Freedom Debt Relief is one of the largest debt relief providers in the nation, charging industry average fees and offering a wide variety of resources available in Spanish. It's a solid choice for those with at least $7,500 in unsecured debt and who may need customer support on weekends.
- Pros and Cons
- Key Takeaways
Fees of 15% to 25% of enrolled debt are within industry standards
Referrals to non-profit credit counselors are often provided
Spanish support and resources are available
Phone support is available 7 days a week
Need at least $7,500 in unsecured debt to qualify
Debt relief isn’t provided in every state
Support via live chat is unavailable
Company was sued in 2017 by the CFPB (settlement occurred in 2019)
- Freedom Debt Relief was founded in 2002 and has helped more than 650,000 clients settle over $10 billion in debt.
- You can get help negotiating most unsecured consumer debt types as well as some business loans and private student loans on a case-by-case basis.
- While most customers seemed satisfied with their experience, some people expressed confusion over how fees are charged.
- Freedom Debt Relief partners with other companies to provide additional services such as referring about 30% of its potential clients to non-profit credit counseling agencies.
- The company readily provides referrals to its partners for individuals who need help filing for bankruptcy or want to get a personal loan for debt consolidation purposes.
- Year Founded 2002
- Types of Debt Relief Credit cards, medical debt, unsecured personal loans, department store credit cards
- Fees Typically 15% to 25% of enrolled debt
- Average Repayment Period 24 to 48 months
- Accreditations AFCC and IAPDA
- Minimum Debt $7,500
- Official Website www.freedomdebtrelief.com
Freedom Debt Relief is a large debt relief company that was founded in 2002. While Freedom Debt Relief’s primary focus is on unsecured consumer debt (e.g., medical bills, credit cards, etc.), it’s also able to provide support for unsecured business loans on a case-by-case basis. You might even be able to get help with some private student loans. Although the company has faced recent lawsuits from the government, they have all been satisfactorily resolved.
Freedom Debt Relief will help negotiate settlements with your creditors for an amount less than you owe. You’ll be required to pay a fee of 15% to 25% of your total debt, but the company will never require you to pay an upfront fee. To do so would be a red flag, as charging an upfront fee is illegal and should never be required by a debt settlement program.
Freedom Debt Relief often refers its potential clients to non-profit credit counseling agencies if its debt consultants think this should be pursued first.
Read on to learn more about Freedom Debt Relief and the services it offers.
Freedom Debt Relief is part of the Freedom Financial Network family of companies founded in 2002 and headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. The company employs over 2,000 debt relief professionals and has helped resolve more than $10 billion in debt for more than 650,000 customers.
Freedom Debt Relief is one of the founding members of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). It is also a platinum member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA). The company offers its debt relief services to people located throughout most of the United States except CO, HI, IL, ND, NJ, OR, RI, VT, WA, and WV.
Although Freedom Debt Relief has a relatively long history of successful operations, it isn’t free from blemishes. A lawsuit was filed against the company by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017 related to deceptive debt relief practices.
The CFPB accused Freedom Debt Relief of charging customers without settling their agreed-upon debts, charging fees to customers who negotiated their own settlements, and providing misleading statements about fees and the ability to negotiate with creditors. The company settled the CFPB lawsuit in 2019 by agreeing to pay $20 million in restitution to its clients and a $5 million penalty.
Also, a nearly $3.6 million settlement between Freedom Debt Relief and the New York Attorney General was reached in July 2020. This was related to a previous investigation from 2011 requiring the company to revise its debt relief practices, including how it advertises the potential savings customers can achieve.
Debt Relief Options
Freedom Debt Relief can help consumers settle most unsecured debt, including credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans. It can also provide support with private student loans and unsecured business loans on a case-by-case basis. You need to have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt to qualify for the program, and you must be delinquent on your payments.
Like most of its competitors, Freedom Debt Relief cannot assist with federal student loans, collateralized loans like mortgages and auto loans, utility bills, taxes, or lawsuits.
With Freedom Debt Relief, you won’t pay any fees until the company has negotiated a settlement with your creditors and you’ve authorized the agreement. Although the exact fee varies depending on the type of debt, the state in which you live, and other factors, you can expect it to range from 15% to 25% of your enrolled debt. The fee the company charges its customers typically averages 21.5%.
The fees charged by Freedom Debt Relief are customary for the industry, as are its billing and enrollment practices.
Companies are required to disclose fundamental aspects of the services you’ll receive including how much the program will cost, how long it’s expected to take to get results, and any negative consequences of the program, such as a potential reduction to your credit score.
Although data isn’t available about the exact amount of money you can expect to save if you use Freedom Debt Relief, the company suggests you might be able to settle your credit cards for 50% or less of the amount you owe. The company isn’t able to guarantee the amount or type of settlement you’ll be able to get as negotiations vary based on your specific circumstances.
