Freedom Debt Relief: 2023 Review
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At a glance
|Overview||Freedom Debt Relief is one of the largest debt relief companies in the nation. As of September 2020, it had helped 750,000 clients settle more than $12 billion dollars in debt. Like any debt settlement company, they can’t guarantee that all your debts will be lowered and settled through their program, so make sure you exhaust all other options before turning to a settlement.|
|Minimum debt required||$7,500|
|Time frame||Typically 24 to 48 months, , but total time varies by individual|
|APR||Typically 15 to 25%, fees may vary depending on state of residence|
|Fees||Between 15% to 25% of total debts settled|
Best for those with high debt and low credit scores
If you are struggling with high debt and don’t have a great credit score, Freedom Debt Relief could be a good option for you. This company requires you to have at least $7,500 and will settle debt up to $100,000. Freedom Debt Relief negotiates with your creditors on your behalf to get lower rates, making this a great company to work with if your credit is low and you tend to incur higher interest rates.
Freedom Debt Relief covers most types of unsecured debt, including some student and business loans.
Freedom Debt Relief: Types of debt settled
Freedom Debt Relief covers unsecured debts (those not backed by collateral). Here's a list of the debts that this company may be able to help you with:
- Credit cards
- Medical debt
- Personal loan debt
- Private student loan debt
- Department store credit card
- Lines of credit
- Payday loans
Here are the debts that Freedom Debt Relief doesn't help with:
- Utility bills
- Secured loans (HELOC, auto, etc.)
- Federal student loans
Freedom Debt Relief: Pros and cons
Lower debt potential
No upfront fees
Potential to be unsecured debt free
High settlement fees
No settlement guarantee
Negative credit impact
Debt relief qualifications
Only unsecured debt qualifies for the Freedom Debt Relief Program. This means debt like credit cards, unsecured personal loans and medical bills. Debt that is secured such as a mortgage or an auto loan does not qualify. To qualify for the program, you should have at least $7,500 of unsecured debt.
If you decided you would like to work with Freedom Debt Relief, they have a five-step process to help customers through their debt relief program:
1. Assessment: During this step, one of the company’s debt consultants will help you to complete a financial assessment and determine your eligibility for the program. This step is free and is designed to determine if you are the right fit for their program.
2. Deposit: If you qualify and decide to enroll in the Freedom Debt Relief program, you will begin making monthly deposits into an FDIC-insured account that you are in charge of. During this step, you will also be instructed to stop paying your creditors. Once you have saved a significant amount in your account, the negotiation process will begin.
3. Negotiation: Throughout the negotiation process the team at Freedom Debt Relief will work to lower your debts. The length of this process varies depending on how many debts you have to settle and how long the creditors try to negotiate.
4. Settlement: When a settlement is reached, the payments are made to your creditor. Your payment to Freedom Debt Relief will also be processed at this point.
5. Graduate: Once all debts are settled, you are considered a graduate of the debt relief program. It’s important to note that not all program members reach this step since debt settlement can’t be guaranteed.
Fees and penalties
According to federal law, no debt relief company can charge any upfront fees. Freedom Debt Relief follows this law in its terms. Once charged, their fees can vary depending on the state, but generally, they will be between 15 and 25 percent.
Participating in the Freedom Debt Relief program also means you could potentially be sued by a creditor. While Freedom Debt Relief does work with a legal team to help you if this happens, it is still possible to be sued.
Freedom Debt Relief should outline all of its terms and fees for you before you sign up for the program. If you are considering enrollment, read through all the details so you know what you are getting into.
Credit score impacts
Enrolling in the program could also impact your credit score negatively for the short term. Their debt settlement program asks you to stop making payments during the negotiation phase so missed payments could hurt your credit score. However, Freedom Debt states that after roughly six months -- when debts begin to resolve-- most see their credit score start to improve.
What we like and what we don’t like
While there are significant upsides to using a company like Freedom Debt Relief to help settle your debts, there are also potential downsides to be aware of. Here's a few examples of what we like about the company and what we're not the biggest fan of.
What we like
- Lower debt potential: The company's debt consultants may be able to negotiate a lower debt with creditors on your behalf.
- No upfront fees: Freedom Debt Relief doesn't charge any fees until the debts are settled.
- Potential to be unsecured debt free: If the creditor agrees to work with the company, you could be unsecured debt free upon finishing your program.
What we don't like
- High settlement fees: You'll be charged a fee between 15 and 25 percent of your total debts settled, although it can vary by state.
- No settlement guarantees: There's no guarantee that a creditor will agree to work with Freedom Debt Relief.
Negative credit impact: When you settle debts, there will inevitably be a negative drop in your credit; however, settling your debts can have less of an impact to your credit than if you were to declare bankruptcy.
Customer experience and reviews
As with any company you work with, you should know all the factors before you sign up for a Freedom Debt Relief Program. Just like any debt settlement company, Freedom Debt Relief cannot guarantee that they will get your debt lowered.The company has an average of 4.34 out of 5 stars from customer reviews through the BBB and has an A+ rating. Many of the negative comments cite high settlement fees as a disappointment. But, many other reviews mention that the company has genuinely helped with debt settlement and they are happy with the company.
How to contact Freedom Debt Relief
The company has over 550 certified debt consultants and over 350 customer service representatives that can assist prospective and current clients.
Prospective clients can call 800-910-0065, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST and Saturday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. They can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact a representative.
Current clients can call 800-655-6303, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST, Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. Current clients can also email email@example.com.
The call center is closed during the following public holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day (and the following day), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Freedom Debt Relief frequently asked questions
How Bankrate rates Freedom Debt Relief
Overall Score 4.1 Explanation Services 4.3 The minimum debt to get help is slightly high. Affordability 4.2 Fees are slightly high and there are no details about any money-back guarantee. Customer Experience 4.7 Website and customer service hours are fairly standard. Customer Satisfaction 2.5 There are an above-average amount of FTC complaints. Stability 4.0 Freedom Debt Relief has been in business and has been a professional trade association member for a reasonable time.
MethodologyTo rate debt relief services, Bankrate considers 15 factors. These factors include minimum debt allowed, what fees are charged, whether there are unresolved complaints and if the company is accredited. Categories that the services are rated on include:
- Services: Services were assessed based on minimum debt eligibility, types of eligible debt and whether or not the company provides free credit counseling.
- Affordability: Affordability was assessed based on associated fees and whether or not the company specifies money-back guarantee terms.
- Customer experience: Customer experience was assessed based on website usability and features, as well as app availability. Customer satisfaction and company reputation was assessed based on Better Business Bureau accreditation and reviews, as well as TrustPilot reviews.
- Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is determined by assessing how many unresolved complaints there are with the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Board.
- Stability: Stability was assessed based on how long the company has been in business and whether or not they maintain membership with a professional trade association.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.