Freedom Debt Relief Review 2024 (2024)

Freedom Debt Relief Review 2024 (1)

Investopedia’s Rating


Our Take

As a debt settlement company, Freedom Debt Relief says it can help you settle unsecured debt for less than you owe. While it has strong customer reviews—it earned a spot on our list of the best debt relief companies as great for customer satisfaction and repution—like other debt settlement companies Freedom Debt Relief’s fees can be fairly high in some cases, and it has a history of regulatory issues and litigation.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview

Pros & Cons


  • Excellent customer reviews

  • Program guarantee

  • Customer support available seven days a week


  • Not available in all states

  • History of litigation and regulatory issues

  • Written electronic notice usually required to cancel

Key Takeaways

  • Freedom Debt Relief is a for-profit debt settlement company.
  • With debt settlement, the company negotiates with your creditors to settle unsecured debt, like credit card balances, for less than you owe.
  • The company says it has worked with over one million clients, and it's helped its clients resolve over $18 billion in debt.
  • Freedom Debt Relief is a member of the American Association for Debt Resolution (AADR) and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).

Company Overview

Freedom Debt Relief was launched in 2002. Since then, it claims to have helped over one million clients reduce their debt.

Freedom Debt Relief is a subsidiary of Freedom Financial Network and provides debt settlement services in 42 states. The company is based in San Mateo, California, and its debt settlement website is available in both English and Spanish.

Although FDR has many positive client reviews, it does have a history of litigation and regulatory issues, as described below.

In 2023, a class-action lawsuit alleged that Freedom Debt Relief violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). A settlement was reached, and Freedom Debt Relief and the Freedom Financial Network paid out $9.75 million.

  • Year Founded2002
  • State AvailabilityAll U.S. states except Colo., N.D., Ore., R.I., Vt, W.Va., Wis., Wyo.
  • Services OfferedDebt settlement
  • Debt Settlement Fee15% to 25% of initial debt
  • Minimum Debt Required$7,500
  • Maximum Debt AllowedNo maximum
  • Phone Number(800) 910-0065

Freedom Debt Relief Review 2024 (2)

overall rating


Table of Contents

Freedom Debt Relief Review 2024

Pros and Cons Explained


  • Excellent customer reviews: Freedom Debt Relief has stellar customer reviews on Trustpilot. Its rating is 4.6 out of 5, based on over 42,000 reviews, putting it in the "Excellent" category. It has 4.61 out of 5 stars with the Better Business Bureau, with 150 reviews.
  • Program guarantee: If your total settlement cost is more than the total amount of debt you initially enrolled in Freedom Debt Relief's debt settlement program, the company will refund you the difference from its collected fees. Freedom Debt Relief bases your eligibility for the program guarantee on your combined total of enrolled debt and fees.
  • Customer support available seven days a week: Freedom Debt Relief's customer service team is available seven days a week, and existing clients have 24/7 access via the client dashboard.


  • Not available in all states: Freedom Debt Relief isn't available nationwide, but it is fairly close. It provides debt settlement services in all states except Colorado, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. It does not provide services in Washington, D.C.
  • History of litigation and regulatory issues: Freedom Debt Relief has faced regulatory issues with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and class-action lawsuits over the past five years. The company was forced to pay $25 million in restitution and penalties after a 2019 CFPB lawsuit, which alleged that FDR charged consumers without settling their debts, among other infractions. It was later forced to pay out for a multimillion-dollar lawsuit in 2023, which alleged that the company tried to sell its services to consumers over the phone in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Written electronic notice usually required to cancel: You must submit a written notification of termination to cancel your participation in the debt settlement program. This can be done online. The notice must be submitted at least three days prior to any scheduled electronic fund transfers in order to cancel those transfers. In some cases, at FDR’s discretion, a verbal notice of cancellation may be accepted.

How Freedom Debt Relief Works

As a debt settlement company, Freedom Debt Relief aims to settle your outstanding debt for less than you owe. To get started, you'll have a free debt consultation with a company representative. If they think you're a good candidate for debt settlement, they'll develop a plan and payment schedule.

You'll be required to stop making payments to your creditors (which will typically hurt your credit significantly). Instead, you'll make one monthly payment to Freedom Debt Relief, and the company will set it aside in a dedicated account to fund your settlement. Once the account has grown large enough, the company will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf to reach a settlement agreement.

If a settlement offer comes in and you agree to the terms, Freedom Debt Relief will release the money in your dedicated account to pay off your debt. After an individual debt is settled, FDR charges a fee of 15% to 25% of the initial amount of that debt. In general, Freedom Debt Relief says it takes 24 to 84 months to complete the program.

Freedom Debt Relief has a program guarantee: If your total settlement cost—the total of your debt payoff amount and fees—exceeds the amount of debt you initially enrolled, the company will refund you the difference, up to 100% of your fees.


