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Freedom Debt Relief has an established track record of reducing debts for its customers. The company has a large team of trained professionals to guide customers through the debt relief process, with customer service available seven days a week. It also offers a refund guarantee. However, services aren't available in all states.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Client dashboard available
Customer service available seven days a week
Written cancellation notice required
Previous CFPB action
- Freedom Debt Relief offers debt settlement services for residents in several states.
- Most unsecured debts and some business debts are eligible for Freedom Debt Relief's program.
- Fees for debt settlement services aren't charged until after a debt has been settled.
- Customers are charged a small monthly fee for a third-party escrow account.
Freedom Debt Relief is a debt settlement company that helps consumers reduce their debt. During the debt settlement process, you stop paying your creditors and set aside your monthly payments until you've saved up enough to make a settlement offer. Then, Freedom Debt Relief will begin negotiations with your creditors to reduce the amount you owe.
According to Freedom Debt Relief, it has helped more than 850,000 consumers resolve over $15 billion in debt since it was founded in 2002. The company is highly rated on TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) despite a previous action with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
- Year Founded 2002
- Program Length As little as 24 to 48 months
- Fee Schedule 18.25% to 25% of settled debts
- Customer Service Telephone and email
- Phone Number 844-230-1651
- Official Website www.FreedomDebtRelief.com
- Client dashboard: Customers can access their account to view progress and approve settlements through an online dashboard.
- Customer service available seven days a week: Rather than waiting for a business day, customers with questions are able to reach customer service any day of the week.
- Refund guarantee: Freedom Debt Relief offers a refund the difference if your total program settlement cost is more than the total amount of debt, for up to 100% of the fees paid.
- Written cancellation notice required: You can cancel your service at any time and receive a refund of your funds (except fees). However, you must send your cancellation notice in writing.
- Previous CFPB action: Freedom Debt Relief previously settled a lawsuit brought by the CFPB with charges alleging the company failed to follow rules regarding fees and proper disclosures.
Types of Debt Addressed
Freedom Debt Relief helps with unsecured debts, which are debts that aren't tied to collateral. The company’s website lists a few specific types of debt that the company addresses.
Credit card debt is one of the most common types of unsecured debt. With high interest rates, credit card debt is also one of the most expensive. Through successful debt settlement, Freedom Debt Relief can help you reduce the amount you owe.
Roughly 20% of households report that they have medical debt, according to a 2022 CFPB report. Debt relief can lower your medical debt, which often results from unexpected or emergency medical expenses, or unavoidable treatments for chronic illness. A single visit can even result in multiple charges from different providers.
Personal loans are a type of loan that does not require collateral. The loans, provided in a lump sum and repaid over a set time period, can be used for nearly any expense, but they are often used for large purchases, home repairs, moving expenses, or even debt consolidation. Defaulted personal loan balances can be negotiated with the lender to lower the balance due.
Private Student Loans
Private student loans are offered through private lenders and don't have the flexibility or protection that comes with federal student loans. They may have variable interest rates that reset often, leading to higher monthly payments. Debt settlement may help reduce private student loans that have become unaffordable.
If you own a business that owes money to another business, you may be able to seek debt relief to lower the amount you owe. Freedom Debt Relief says it helps with business debts on a case-by-case basis.
Freedom Debt Relief can't help with secured debts, like auto loans and mortgages, or federal student loans.
Client Onboarding Process
To qualify with Freedom Debt Relief, you must live in one of the states where it offers services, and the company recommends you owe a minimum of $7,500 in unsecured debt.
- The process starts with a free debt evaluation where you and a Freedom Debt Relief representative discuss your debt, goals, and options, including bankruptcy and credit counseling. You can call or complete an online form to schedule your free evaluation.
- Review your personalized assessment that details your debt relief plan based on whether you're experiencing hardship and what you can afford to pay.
- Review terms of the program before enrolling so you know what to expect during the process.
- Once enrolled, you'll begin making payments to a dedicated account that will eventually be used to settle your debts.
