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Freedom Debt Relief Review 2022: Is It a Trustworthy Company?

Hundreds of thousands have used Freedom Debt Relief, a platinum member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, to settle over $10 billion in debt.

9.0 / 10
Editorial Score
Ginny Dorn
Personal finance and mortgages specialist
June 20, 2022

Overview

Freedom Debt Relief provides debt settlement services that have been utilized by over 600,000 clients to settle over $10 billion in debt in the last 19 years. It might be a good solution for you if you have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt – meaning, debt that is not backed by collateral.

Through a Freedom Debt Relief program, you’ll meet with a certified consultant, get a personalized plan, and save money in a dedicated account. When enough money is saved, the company negotiates on your behalf for a debt settlement and you pay from the dedicated account. You’ll also pay 15% to 25% of the total settlement to the company.

Freedom Debt Relief has several reputable credits, including being a platinum member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.

OUR CHOICE 2022
9.0 / 10
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Freedom Debt Relief
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Products & Services

Freedom Debt Relief provides debt settlement for unsecured loans. Loans that are backed by collateral, such as mortgages and auto loans, aren’t covered. It also does not assist with settling debt from deferral student loans, utility bills, taxes, or lawsuits.

Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is one of the most common types of debt people fall into. It usually comes with a sky-high interest rate – making it even harder for people to get out of debt once they’ve fallen behind on payments.

Freedom Credit Relief can negotiate a settlement for credit card debt. To qualify, you must have at least $7,500 in total debt. You should include all high-balance credit cards with at least $500 in debt.

If you have open credit cards or credit cards left off of your program with Freedom Credit Relief, it will be harder to negotiate with creditors. When they see that you are settling on some accounts and not others, they are less likely to negotiate. However, if you have one card with a low balance or no balance, you may choose to keep it open for emergencies.

Freedom Debt Relief will ask you to allow your credit card accounts to go delinquent, meaning that you stop making monthly payments. Instead, you’ll pay into a bank account that both you and Freedom Debt Relief have access to. When you’ve saved enough, based on the unique plan set out for you at the beginning of the program, the company will negotiate with your creditors.

If negotiations are successful, you’ll pay your creditors using the funds in the account. Freedom Debt Relief will also automatically withdraw fees of 15% to 25% from that dedicated account. The fees are accounted for in the original plan, so the company will not go to negotiations until you have enough to pay off both the settlement amount and fees.

Credit card debt relief is also provided by National Debt Relief. Find out more in our expert National Debt Relief review.

Medical Debt

Medical debt affects millions of people, with about 18% of Americans holding medical debt in collections. There are several options for dealing with medical debt – you can examine bills and monitor credit reports for accuracy early after treatment. You can also often take advantage of a payment plan or cash-payment discount.

If you’re unable to use other options, debt settlement may be right for you. Freedom Debt Relief accepts debts of $7,500 or more. To start, you’ll fill out an online questionnaire and answer questions about:

  • Amount of debt
  • Payment status
  • Location
  • Credit score
  • Type of debt

If you’re a good fit with Freedom Debt Relief’s program, you’ll set up an evaluation with a certified consultant. They’ll go over your options, set up a personalized plan based on your circumstances. Next, you’ll stop paying your creditor and instead pay into a bank account that both you and Freedom Debt Relief have access to.

Once you reach a certain amount of savings based on the plan, the company negotiates with your creditors. If they accept, you’ll need to approve the settlement. Then, you’ll pay the creditor and Freedom Debt Relief from the dedicated account. If you have multiple creditors, this process repeats itself until you are debt-free.

Schedule a Consultation with Freedom Debt Relief

Personal Loan Debt

You might acquire a personal loan for a variety of reasons, such as paying off medical debt, home renovations, and more. But various factors can make it difficult to pay it off, such as high interest rates or having too many debts to manage.

Freedom Debt Relief can settle personal loan debt by negotiating with your lender, allowing you to pay a lower amount than you owe. To start, you’ll fill out a questionnaire on Freedom Debt Relief’s website. You’ll provide information about how much you owe, what type of debt it is, your credit score, and your location.

If you’re a good fit, you’ll have a phone evaluation with a certified consultant. They’ll review your options and make sure that debt settlement is the best option for your circumstances. If it is, you’ll receive a repayment plan and stop making payments to your lender. Instead, you’ll pay into an account that both you and Freedom Debt Relief can access.

Once you’ve saved sufficient funds for Freedom Debt Relief to present your lender with an offer, the company will begin negotiations. Negotiations can occur within four to six months of the program, depending on your debt.

When the company reaches an agreement with your lender, you’ll need to approve the settlement. Then, you’ll pay the settlement amount and Freedom Debt Relief’s fees from the dedicated account. Throughout the process, you can track your progress on its website.

Department Store Credit Debt

As with regular credit cards, department store credit cards can accrue debt and interest quickly. This might leave you in a position where you’re unable to pay off the debt and need assistance. If credit counseling or debt consolidation aren’t options for you, debt settlement through Freedom Debt Relief may be a solution.

First, you’ll provide some basic information through an online questionnaire, including debt amount, payment status, location, credit score, and type of debt. If you have at least $7,500 in debt, you’ll likely move on to the next step of meeting with a certified consultant over the phone. They’ll make sure debt settlement is truly your best option before proceeding.

Next, you’ll receive a repayment plan and be asked to stop making payments to your creditor. This is because negotiation of delinquent accounts is more likely to be approved than current accounts. Instead, you’ll make payments into a dedicated account that you and Freedom Debt Relief will have access to.

When you’ve saved enough in the dedicated account, Freedom Debt Relief will negotiate for a settlement with your creditor. If they accept the offer and you approve it, you’ll pay the settlement amount from the dedicated account. Freedom Debt Relief will also withdraw a fee of 15% to 25% of your debt settlement from the account. If you have multiple debts, the process will repeat itself until you are debt-free.

Rates and Terms

Freedom Debt Relief does not charge any upfront settlement fees. You don’t pay anything until it has negotiated a settlement with your creditor. At that point, you’ll pay 15% to 25% of the total settled debt in your program.

Your fee will vary depending on your amount of debt and what state you live in. Although 15% to 25% is a high fee compared to other loan options, it is in line with the market average for debt settlement.

You may be able to settle debts in as little as 24 to 48 months, during which time you’ll be saving money in a dedicated account that you’ll use to pay the debt off. You’ll also use that money to pay for Freedom Debt Relief’s fees, which are built into the plan you agree to at the start of your program.

With that said, Freedom Debt Relief recently paid $20 million in restitution and $5 million in fines, after a lawsuit alleged that it inappropriately charged fees and misinformed its customers. This lawsuit is something to keep in mind when considering working with Freedom Debt Relief.

Application Process and Qualifications

To apply with Freedom Debt Relief, you’ll first start with an online questionnaire. Here, you’ll need to enter information about:

  • Amount of debt you want to settle
  • Payment status (current, late by 30 days, or late by 60+ days)
  • Location of residence
  • Credit score
  • Type of debt

If you live in a state that Freedom Debt Relief can service and you have at least $7,500 in debt, you’ll be prompted to schedule a phone consultation. During the appointment, you’ll speak with a certified debt consultant to review your finances and potential solutions.

Though they will consider your credit score, the company works with people with all different kinds of scores. If you want to proceed, you’ll be provided with a unique debt repayment plan based on your circumstances.

Freedom Debt Relief will ask that you stop making payments to your creditor, as remaining current on your accounts will make your creditors less likely to negotiate. Instead, you’ll make payments into a dedicated account that you and Freedom Debt Relief have access to.

Eventually, you’ll build up enough money in the account for the company to make a reasonable offer to your creditors. It will negotiate with your creditors to find a settlement amount. This can happen as early as four to six months into the program but varies as each situation is unique. This is also why there is no guaranteed settlement amount until after negotiation.

If your creditors do reach an agreement with Freedom Debt Relief, you’ll need to approve the settlement amount. When you do, Freedom Debt Relief will transfer the funds from your dedicated account to the creditor. Then, it will pull its fees from the account. Since the initial plan accounts for these fees, your account will have enough to cover both.

The entire process can take 2 to 4 years, depending on how many debts you have. If you have multiple debts, the process will repeat itself over and over as you save up enough to settle a debt, and Freedom Debt Relief negotiates with your different creditors.

Apply on the Freedom Debt Relief Website

Approval Time

Unlike a loan, Freedom Debt Relief doesn’t take long for approval. After you have a call with a certified debt consultant and find out if you’re a good fit, you quickly receive a personalized plan. From there, you’ll open a dedicated bank account for regular payments and get started with the process.

While it can take four to six months to begin negotiating and settling individual debts, the entire process can take 24 to 48 months. The timeline largely depends on how much debt you want to pay off and how much you can put into your dedicated account each month.

Customer Service

You can reach Freedom Debt Relief via phone call, email, and physical mail. If you’re a prospective client, you can call 800-230-1553. If you are a current client, call 800-655-6303. Customer service agents are available:

  • Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET
  • Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
  • Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET

You can also email customer service for a consultation or the support team for current client questions.