Freedom Debt Relief has the following certifications, accreditations, and affiliations:

  • Member of the American Association for Debt Resolution (AADR)
  • Certified by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA)
  • Member of the Financial Health Network
  • Accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Debt settlement companies can’t guarantee that they’ll be able to negotiate your debt down. Even if you work with a debt settlement company, you may still receive collection calls from your creditors, and creditors can sue you to recoup their money.

How to Enroll With Freedom Debt Relief

  1. Contact Freedom Debt Relief: You can call Freedom Debt Relief at (800) 910-0065 to speak to a representative, who will guide you through the process. Or, you can use the "Get debt help now" tool on its website and enter information about your debt. The tool will ask you how much you owe in combined debt and your state of residence.
  2. Provide some personal information: The online tool will prompt you to enter personal details, including your birthdate, email address, and mailing address. Once you've submitted that information, it will tell you if you're a candidate for debt settlement.
  3. Schedule a debt consultation: If you are a candidate for debt settlement, you can schedule a meeting with a debt counselor to go over your financial situation and develop a plan to settle your debts.
  4. Agree to the program terms: If you decide that the proposed debt settlement program makes sense for you (including the required monthly payment and settlement goals), Freedom Debt Relief will send you a program agreement to review and sign. Then, it will set you up with an account at, so you can make your payments and track your progress.

Types of Debt Addressed

Freedom Debt Relief's debt settlement program is for unsecured debt. It cannot help you with federal student loans or secured debt, such as mortgagese or car loans. The following types of debt are eligible for debt settlement.

Credit Cards

Credit cards, including store cards, are usually unsecured and qualify for debt settlement programs (secured cards are an exception).

Unsecured Personal Loans

Simple unsecured personal loans (aka signature loans) are eligible for debt settlement.

Medical Bills

Unsecured medical bills are eligible for debt settlement.

Private Student Loans

Although Freedom Debt Relief can't help you with federal student loans, it may be able to help you with outstanding private student loans. The company says it works with private loans on a case-by-case basis.

Some Business Debt

If you have business debt, such as an unsecured loan you took out to launch a side gig, Freedom Debt Relief may help on a case-by-case basis.

Expected Cost

As with all debt settlement companies, Freedom Debt Relief doesn't charge upfront fees. Instead, you pay its fee once any specific debt is negotiated, a settlement is approved, and the first settlement payment is made. The fee is based on the initial amount of any specific debt that is settled, rather than the settlement amount. It ranges from 15% to 25% of the initial debt.

Expected Relief Amount

Freedom Debt Relief doesn't disclose its typical settlement amount.

According to a 2020 study by the AADR, debt settlement clients typically reduce their debt by $2.64 for every $1 of fees.

There may be tax consequences if creditors agree to settle your debt for less than you owe. Contact a tax professional to discuss your options.

Expected Time to Complete the Program

Freedom Debt Relief says that its clients may complete the program in 24 to 48 months. But the time it takes depends on your balance and interest rates, your creditors' willingness to negotiate, and how much money you can set aside for settlements.

Additional Services

Freedom Debt Relief is primarily a debt settlement company. However, it does offer debt consolidation loans through its affiliate, Achieve Personal Loans. Achieve allows you to borrow $5,000 to $50,000 with repayment terms as long as 60 months. However, the loans do have origination fees, and the rates can be in the double digits.

In other cases, FDR may refer clients to a lender of home equity loans.

Client Dashboard

Through the client dashboard,, clients can view their progress and track their payments. The dashboard also has educational videos and articles.

Customer Service

You can reach customer support seven days a week via phone or email. Hours may vary slightly for prospective and current clients.

Telephone(800) 910-0065Weekdays: 8 a.m.–11 p.m. ET
Weekends: 9 a.m.–9 p.m. ET
Emailinfo@freedomdebtrelief.comWeekdays: 8 a.m.–11 p.m. ET
Weekends: 9 a.m.–9 p.m. ET

Customer Satisfaction and Reviews

Freedom Debt Relief has excellent reviews from customers. On Trustpilot, it has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 based on over 42,000 reviews. It’s a similar situation at the Better Business Bureau, where FDR has 4.61 stars. The company is also accredited by the BBB, and it has an A+ rating.

Customers praise the company's responsiveness, the knowledge of customer support representatives, and the easy-to-use client dashboard.

However, the company has faced regulatory and litigation issues in recent years. In 2019, the CFPB alleged that Freedom Debt Relief charged consumers without settling their debts as promised, charged clients after having them handle negotiations on their own, and misled customers about its fees. The company reached a settlement with the CFPB and agreed to pay $20 million in customer restitution and $5 million in civil money penalties.