Customer Service: Easy to Contact by Phone or Email
Freedom Debt Relief’s website features a client portal you can use to log into your account, various online debt relief resources and tools, and an FAQ page. It also offers services and information on its website in Spanish, something that’s not offered by much of the competition. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer a mobile app and you can’t get support via live chat.
You can reach a certified debt consultant by phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
If you need to speak with a customer service agent, you can reach someone by phone from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.
To contact Freedom Debt Relief by phone, you can call:
- Existing Clients: 1-800-655-6303
- All Others: 1-800-230-1553
In addition to phone support, you can also reach Freedom Debt Relief by email:
- No-Charge Debt Consultation: email@example.com
- Existing Client Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer Satisfaction: Clients Are Happy Overall, With Some Confusion Over Fees
A review of third-party sources suggests customers are generally satisfied with the support they’ve received from Freedom Debt Relief. This is despite recent lawsuits the company settled in 2019 and 2020 related to its debt relief practices.
Many of the positive reviews note that Freedom Debt Relief was able to help successfully get customers out of debt and that the level of communication was excellent. Negative reviews seem to focus on frustrations related to the amount of time it took to get out of debt and how much money the program cost. Also, some people did not understand the fee structure, which is based on the amount of debt enrolled in the program versus the settlement amount.
Carefully read your debt settlement agreement before signing on the bottom line. The amount of money you’ll pay is almost always based on a percentage of the debt you enroll in the program, not the reduced settlement amount.
Once you’ve enrolled in services with Freedom Debt Relief, you’ll be able to view your progress by logging into a client dashboard 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also reach a certified debt consultant or customer service agent by phone or email every day of the week if you have any questions or need support.
In addition to providing debt relief, you may also be able to get support with a bankruptcy filing or a debt consolidation loan via the Freedom Financial Network. Also, Freedom Debt Relief refers about 30% of its potential clients to one of its free, non-profit credit counseling partners.
The company may also be able to help refinance some of your debt via a personal loan or home equity loan offered by one of its strategic partners.
How Freedom Debt Relief Compares to Other Debt Relief Companies
One of the debt settlement companies most comparable to Freedom Debt Relief is National Debt Relief. Both companies primarily work with unsecured personal debt such as credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans. They also charge the same fee range and require their clients to have at least $7,500 in delinquent qualifying debt.
Although they’re similar, there are a couple of key differences between the two companies:
- Freedom Debt Relief has customer service agents and debt consultants available to take your calls seven days a week.
- With National Debt Relief, you can only contact customer service representatives on weekdays, and no support is provided on Sundays.
- Freedom Debt Relief offers Spanish services and even has a section of its website devoted to the Spanish-speaking community. There’s no similar section on National Debt Relief’s website.
If you’re in the market for a debt settlement provider, both Freedom Debt Relief and National Debt Relief are good options. However, the ability to get support seven days a week and the availability of Spanish resources give Freedom Debt Relief a slight advantage over National Debt Relief.
|Freedom Debt Relief||National Debt Relief|
|Types of Debt Relief||Unsecured personal debt (e.g., credit cards, medical bills, personal loans), some private student loans, some business debt||Unsecured personal debt (e.g., credit cards, medical bills, personal loans), some private student loans, some business debt|
|Fees||15% to 25% of enrolled debt||15% to 25% of enrolled debt|
|Services Offered in Spanish||Yes||Not Advertised|
|Speak With a Debt Relief Consultant||7 days a week||6 days a week (not available on Sunday)|
Freedom Debt Relief has a long history of operations dating back to 2002. Since that time, the company has provided debt relief services to more than 650,000 clients and has helped settle over $10 billion in debt. Although the company recently faced lawsuits from the CFPB and the New York Attorney General, the claims have been settled and a review of various sources suggests the company has a relatively good reputation with its customers.
While debt settlement should be a last resort after you’ve exhausted other available tools, like credit counseling and debt management plans, Freedom Debt Relief is a good option for those who need this solution. The company will even refer you to a non-profit credit counselor if your debt consultant thinks credit counseling may be a better solution for you to pursue first. This is something that helps make Freedom Debt Relief stand out when compared to the competition.
All of our reviews of debt relief companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company based on offerings, customer service, pricing, years in business, accreditation, and more. To rate Freedom Debt Relief and other providers, we developed a debt relief review methodology that compares the debt relief options offered, additional features, fees, success rates, and reported customer experiences to help us provide insights into things like customer service and the strength of each company’s offerings.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "CFPB Sues Freedom Debt Relief for Misleading Consumers About Its Debt Settlement Services." Accessed April 9, 2021.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Settles Lawsuit Against Freedom Debt Relief." Accessed April 9, 2021.
Letitia James - NY Attorney General. "Attorney General Games Secures $3.6 Million for New Yorkers from One of the Nation's Largest Debt Settlement Companies." Accessed April 11, 2021.
Federal Trade Commission. "Debt Relief Services & the Telemarketing Sales Rule: A Guide for Business." Accessed April 9, 2021.