Bottom line: This well-known debt settlement company has helped over 850,000 people resolve debt and receives overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. Like with any legitimate debt relief company, no fees apply until after the first settlement is reached. But it's unclear how many customers finish the program or actually see savings.
- Minimum debt
- $7,500 to $14,000, depending on your state
- Typical turnaround
- 24 to 48 months
- 15% to 25% of enrolled debt
This well-known debt settlement company has helped over 850,000 people resolve debt and receives overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. Like with any legitimate debt relief company, no fees apply until after the first settlement is reached. But it's unclear how many customers finish the program or actually see savings.
Best for: Debt holders trying to avoid bankruptcy.
Settled over $15 billion in debt for over 850,000 customers
Positive reviews of customer service
Founding member of the American Fair Credit Council
Debt settlement not guaranteed
Legal issues with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and NY State Attorney General
How much can I save?
Freedom Debt Relief doesn’t advertise the average savings for customers who enroll in its program. And savings varies on a case-by-case basis.
For example, savings are calculated when your account is settled. If you stop making payments to your creditors, you won’t see as much in savings. And in some cases, you could end up owing more. People who drop out of the program also often end up in deeper debt than before they enrolled.
However, it offers a program guarantee that if your total program settlement cost is more than the total debt you enrolled in, it’ll refund you the difference up to 100% of Freedom’s collected fees.
How much does Freedom Debt Relief cost?
Freedom Debt Relief charges a fee of 15% to 25% of the debt you enroll in the program. You must enroll a minimum of $7,500 to $14,000, depending on your state — though the average customer enrolls $24,000. This works out to a fee of $3,600 to $6,000 on the average customer’s balance.
But the cost can be higher if you don’t make payments on your debt. If you stop making minimum payments on your credit accounts, interest and late fees will add up.
Will Freedom Debt Relief hurt my credit?
Debt settlement in general could damage your credit score, but it can also help you rebuild your credit in the long run by clearing up some of your debts. Whether your credit score can benefit from debt relief depends on your spending habits. If you spend recklessly after settling your debt, you’ll find yourself in the same — if not a worse — position.
Read our guide on building credit for more ways to boost your score.
Freedom Debt Relief details
|Free quote or consultation||Yes|
|Services||Debt relief using direct negotiation with creditors|
|Minimum debt||$7,500 to $14,000, depending on your state|
|Average turnaround||24-48 months|
|Fees||15% to 25% of enrolled debt|
|Types of debt||Credit card debt, medical bills, other unsecured debt|
Private student loans and business loans may be eligible on a case-by-case basis
|Accreditations||AFCC, IAPDA, Financial Health Network member|
|Direct or third-party negotiations||Direct|
|State availability||Available in 41 states|
Before you sign up with a debt relief company
Debt relief companies typically charge a percentage of a customer’s debt or a monthly program fee for their services. And not all companies are transparent about these costs or drawbacks that can negatively affect your credit score. Depending on the company you work with, you might pay other fees for third-party settlement services or setting up new accounts, which can leave you in a worse situation than when you signed up.
Consider alternatives before signing up with a debt relief company:
- Payment extensions. Companies you owe may be willing to extend your payment due date or put you on a longer payment plan.
- Nonprofit credit counseling. Look for free debt-management help from nonprofit organizations like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
- Debt settlement. If you can pay a portion of the bill, offer the collection agency a one-time payment as a settlement. Collection agencies are often willing to accept a lower payment on your debt to close the account.
How Freedom Debt Relief compares to other lenders
Compare Freedom Debt Relief’s rates, terms and features to other debt relief providers.
Freedom Debt Relief reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||4.42 out of 5 stars, based on 1531 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot Score||4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 39,436 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||03 July 2023|
Freedom Debt Relief gets mostly positive online reviews from customers. However, many are from customers who have recently signed up — rather than those who have completed the program. The few negative complaints come from customers who were confused about how the program works or complained of high fees.
While debt relief can be expensive, in general, Freedom Debt Relief’s fees are comparable to other debt relief companies. Be sure to consider how debt relief could affect your long-term finances before you sign up.
Is Freedom Debt Relief legit?
Freedom Debt Relief is a legitimate debt settlement company that helps people facing financial hardship. It was founded in 2002 by two Stanford Business School alumni to offer better options for consumers struggling with debt.
Today, it’s an industry heavyweight with a hand in creating the standards for the debt settlement industry. It’s a member of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA), which are trade organizations that set benchmarks for debt relief companies to meet.
But regulators have taken action against the company multiple times over its business relief practices.
Freedom Debt Relief lawsuits
Like many debt relief companies, Freedom Debt Relief has had several run-ins with regulators, most recently from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the New York State Attorney General’s office.
In 2019, Freedom Debt Relief settled a lawsuit with the CFPB over several alleged business practices that include charging advance fees and misleading customers about the cost of or ability to perform debt relief services.
Freedom Debt Relief agreed to pay $20 million to the affected customers and a $5 million civil penalty. Since the CFPB filed the lawsuit in 2017, the company has also made widespread changes to the debt relief process and its disclosures.
In 2020, Freedom Debt Relief also settled with New York State over how the company advertises savings. Freedom Debt Relief failed to disclose what percentage of customers actually finish the program with a reduced balance when it advertised potential savings.
Before you sign up, learn more about debt relief to see how it could impact your finances.
Frequently asked questions
Can Freedom Debt Relief resolve my student loan debt?
Freedom can negotiate any private student loans you may have. But if your loans are federal, the service won’t be able to add them to the program.
What other debts are excluded from Freedom Debt Relief’s programs?
Federal and state back taxes, debts that are the result of a lawsuit or settlement and secured loans, such as home and auto loans.
How do I contact Freedom Debt Relief’s customer service?
If you have questions about how the program works or how to sign up, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-910-0065 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST on Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST on Saturday and Sunday.
Ask a question using your email below.Ask a question
You are about to post a question on finder.com:
- Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
- finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
- We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
- Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked