The plan offered by Freedom Debt Relief can be an excellent alternative to debt settlement programs. As it is one of the biggest debt settlement companies in the U.S today, most people often consider Freedom Debt Relief as one of their top choices when they choose a debt settlement company.
Freedom Debt Relief has been in operation since 2002. With more than a decade in the business, it’s no surprise that so many people choose them for their debt settlement needs. They have numerous accolades, even managing to be listed as one of Inc. 500’s fastest growing companies in 2008 and 2009. Bills.com was also named the #3 company in the Hot 100 from Entrepreneur magazine. Freedom Debt Relief is a branch of Freedom Financial Group, which also provides debt consolidation loans through FreedomPlus.
Since its beginnings, Freedom Debt Relief has had multiple acquisitions of other companies. This include Home-Account and Refinance.com. These companies have assisted Freedom Debt Relief construct their mortgage refinance tools, mortgage calculators and other mortgage and refinancing services. For a debt payoff calculator choose from one of many other options. With years of experience in the industry, Freedom Debt Relief has upheld its stand as a reliable, if not one of the top, lending company. Even now, the founders of FDR are very occupied with their roles in the financial and personal debt communities. The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) has a founding member of Freedom Debt Relief on their board.
Freedom Debt Relief is an accredited company. It is a member of the IAPDA and the AFCC, which checks and reviews debt settlement companies to certify that they observe and conform with industry regulations. FDR agents undergo a thorough three-month training to become IAPDA certified.
How Much Does Freedom Debt Relief Cost?
Offering its services only to people who have unsecured debts, Freedom Debt Relief’s terms and cost vary depending on the several features which the customer may apply for. The key factors that FDR takes into account are who the creditor they will be working with, the state where you live in, and finally the sum of the debt which you currently have. With all that and more, you may expect to pay at least 15% to 25% off your enrolled debt.
After months of payment, FDR will then be bargaining with the customer’s creditors, proposing a lump sum from the amount which the customer has been able to save and suggest that the customer has saved enough money to make an agreement in which the customer will then settle his debt. Normally, Freedom arranges a discount of 45 percent and charges fees that range between 15 and 25 percent of the debt which the customer has enrolled in.
Do take note that these fees are on top of the settlement amount with which the customer’ confer with their creditor. For example, a debt completed for 45% together with 20% in fees will then be 65% of the initial amount. Normally, a plan will finish anywhere from 24 to 48 months, or about 2 to 4years. These plans are all well within the industry standards.
Freedom Debt Relief websites says: “If you choose to enroll in a Freedom Debt Relief Program, Freedom charges a fee that depends on a number of things, including the state you’re in, the amount of debt you’re enrolling, and other factors. But, in general, if you enroll in a standard 36 month program, in most cases your fee works out to approximately 6-8% of your total enrolled debt per year. And the most important thing to remember is that there is absolutely NO FEE RISK to you – we guarantee that you will pay NO FEES for your debt relief services until we successfully resolve a debt for you.”
The review of program features will include:
- Average time for settlements.
- How some creditors can be more aggressive
- How delinquent each debt is
- How drafting monthly can impact the success of completing the program
- What options we have for when creditors call our clients too much
- What options we have for if a client gets sued
Questions on up-front fees
Freedom Debt Relief does not charge any upfront fees. In fact, if there is any debt settlement company which asks for up-front fees is violating the law. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, no company is to charge up-front fees, this was as of 2010.
Question on money back
FDR offers a money back guarantee. As any sum deposited into the trust account will proceed directly back to the customer (minus the monthly fees charged), the fees will then be decided once the applicant meet the criteria for the program and his debt is assessed.
Question on eligibility
To be qualified for a debt settlement plan, the customer will require at least $7,500 worth of unsecured debt, and more than $500 on each of the accounts with which he would wish to enroll in. Apart from that, FDR also takes into consideration the customer’s address as Freedom Debt Relief offers its services to residents of 33 states.
Question on Consultation
A good thing about Freedom Debt Relief is that they provide debt consultation for free. If you are in doubt whether or not their services will fit you right, you may then call and speak with one of their debt help specialist. This will then help you determine if taking up their services will then be of assistance to your financial situation.
The debt specialist can provide you the support you need, without you disclosing too many personal details. They can also offer a more efficient help when you do make known certain information. FDR states that the consultation have no risk and that the caller will not be forced into anything simply by calling them up.
Apart from the on-call support which FDR gives, they also give out debt education, which many consider to be of great quality. Do note that Freedom Debt Relief is part of Freedom Financial Network, which also maintains Bills.com. Bills.com presents a great tool called the Debt Coach, which is a valuable way of settling on your best path to getting out of debt. Apart from that, they also showcase videos, blog articles and resource pages to encourage people to learn more about debt and how to finally say goodbye to it. With that, FDR’s broad network lets them serve their growing list of clients in terms of education amazingly well.
