to the email address associated with your review for further assistance.

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

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


  • Just beginning program

    • Kingsland, AR,
    • Oct 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have just begun the program but have been very satisfied so far with the helpfulness of the counselors when I have made contact with them. I hope this trend continues throughout the completion of my program.

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

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    • Nov 1, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Loren,

      Thank you very much for your amazing response. Congratulations on enrolling into Freedom Debt Relief and starting the journey to financial freedom. At Freedom Debt Relief, we do our best to negotiate and resolve the accounts enrolled in our program. We are very confident we will show you outstanding savings on every account, and we will lead you to 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!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

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


  • New beginnings towards debt free life

    • Mechanicsburg, PA,
    • Oct 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am in the very beginning of the Freedom Debt Relief experience. I like the way this system works and the process used to pay off debts in a way that is comfortable with consumers. The staff at Freedom Debt Relief are interested in your progress and success and are supportive throughout the process. I highly recommend Freedom Debt Relief to anyone experiencing crushing debt who are seeking relief. This system works and makes sense.

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

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    • Oct 23, 2018

      Customer Support, Customer Support

      Hello Stephen,

      We appreciate you sharing your feedback. Congratulations on enrolling into Freedom Debt Relief and starting your journey to become debt free. We support you every step of the way and we will provide you with outstanding results. We would love for you to recommend our program to your friends and family. 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!

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