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!


Read 557 Freedom Debt Relief Customer Reviews and Complaints

Write a Review
Average Consumer Rating: 4.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 429 4 star: 57 3 star: 25 2 star: 11 1 star:  35
Bottom Line: 91% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 557
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
  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Getting out of debt

    • Wisconsin,
    • Sep 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was trying so hard to get out of debt and when Freedom Debt Relief came around I was very happy how to handle the situation. They work with me with my debt and educate me at the same time and worked fast did everything over the phone. In about two hours I was happy to get the help I was looking for. Thank you again for your help.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    • Sep 13, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      We appreciate your review, John! Our team is grateful to have you as a valued client, and we will be here every step of the way. We encourage you to keep track of your progress on your Client Dashboard at www.fdr.client.com or contact Client Services with any questions at 1-800-655-6303. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief.


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Freedom Debt Relief to the rescue!

    • Menifee, CA,
    • Sep 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This team has been so positive, helpful, and professional. They understand what one is going through and offer their full support. They let you know that you are not alone. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I can sleep at night and don't feel like I have this weight or cloud over me. I can breathe again. Their goal is to help all the way through your financial freedom. I am more than lucky to have made the decision in seeking Freedom Debt Relief. So thankful and grateful!

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    • Sep 13, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      We value your feedback, Eva! We pride ourselves on a highly trained and professional team to help make this process as stress-free as possible! If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Client Services. They can be reached at 1-800-655-6303 or via email at Support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for allowing Freedom Debt Relief to guide you to your debt-free future.


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great help

    • Orange City, FL,
    • Sep 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Freedom Debt Relief has been a great help to us so far and very easy to work with. They help you each step along the way and take the worry out of everything. If a creditor calls you after you start the program all you have to do is give them the phone number to Freedom Dent Relief. If they mail you something then you can either send it to Freedom, fax it to them, or email to them and they will deal with the creditor, you no longer have to.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    • Sep 13, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Cindylynn, thank you for your feedback. Our team knows it can be difficult dealing with creditors on your own. We love being part of your success to financial freedom. We encourage you to keep track of your progress on your Client Dashboard at www.fdr.client.com or contact Client Services with any questions at 1-800-655-6303. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief.


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Easy-peasy

    • Arizona,
    • Sep 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The people are very helpful and understanding. They work with you to fit your budget to payments you can afford. It's simple and easy to get started. They helped cut my debt payments in half to set up an account to pay off my debts and being on Social Security, that's very helpful. Anyone in any financial circumstance could use this.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    • Sep 9, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      We appreciate your feedback, Robert. Our team is thrilled to hear you have been satisfied with your deposit amount and program. 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!


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Feeling less stressed

    • Plymouth, MA,
    • Sep 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I clicked on your website after it came upon some benefits for seniors email that I received. At first, I was hesitant about finding out more about Freedom Debt Relief. I talked a few times with Wendy Gibson, one of your agents. She was very informative and understanding. I now am more confident that I did the right thing for me by going forward with your program and looking to "getting out of debt". 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
    • Sep 9, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      How wonderful to hear, Debra! Our team is thrilled to hear you found our program and we are looking forward to serving you on this journey. If you have any questions, just give us a call at 800-655-6303. Our Customer Service Representatives are ready to help. Thank you choosing Freedom Debt Relief.


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    So far, so good!

    • Sutton, MA,
    • Sep 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I anticipate there will be some small problems as this type of debt reduction is totally new to my way of thinking about high debt. But we needed a debt reduction method that was not bankruptcy. At 73 years old, I can't afford 10 years of no credit. Freedom Debt Relief fits the bill and is affordable even with retirement on the horizon. 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
    • Sep 9, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thank you for your thoughtful review, Elliot. Our team will be working hard on your behalf. 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!


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Looking forward to relief of credit card debt

    • New Prague, MN,
    • Sep 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have always been skeptical of these types of programs because I have heard so much about scams and identity thefts. However, my wife convinced me to take a look at Freedom Debt Relief.

    Our credit card debt has become a burden, which I sincerely would like to put behind us. We have never been late on a payment and always paid more than minimums but we weren't gaining ground.

    Our customer rep (Joe) was very courteous and knowledgeable. If FDR does what they say they will, I will be very happy. Although we have been in the program a very short time, it has been a comforting feeling to know we are on the right path.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    • Sep 9, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Bradley. It is rewarding to hear such great feedback about our Certified Debt Consultant. 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!


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Brief comment.

    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Sep 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm looking forward to the assistance that Freedom Debt Relief offers to pay off my debts. And I hope they do what I have heard from others. Thank you 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
    • Sep 9, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      We appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback, Roosevelt. Our team is thrilled to be working for you. 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!


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Deposit date change

    • Denver, CO,
    • Sep 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I called to change my deposit date for September and the person I spoke to was very helpful. When I have called in the past it has always been a very pleasant experience. Never had a problem when I have called.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    • Sep 9, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, Sue. We are overjoyed to hear you had a pleasant experience talking with one of our agents. Our team strives to provide the best customer service experience possible. Keep up the great work and please reach out to us anytime you have questions about your program! You can contact our Client Services team seven days a week by calling (800) 655-6303 or email support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Amazing company to help with your credit card debt.

    I am so very happy with Freedom, they have taken a big load off my shoulders and yet I am still paying my debt, but cut a lot of interest off the total card debt. I am very amazed with the whole staff, so very caring and helpful.

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

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    • Sep 9, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thank you for sharing your feedback, William. Our team is thrilled to be working with you and are looking forward to seeing you debt free. Keep up the great work and please reach out to us anytime you have questions about your program! You can contact our Client Services team seven days a week by calling (800) 655-6303 or email support@freedomdebtrelief.com. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Help get back to normal life

    • Tennessee,
    • Sep 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Helping me and my family get back on track so we can live a normal life. Thanks Freedom Debt Relief for all you guys have helped me and my family with. It was a little bit scary at first but they are very very good at what they do. I would really recommend to anyone that is in debt so far, you can see daylight. This is better than being bankrupt, my thoughts. It does pull your credit down some but if you aren't paying your bills it's going down anyway, and the credit companies will not work with you, they just give late payment charges and are more interested in that. So what are you waiting for, go for it and get your life back from 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
    • Sep 9, 2019

      Company Response from Freedom Debt Relief

      Thank you for sharing your feedback, Randy. Our team of highly trained Client Advocates is here with you, every step of the way. They will be your guides through the negotiation process. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns, they can be reached at 1-800-655-6303. You can also keep track of your progress, approve settlements and more through your Client Dashboard located at www.fdrclient.com. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief!


Showing 1-11 of 557

Write a Review for Freedom Debt Relief!

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

Write a Review