I reached out to Freedom Debt Relief as a prospective client inquiring about what states it can service and about its legal services. I first sent my email to the general customer service team listed on Freedom’s website. However, my email bounced with the notice stating that the email address only accepts messages from people in its organization.

Customer Service

On my second attempt, I tried the Client Support email. Though my email went through, I never received a response.

Customer Service

I also tried calling Freedom Debt Relief’s team on the phone. I was connected with a live agent within one minute. The consultant who spoke with me was polite and friendly. He was able to answer my questions about the legal service that the debt relief programs include – you may be subject to filing fees and court recording fees, though they don’t usually go all the way to court.

However, he was unable to answer my question about which states Freedom Debt Relief can service. When pressed, he did note that they cannot service Oregon, Washington, South Dakota, and Illinois. He also said that there wasn’t a list of which states are serviceable anywhere online. He estimated that they can service over 30 states, but didn’t know which ones exactly.

I ultimately found Freedom Debt Relief’s customer service to be a bit lacking. The emails listed on their website either don’t work or are unresponsive. While the consultant I spoke with over the phone was very pleasant and polite, he could only answer one of my questions in full.

Summary

Freedom Debt Relief offers debt settlement for unsecured loans, including credit card debt, medical debt, personal loan debt, and department store credit debt. Debt settlement comes with some drawbacks, so you might want to explore other options, like debt consolidation and credit or debt counseling.

If you’ve exhausted these options and want to avoid bankruptcy, debt settlement through Freedom Debt Relief may be suited for you. You’ll need to allow your debt accounts to go into delinquency for a better chance of debt settlement negotiations. You can expect to pay high fees of 15% to 25%, though these fees do track with the market standard for debt settlement.

You should also expect the debt settlement to affect your credit score, as it can stay on your credit history for up to 7 years. If getting out of debt is more important to you than the possibility of your credit score being negatively impacted, debt settlement is right for you.

However, there’s no guarantee that Freedom Credit Relief will be able to negotiate with your creditors. The creditors may even choose to take you to court. In this case, Freedom Debt Relief works with a network of lawyers to provide you with legal help, though you are responsible for court fees and other costs.

Overall, Freedom Debt Relief offers a standard debt settlement service. While debt settlement itself has drawbacks, the company does a good job of making the process easy and fairly painless for you. It has a user-friendly dashboard where you can track your progress. It also employs credible, certified experts to help you through a process that can feel very lonely.

The company is a platinum member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, a founding member of the American Fair Credit Council, and helped establish Federal Trade Commission rules to ban abusive debt settlement practices. As long as you understand the risks associated, Freedom Debt Relief is a reputable company to work with.

FAQ

What fees does Freedom Debt Relief charge?

Freedom Debt Relief charges 15% to 25% of your total debt settlement. It does not charge the fee until it negotiates with your creditors.

Can I get my money back from Freedom Debt Relief?

During your program, you put money into a dedicated account that you control, which Freedom Debt Relief has access to. Freedom Debt Relief doesn’t withdraw its fees until it negotiates a settlement. There is no money-back guarantee after that point.

What happens if you quit Freedom Debt Relief?

You can cancel your Freedom Debt Relief program at any time prior to negotiation. If you’ve agreed to a debt settlement, the funds from your account will automatically be transferred to your creditors and to Freedom Debt Relief, to cover its fees.

Does Freedom Debt Relief lower your credit score?

Yes. Freedom Debt Relief will ask you to allow your accounts to become delinquent, and missing payments will impact your credit score. Additionally, a debt settlement will remain on your credit history for up to 7 years.

Schedule a Consultation with Freedom Debt Relief

Ginny Dorn
Written by

Ginny Dorn is a freelance personal finance writer. She specializes in credit card debt, personal loans, and mortgages. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences.

Pros:
  • Option to pay off credit, medical, and personal loan debt for less
  • Option to settle credit card debt for 50% of total owed
  • No settlement fees upfront, you pay only when debt is settled
Cons:
  • Fees of 15% to 25% of the settlement amount will apply
  • No guarantee that debt will be lowered or settled
  • Debt settlement will likely lower your credit score
Bottom Line

Freedom Debt Relief can get you out of debt fairly quickly (in as little as 24-48 months), but it can also stay on your credit history for 7 years. There’s no guarantee that you’ll settle your debts, and creditors may take you to court, as you’ll have to allow your account to be delinquent.

Once you’ve settled, you’ll still be required to pay taxes on the forgiven debt as well as fees for Freedom Debt Relief’s services. With that said, debt settlement with Freedom Debt Relief may be ideal if you’ve already explored other options and want to avoid bankruptcy.