And in 2023, Freedom Debt Relief reached a $9.75 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act with telemarketing calls that used automated or pre-recorded voices to sell its products. It also sent messages to those on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Freedom Debt Relief vs. National Debt Relief vs. New Era Debt Solutions

Freedom Debt ReliefNational Debt ReliefNew Era Debt Solutions
Services OfferedDebt settlement, debt consolidation loansDebt settlement, debt consolidation loansDebt settlement
Debt Settlement Fee15%–25% of initial debt15%–25% of settled debt15%–23% of initial debt
Minimum Debt Required$7,500$7,500$10,000
Maximum Debt AllowedNo maximum limitNo maximum limitNo maximum limit
Year Established200220091999

Freedom Debt Relief stands out from other companies due to its excellent customer reviews, but its fees can be as high as 25% of your initial debt. It's a good idea to explore other options—and other costs—before selecting a debt settlement company.

  • Best Debt Relief Companies
  • Best Credit Counseling Companies

Is Debt Settlement Worth It?

Debt settlement can be appealing since you may be able to settle your debt for less than you owe. But debt settlement can be risky; there's no guarantee your creditors will agree to settle your debt, and the fees can be significant.

Debt settlement may be worth exploring if you have unsecured debt you're unable to repay on your own, but only after you've looked at other methods of debt relief. We recommend speaking with a credit counselor and considering other solutions—such as a debt management plan—before making a decision.

Is Debt Relief Through Debt Settlement Taxable?

If your creditors agree to settle your debt for less than you owe, the difference between the original balance and your settlement amount is typically taxable as income. You must report the canceled debt on your tax return for the year in which the cancellation or settlement occurred.

The Bottom Line

If you have unsecured debt that you're unable to pay, Freedom Debt Relief may be able to negotiate on your behalf and convince your creditors to settle for less than you owe. The company has strong reviews, but its fees can be as high as 25% of your initial debt, so we suggest exhausting other debt repayment methods—such as debt consolidation, debt management plans, or the debt avalanche repayment strategy—first.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Freedom Debt Relief Legit?

Freedom Debt Relief is a legitimate company. It is BBB-accredited and is rated A+. It is also a member of the American Association of Debt Resolution (AADR) and is certified by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).

Does Freedom Debt Relief Hurt Your Credit?

Enrolling in debt relief with Freedom Debt Relief could hurt your credit score, depending on how your credit report changes after enrollment. Because the debt settlement process relies on delinquent accounts, and credit scores are based in large part on your on-time payment history, the process will likely hurt your credit score. As you pay down your debt, your score may improve as your debt levels decline, although the missed payments and delinquent accounts can have negative effects for up to seven years.

How Do You Get Out of Freedom Debt Relief's Program?

You can end your participation in Freedom Debt Relief's program at any time. You must provide a written notice of termination, but you can send that notice electronically or through the mail. Once Freedom Debt Relief receives your notification, it will close your account. It will return any funds left in your savings account, minus fees for services already provided, within seven business days.

Do You Have to Pay Back Freedom Debt Relief?

Freedom Debt Relief doesn't charge upfront fees, but you'll pay a fee of 15% to 25% of your initial debt if a settlement agreement is reached.

How We Determine the Best Debt Relief Companies

To determine the best debt relief companies, we reviewed various databases, competitive analyses, consumer behavior, and more, ultimately narrowing down the list to 40 companies that offered debt settlement and/or credit counseling services. We developed a quantitative model in which we identified 53 important criteria across five categories. We weighted each category as follows for this article:

  • Costs and fees: 41.00%
  • Availability: 22.50%
  • Reputation and stability: 19.00%
  • Customer experience: 9.50%
  • Services: 8.00%

We then gathered data for the 53 criteria directly from companies via websites, media contacts, and existing partnerships. Data was collected between Oct. 19, 2023, and Dec. 18, 2023. This resulted in over 2,000 data points in our rubric, which we used to score and determine the best debt relief companies (including debt settlement and credit counseling services) for people looking to manage and get out of debt.

To learn more about our process for finding the best debt relief companies, read our full methodology.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy.

  1. Freedom Debt Relief. “Why Choose Freedom Debt Relief.”

  2. TrustPilot. "Freedom Debt Relief."

  3. Better Business Bureau. "Freedom Debt Relief."

  4. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "CFPB vs. Freedom Debt Relief, LLC."

  5. Federal Trade Commission. "How to Get Out of Debt."

  6. American Association for Debt Resolution. "Options for Consumers in Crisis: An Updated Economic Analysis of the Debt Settlement Industry.”

  7. Internal Revenue Service. "Topic No. 431, Canceled Debt - Is it Taxable Or Not?"

  8. Federal Trade Commission. “Debt Collection FAQs.”

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Freedom Debt Relief Review 2024 (2024)


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