Freedom Debt Relief, headquartered in San Mateo, California, was founded almost two decades ago in 2002. The company works with most forms of unsecured debt including credit cards, medical bills, department store cards, unsecured personal loans and more. Freedom Debt Relief offers anyone a free debt evaluation with one of its certified consultants. This allows you to get a clear picture of what it can do for you and whether its program is a good fit for your situation.
Freedom Debt Relief at a glance
|Min. Debt||Average Savings||Fees||BBB Score||Key Benefit|
|Freedom Debt Relief||$7,500||Not listed||15% – 25%||B||Nearly two decades of experience|
What we like about it
Any Freedom Debt Relief review will reveal three important advantages — no fees until an agreement is reached, a lengthy and positive track record and a free consultation for prospective customers. When deciding how to get a better hold on your outstanding debt, it’s important that your solution is not going to add additional debt to your situation. Freedom Debt Relief charges no fees until agreements with your creditors are reached.
Freedom Debt Relief has been in the business for almost two decades and has helped over 600,000 clients settle over $10 billion in debt. On average, the company resolves over 50,000 accounts monthly. Additionally, not only is the company compliant with the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), but it is one of the founding members of the debt settlement industry watchdog group.
Freedom Debt Relief’s free consultation services are offered with a certified consultant on staff. Major financial moves like debt settlement can be confusing. It’s reassuring to see a company that’s willing to sit down with you prior to earning your business and walk you through your available options, even if those options are not with their company. Even if you’re not heavily considering Freedom Debt Relief as your partner in debt settlement, you may want to take advantage of this free help in better understanding the process.
Things to consider
A quick internet search will bring up a lawsuit that Freedom Debt Relief settled with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2017 for $25 million. Freedom Debt Relief was found in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule by charging advance fees and misleading customers about their rights to deposited money in accounts with the company.
Additionally, Freedom Debt Relief does not offer any debt consolidation services and only offers debt settlement. Typically, these programs request that you stop making payments on your existing accounts. This can seem counterproductive, especially when it starts to have a negative effect on your credit score. Because of this, debt settlement is a last resort option. It’s entirely possible that when you stop making payments and default on your loans and credit cards, that you will be susceptible to a lawsuit by your creditors. Furthermore, creditors are not obligated to accept a settlement with Freedom Debt Relief, so your credit score could take a major hit for nothing.
Fees and savings
Freedom Debt Relief does not charge customers any fees unless it’s able to negotiate agreements with your creditors. The exact amount of the fees will vary by the size of the debt and the state you live in but will fall within a range of 15% to 25% of the value of the debt. This fee structure is right on par with fees across the industry.
The company does not list the average savings gained but does highlight some of the more successful settlements it achieved in the past. Some savings from the past year were as high as a 68% debt reduction. Do keep in mind that each situation is different, and results will vary, but the company does boast some pretty impressive results in recent months.
Freedom Debt Relief clearly lays out its four-step process for helping customers regain control of their debt. Step one is your free debt evaluation with one of the company’s certified debt consultants. During this call, the consultant takes a look at your unique situation and helps you determine if the debt settlement program is a good fit for you. If it’s determined to be a good fit, Freedom Debt Relief moves to step two where its consultants help you to design a customized and individually tailored plan for success. It’s always positive to see customization in debt relief solutions instead of blanket approaches that might not work well for all.
During step three of the process, you’ll begin making payments to Freedom Debt Relief and stop making payments to your lenders. Once you’ve paid enough money into your Freedom Debt Relief account to make a worthwhile offer to your creditors, the company will begin the negotiation process. You’ll be contacted for approval every time an agreement is reached with a creditor keeping you in the loop with full control over the process. The process continues until all accounts are settled and your only payments will be to Freedom Debt Relief throughout the duration of the process.
How long does the full process take? According to the company’s prior results, those with debt between $15k and $100k can fully resolve their accounts in 24 to 48 months. Again, each situation is different, and the time frame will depend on the agreements reached with your lenders and how quickly you’re able to save up the settlement amount.
The bottom line
When you’ve decided to go the route of debt settlement, it’s important you choose a company that offers the options and plans that best suit your needs. Freedom Debt Relief should make anyone’s shortlist as it has almost two decades of experience settling over $10 billion in debt.
Keep in mind that because of the hit to your credit, the possibility for a lawsuit and the chance offers are rejected, debt settlement should be considered a last option. However, with no obligation, you can get insight from an expert in the field on your available options with Freedom Debt Relief before moving forward with debt settlement.