Freedom Debt Relief has a team of over 200 debt negotiators, 550 certified debt consultants, and 350 customer service representatives. Customer service can be reached by phone or email seven days a week.
Current clients can reach a representative from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.
Customer service hours for potential clients are from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.
Clients can also manage their account through an online dashboard. There, clients can add new debts, approve settlement offers, manage deposits, and access educational videos and monthly newsletters.
Freedom Debt Relief has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is BBB-accredited. TrustPilot users rated the company 4.6 out of 5 stars. The majority of reviews are positive. However, a few reviewers complain about the fees and the amount of time it takes (both are discussed on the company's website).
Freedom Debt Relief has a previous legal action against it from a regulatory agency. In 2019, Freedom Debt Relief settled a lawsuit with the CFPB related to its debt relief practices. It agreed to pay $20 million restitution to affected clients and a $5 million fine for alleged violations related to fees charged and proper customer disclosures.
Expected Relief Amount
Freedom Debt Relief's website doesn't mention an expected relief amount.
Expected Time to Complete the Program
Freedom Debt Relief says it takes about 24 to 48 months to complete its program, which is in line with industry standards, although the company makes no guarantees and the exact time will vary. Though it may take several months to fully complete the program, it's possible to receive the first results rather quickly. According to the company, over 60% of consumers settle a debt within the first three months of enrollment.
The amount of time it takes to complete the program depends on several factors, including the amount of debt you have, the specific creditors you owe, the amount you can save each month, and whether you're consistent with savings deposits.
You control the settlement fund and you can withdraw your money from it. But withdrawing funds will increase the amount of time it takes to settle an account and complete the debt relief program.
Freedom Debt Relief charges a fee of 15% to 25% of debt enrolled, which varies by state, and is comparable to other debt relief companies. Under federal law, you can't be charged for debt relief services until after a settlement has been reached and paid. Based on its terms and website content, Freedom Debt Relief follows this law.
You'll also pay a one-time $9.95 setup fee and $9.95 monthly fee for the dedicated savings account. This payment is collected by a separate company that maintains the account.
Compare With the Competition
|Company||Debt Management Plans||Debt Settlement||Fee|
|National Debt Relief||No||Yes||15%–25% of enrolled debt|
|Freedom Debt Relief||No||Yes||15%–25% of enrolled debt|
|New Era Debt Relief||No||Yes||14%–23% of enrolled debt|
|Pacific Debt Relief||No||Yes||15%–25% of enrolled debt|
|Accredited Debt Relief||No||Yes||15%–25% of enrolled debt|
Freedom Debt Relief has dependable customer service, transparent terms, and is highly rated by previous customers. If you have unsecured debt that you cannot pay and you live in a state where it offers services, you can receive a free consultation to explore your options and learn how Freedom Debt Relief can help reduce your debt.
Is Freedom Debt Relief Legit?
Freedom Debt Relief is a legitimate company. It is BBB-accredited and is rated A+. It is also a founding member of the American Fair Credit Counsel (AFCC) and a member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.
Does Freedom Debt Relief Hurt Your Credit?
Enrolling in debt relief with Freedom Debt Relief could hurt your credit score, depending on how your credit report changes after enrollment. Because the debt settlement process relies on delinquent account status and credit scores are based in part on your on-time payment history, the process will likely hurt your credit score. As you pay down your debt, your score may improve as your debt levels decline.
How Does Freedom Debt Relief Work?
Freedom Debt Relief is structured to help you reduce the amount you owe. The debt relief process begins with a consultation to create a plan. Over the next several months, you're responsible for building up a settlement fund. After you've saved up enough to make an offer, Freedom Debt Relief negotiates a settlement on your behalf.
On acceptance of the offer, the settlement is paid and Freedom Debt Relief collects its fee. The process repeats until all your eligible debts are settled.
Investopedia completed an independent study that compared eight debt relief companies based on their customer service, their company reputation and rankings, product offerings, pricing, and transparency. We looked for debt relief companies that have positive reviews and customer testimonials, customer service accessibility, and the important information about their plans clearly posted online, as well as firms with excellent rankings from third parties.