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Is Freedom Debt Relief a Legitimate Company?

Written by Allison Martin

Allison Martin is a personal finance enthusiast and a passionate entrepreneur. With over a decade of experience, Allison has made a name for herself as a syndicated financial writer. Her articles are published in leading publications, like, Bankrate, The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, and Investopedia. When she’s not busy creating content, Allison travels nationwide, sharing her knowledge and expertise in financial literacy and entrepreneurship through interactive workshops and programs. She also works as a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) dedicated to helping people from all walks of life achieve financial freedom and success.

Updated May 21, 2023​

4 min. read​

Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief is the largest debt settlement company in the nation. It was founded in 2002 by Stanford Business School graduates Andrew Housser and Brad Stroh, and boasts an impressive roster of 2,000 highly-trained specialists.

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Debt Settlement Services Offered by Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief offers debt settlement through its signature Freedom Debt Relief Program. It’s designed to help you alleviate the stress that comes with carrying excessive amounts of debt by working with your creditors to reduce the amount you owe.

Here’s how it works:

  • Step 1: Call Freedom Debt Relief for a free debt evaluation. You’ll speak with an IAPDA-Certified Debt Consultant who will analyze your debt load and educate you on all your debt relief options and the risks associated with each.
  • Step 2: If you decide debt settlement is the best option, the next step is to enroll in the FDR Program. If your debt consultant determines it’s a good fit, they’ll tailor a program that works for your financial situation and aligns with your goals.
  • Step 3: Upon enrollment, you’ll begin making the agreed-upon monthly payment to a Dedicated Account. As the balance grows, the funds will be used to pay settlements to creditors and fees assessed by Freedom Debt Relief. (Quick note: consumers usually stop paying creditors when they enroll to expedite the settlement process).
  • Step 4: Freedom Debt Relief starts negotiating with your creditors. Each time a settlement offer is reached, Freedom Debt Relief gets your approval before sending funds to the creditor.
  • Step 5: If you approve the settlement offer, funds are sent directly from your Dedicated Account to the creditor. The accompanying settlement fee will also be withdrawn from the dedicated account to pay Freedom Debt Relief.

You’ll continue to make monthly payments until all enrolled debts go through the settlement process.

Is Freedom Debt Relief a Legitimate Company?

To date, Freedom Debt Relief has helped more than 800,000 clients resolve over $15 billion in unsecured debt. On average, the firm negotiates fair settlements for 39,000 unsecured accounts per month. More importantly, Freedom Debt Relief prides itself on transparency and goes the extra mile to ensure consumers are adequately informed regarding the benefits, drawbacks, costs and time commitment associated with debt settlement.

It’s also a founding member of the prestigious American Fair Credit Council (AFCC), a platinum member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) and holds accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Plus, Freedom Debt Relief was involved in establishing 2010 Federal Trade Commission rules that ban abusive debt settlement practices.

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More Details About the Freedom Debt Relief Program

Below is some additional information on Freedom Debt Relief and its debt settlement program.

The Differences Between Debt Relief and Debt Settlement

The terms “debt relief” and “debt settlement” are often used interchangeably because both entail creditor negotiations to lower your unsecured debt balances. However, debt settlement is just one form of debt relief. Others include credit counseling, debt management, debt consolidation and bankruptcy.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Debt Settlement

Key Benefits:

  • Pay off debt faster: It’s possible to get relief from your debt in just 24 to 48 months*.
  • Reduce the amount you pay each month: Instead of paying several creditors each month, you’ll get one affordable monthly payment that works for your budget.
  • Save on interest: You’ll save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest by settling your debts.
  • Stop collection calls: Once your unsecured debts are settled and the creditors receive payment, the collection calls will stop.

Key Drawbacks:

  • Negative consequences for your credit: If you stop making monthly payments to creditors when you enroll in a debt settlement program, your credit score will take a hit. Late payments remain on your credit report for up to seven years.
  • Debt settlement fees: You’ll pay a fee to the debt settlement company each time a debt is settled. The exact amount assessed varies by your state of residence.
  • Tax implications: If the creditor forgives more than $600 of your outstanding debt balance, you may need to include this amount in your taxable income. Consult with a tax advisor for more information about the impacts of forgiven debt amounts.
  • No guarantees: Unfortunately, creditors are not obligated to accept settlement offers from financially distressed consumers enrolled in debt relief programs.

Fees and Terms of the Freedom Debt Relief Program

Freedom Debt Relief charges a fee between 15 percent and 25 percent of the settlement amount. So, if you settle a $10,000 debt for $5,000, expect to pay between $750 and $1,250 in fees to Freedom Debt Relief for their negotiation services.

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How to Qualify for Freedom Debt Relief Program

You may be eligible for the FDR Program if you have between $7,500 and $100,000 in unsecured debt. Qualifying debts include credit card debt, personal loan debt, department store credit debt and medical debt. However, auto loans, mortgages, federal student loan debt, tax debt, lawsuit-related debt and utility bills aren’t eligible for inclusion in a program.

Get More Information About Freedom Debt Relief’s Program with No Obligation

Are you interested in learning more about Freedom Debt Relief and how they can assist you? Then, submit the online form to request your free consultation and understand your debt relief options.

Note: *Estimates are based on prior results, which will vary depending on your specific enrolled creditors and your individual program terms. Not all clients are able to complete their program for various reasons, including their ability to save sufficient funds. Freedom Debt Relief does not guarantee that your debts will be resolved for a specific amount or percentage or within a specific period of time. Freedom Debt Relief does not assume your debts, make monthly payments to creditors or provide tax, bankruptcy, accounting or legal advice or credit repair services. Their service is not available in all states, including New Jersey, and fees may vary from state to state. Please contact a tax professional to discuss potential tax consequences of less than full balance debt resolution. Read and understand all program materials prior to enrollment. The use of debt settlement services will likely adversely affect your creditworthiness, may result in you being subject to collections or being sued by creditors or collectors and may increase the outstanding balances of your enrolled accounts due to the accrual of fees and interest. However, negotiated settlements Freedom Debt Relief obtains on your behalf resolve the entire account, including all accrued fees and interest. C.P.D. Reg. No. T.S.12-03825.

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