Freedom Debt Relief: Solid As A Rock
Freedom Debt Relief is a debt management company that is part of the larger Financial Freedom Network LLC. Freedom Debt Relief offers a solution for customers with large debt problems, helping to negotiate with creditors and allow customers to pay less than the owed amount on their debts. The company is the largest of its kind in the US, and has helped to settle debts for over nearly half a million clients. Freedom is accredited and ranked A+ by the Better Business Bureau. They became the first debt resolution company in the country to reach $1 billion in cumulative debt it has resolved for clients.
So do Freedom Debt Relief live up to the hype, or are they simply coasting on their established reputation? Read on to find out more.
Freedom Debt Relief: The Good
Areas Where Freedom Debt Relief Excel
Long History of Experience
Freedom Debt Relief have been in business since 2003, giving them a solid history in the industry. Creditors will be familiar with them from working with the company, which means the process of debt negotiation is likely to go smoothly.
Freedom Debt Relief hold accreditation with the following organizations:
- Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
- International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators
- Senior executives from Freedom Debt Relief sit on the American Fair Credit Council
With these accreditation, Freedom Debt Relief customers can be absolutely confident that all standards and quality assurances will be met.
The Figures Look Good
- Freedom Debt Relief charge customers 15-25% of the total debt for their services, which is standard for the industry.
- The company aims to resolve all debts within 48 months.
- Customer debt is, on average, reduced by 50%.
- After fees, the average customer saves around 30% on their total debt costs.
The above figures are fairly standard, but still promising for those with debt problems.
All customers are provided with dashboard access so they can view the status of their payments.
With a great reputation, solid industry accreditation, and a proven track record, there’s no doubt that Freedom Debt Relief has plenty to offer customers.
Freedom Debt Relief: The Bad
Areas Where Freedom Debt Relief Could Improve
Freedom Debt Relief is only available in 33 states, so customers have to check to see if they are eligible. The company only handles debts over $15,000, which is rather high for this industry, and means the assistance they can provide is only available to those with substantial debts.
Impact On Credit Scores
While this is generally the case for any agency of this kind, it is worth noting that working with Freedom Debt Relief will likely have an impact on the customer’s credit score. All customers should be wary before entering into debt negotiation due to this potential complication.
No Dedicated Customer Representative
One of the major downsides of Freedom Debt Relief is that customers do not have a dedicated customer representative.
Battle with the CFPB
The CFPB recently filed a lawsuit claiming that Freedom failed to disclose that certain creditors will not negotiate with debt settlement companies. Freedom strongly disagrees with this claim. Freedom has developed strategies to negotiate settlements with debts from all creditors. In fact, since 2010, FDR settled $1.2 billion in debt (nearly 200,000 accounts) for clients with accounts from the credit card issuers listed in the complaint. In fact, in 2010 Freedom actively participated in drafting the Federal Trade Commission rules that defined the consumer protection regulations that govern the debt settlement industry.
Customers are charged between 15-25% for the services of Freedom Debt Relief; a concrete figure would be preferable to a sliding scale, so customers know what they are getting when they sign up.
The lack of dedicated customer representative is a significant downside, but may suit some customers. The sliding scale of charges isn’t ideal either, but is standard for the industry, so it’s tough to judge Freedom Debt Relief for this. Ultimately, the downsides are relatively minor.
Freedom Debt Relief: The Bottom Line
Freedom Debt Relief receive four out of five stars for their services.
The lack of availability and dedicated customer rep cost them a perfect score, but these (relatively minor) quibbles aside, there’s no doubt the company is a great option for those struggling with debt issues.