Although the company’s desktop site is helpful and even easy to navigate, there was a problem when people tried accessing it on the phone. The company’s website is not reactive on mobile and, making things worse, they do not have a mobile app.
FDR does not provide personalized service, and its fees are in the direction of the higher end of the debt settlement companies. Even though FRD does not have a single dedicated account rep, it does provide a fast and approachable customer service team. One person claimed to have called and was quickly connected to an employee who replied to all of his inquiries about the programs which FDR offers. Apparently, customer service agents undergo a certification and training by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators.
One good thing about Freedom Debt Relief is that it holds no secret about its programs and even discloses the risks associated with it. We tried talking to a specialist, and they covered the would-be effect of the program and even went through how the settlement process works.
When customers ring FDR, they will speak with a debt relief specialist who will then clarify the process. You could also have your debts evaluated and ask what recommendation they offer based on the amount of money that you owe and to whom you owe it to. This call may entail a soft credit pull, nevertheless as this initial call is finished, you will then have some knowledge to decide which type of plan you should get.
Also, during this first call, customers can discover how a debt settlement program works and what are the pros and cons that come with it. Once you have signed up with FDR’s program, you will have a much more detailed talk. This talk will be the time wherein you will be provided for the required disclosures about the dangers of the plans. Bear in mind that a debt settlement program is not legally binding, and that a customer can withdraw anytime he chooses to do so.
Once you begin FDR’s program, you will then discontinue making payments to your lender and instead start paying a monthly deposit into an account that has been created by Freedom Debt Relief. The sum with which you need to deposit will be determined on the customer’s income, how much money they owe, how many accounts to different creditors do they are indebted to, and other factors.
Pros and Cons of Debt Consolidation
For people who have thousands of dollars in personal debt, it can seem like relief from debt is nothing more than a pipe dream. If you have multiple loan obligations and no clear plan on how to arrange for all of your monthly payments, you may be a good candidate for debt consolidation. For more information on what this is read What is debt consolidation? What this involves is taking out a loan to pay off your other debt and have the benefit of only focusing on one monthly payment. There are services, such as Freedom Debt Relief Consolidation, that offer to procure a debt consolidation loan for you. They may also be able to speak directly with your creditors to see if there is anything that can be done to reduce your existing debt. You can even consolidate medical bills.
The major thing you need to be aware of with a debt consolidation loan is that it could have a negative impact on your credit score. This is why it is recommended that you only pursue a debt consolidation loan if you are truly unable to keep up with your current monthly payments. A consolidation loan payment calculator will prove helpful.
Why Consumers Use Freedom Debt Relief Consolidation
Of all the best debt consolidation options, Freedom Debt Relief Consolidation is probably the largest. For some consumers, this is an important selling point because there are many debt relief companies that are not legitimate and take cash from customers without providing any real debt relief for them.
Another benefit that Freedom Debt Relief Consolidation is a simple tracking tool that customers can use to see where their total debt status stands. If you have difficulties in sticking with a budget or keeping your financial plans organized, this visual tool can serve as a constant reminder of what you need to do to stay on track with your debt settlement.
If you are curious about what it would cost to use a debt relief service, you can call for a free evaluation from Freedom Debt Relief Consolidation. Use the opportunity during your consultation to find out specifically what this service could do in your situation. This means asking as many questions as possible so that you are clear on your expectations. If you are told to stop making credit card payments, be very cautious of this advice because it can result in your account being sent to a collections agency.
Any reputable debt relief service is aware that they cannot charge you a fee until they actually work to reduce your debt. If you are asked for a down payment before services are rendered, you should run the other way. The way that the debt settlement program at Freedom Debt Relief Consolidation works is that they negotiate a settlement amount with all of your creditors, and you pay monthly deposits into an account that is held for the lump sum payment of your total debt settlement. Keep in mind that it may not be possible to reach a settlement with all of your creditors at once. There also may be some legal risk with this option because it could involve stopping payments on debts that are currently due. Read more: Should i consolidate my debt?
Freedom Debt Relief is one of the biggest debt settlement companies that is operating today. A normal settlement program through FDR may take from 24 to 48 months and can reduce your debt by as much as 40%. Be sure to also read our National Debt Relief reviews.
Financial Advisor, MoneyBeagle
Claire is a noted financial writer and author of hundreds of articles about personal and business finance. Before getting her MBA, she graduated with a BS in Economics. Her coursework focused on the different ways that debt, debt structure, and debt restructuring affect micro and macro-economic issues.
Upon graduation, she took a job at an investment bank that worked with municipal and county governments to help them reorganize and structure their debt so they could continue to provide essential city services.
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