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Freedom Debt Relief review

This service has settled more debt than the competition and earns positive customer reviews.

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Freedom Debt Relief

Learn more and apply on Freedom Debt Relief's secure site

Our verdict

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.

Pros
  • Settled over $15 billion in debt for over 800,000 customers
  • Positive reviews of customer service
  • Founding member of the American Fair Credit Council
Cons
  • 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 stopped 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 when they originally enrolled.

However, it offers a program guarantee that if your total program settlement cost is more than the total amount of 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 consultationYes
ServicesDebt relief using direct negotiation with creditors
Minimum debt$7,500 to $14,000, depending on your state
Average turnaround24-48 months
Fees15% 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

AccreditationsAFCC, IAPDA, Financial Health Network member
Direct or third-party negotiationsDirect
State availabilityAvailable 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 logo

Freedom Debt Relief

Go to site


APR

N/A


Loan term

24-48 months


Loan amount

Starting at $7,500


Minimum credit score

N/A

Accredited Debt Relief logo

Accredited Debt Relief

Go to site


APR

N/A


Loan term

2 to 4 years


Loan amount

Starting at $10,000


Minimum credit score

N/A

National Debt Relief logo

National Debt Relief

Go to site


APR

N/A


Loan term

2 to 4 years


Loan amount

Starting at $7,500


Minimum credit score

N/A

Freedom Debt Relief reviews and complaints

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 4.35 out of 5 stars, based on 1318 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 4.5 out of 5 stars, based on 37,707 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 11 January 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 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.

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