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 637 Freedom Debt Relief Customer Reviews and Complaints

Write a Review
Average Customer Rating: 4.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 498 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 637
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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.
  • Helpful

    • By Thomas R.,
    • Kissimmee, FL,
    • Feb 16, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Right from the beginning, the people that I talked to were very straight forward and helpful in explaining and answering all the questions that I could think of at that time. Since the first time I had contact with anyone I still get the same honest and helpful answers. I am still a little nervous but at the same time, I am really grateful for all the help they give me.

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

    • Feb 17, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thomas, thank you for your amazing review. We pride ourselves in giving our clients as much information as we guide them through this process. Feel free to check your progress on your Client Dashboard at www.fdr.client.com, or contact Client Services at 1-800-655-6303. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief.


  • I believe this program is a good one

    • By Koladi K.,
    • California,
    • Feb 14, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Ann Ko coordinated my application.

    She was patient, considerate, and caring and took the time to explain various aspects of the program and I believe that this program is a good one.

    My program becomes effective on this 28th - will find out how the implementation goes.

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

    • Feb 16, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Welcome to the program, Koladi! Thank you so much for your awesome feedback concerning our agents. We love providing our clients with excellent service while helping them obtain their goal of becoming debt-free. If you ever have any questions, please reach out to us at (800) 655-6303 or jump on your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!


  • Grab the life line

    • By Roger S.,
    • Charlotte, NC,
    • Feb 14, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Unfortunate circumstances led to my finding myself drowning in debt. Trying to borrow myself out of debt was not working. Actually it made matters worse. I grabbed the lifeline that Freedom Debt Relief presented me with and I am happy to feel relief already. All the facts were presented to me professionally and I did not feel pressured. Glad to be on board to find financial relief.

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

    • Feb 16, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Welcome aboard, Roger! We couldn't be more excited for you, remember to stay committed. Our team of professionals will be there every step of the way to assist you whenever you need it. You can call us at (800) 655-6303 or email us at support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!


  • Needed help/advice

    • By Lee C.,
    • Las Vegas, NV,
    • Feb 10, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Sometimes when it rains it pours. I just carry a bigger umbrella. When you speak your truth in a situation and when you speak to the "correct" person, it oftentimes helps get results that one needs in a sticky situation which mine is/was. I contacted Ms. Betsy at Freedom Debt Relief, she has been my Guardian Angel throughout my ordeal since day one. I couldn't be happier and or blessed by her expert tutelage.

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

    • Feb 16, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thank you so much for your amazing feedback, Lee! Our team of professionals loves providing our clients with constant support throughout this process. As we continue down the road of success, please remember you can track your program process online through your Client Dashboard at www.fdrclient.com. Thank you for allowing Freedom Debt Relief to guide you to your debt-free future.


  • Very professional

    • By Edward B.,
    • New York,
    • Feb 9, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Hello, my name is Edward Baum and I had Freedom Debt Relief settle fourteen accounts on my behalf. First I would tell anyone you need patience to get yourself out of debt. They told me forty-eight months. It was about that. They saved me time and money and I am grateful for my experience. Customer service was always professional and courteous. FDR dashboard a major plus. Thank you Freedom Debt Relief.

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

    • Feb 16, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Hi Edward! We greatly appreciate your sharing your excellent experience with us. We are so happy to hear how successful your program has been. If you need any assistance in the future, reach out to us at 1(800)-655-6303. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief to assist you on your journey to financial freedom!


  • Awesome

    • By Raul B.,
    • Naples, FL,
    • Jan 31, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    That's all I can say...The best company who takes a personal interest in customers' needs. Today my wife and I feel less stressful knowing Freedom Debt Relief is taking care of our finances.

    Thank you.

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

    • Feb 2, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      We value your feedback, Raul, and would like to thank you! We aim to give our clients a lifetime experience with us, as we know how hard this journey can be. If you ever have questions or concerns, please lean on our team of professionals. You can call them at (800) 655-6303 or email us at support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for allowing Freedom Debt Relief to guide you to your debt-free future.


  • The FDR program is the best.

    • By Shelly H.,
    • Brooklyn, NY,
    • Jan 31, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was very happy when my friend told me about this FDR program. I never thought they had such good programs like this to really help people out of they financially difficult. I was so happy to call to get things going for me. You guys are doing a fantastic job and I was happy to know you guys are trustworthy too and have good intentions. I’m happy to introduce any one of my friends or my relatives to this program at any time.

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

    • Feb 2, 2020

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Greetings, Shelly! We couldn't be any happier than to see another satisfied client! Did you know we offer incentives for client referrals? For more information, please contact Client Services at (800) 655-6303 or at support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for allowing Freedom Debt Relief the opportunity to serve your financial needs!


  • 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

    • 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

    • 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.


  • 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

    • 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

    • 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!


Showing 1-11 of 637

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