If you have a lot of debt that you are struggling to repay, you may be considering using a debt relief company. A debt relief company is a company that will try to help you negotiate with your creditors to reduce your debt. They are sometimes called debt settlement debt settlement companies or companies.
Freedom Debt Relief is one of the largest debt relief companies in the country. As of September 2020, it has helped 750,000 clients settle over $12 billion in debt. Like any debt settlement company, they cannot guarantee that all of your debts will be reduced and settled through their program, but they do promise to attempt to negotiate lower dues for any unsecured debt you have.
Working with Freedom Debt Relief has been helpful for many consumers in debt. However, the company has charged unwanted fees to others and even faced legal action from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Using the Freedom Debt Relief program may be right for you if you are unable to pay your debts and are facing extenuating financial circumstances. Read on to learn more about the company and its program.
Liberty Debt Relief Overview
|APR||Typically 15-25%, fees may vary by state of residence|
|Minimum debt required||$7,500|
|Time range||Typically 24-48 months, but total duration varies by individual|
|Estimated savings||Up to 50% of your current debts|
|Best for||People with high unsecured debt and a pre-existing bad credit score|
|Not recommended for||People with good credit and people who can work to negotiate their own debt|
Freedom Debt Relief is best for those with high debt and low credit scores
If you’re struggling with high debt and don’t have a good credit score, Freedom Debt Relief might be a good option for you. This company requires that you have at least $7,500 and will settle the debt up to $100,000. Freedom Debt Relief negotiates with your creditors on your behalf for lower rates, making them a great company to work with if your credit is poor and you tend to incur higher interest rates.
Freedom Debt Relief covers most types of unsecured debt, including some student and business loans.
Liberty Debt Relief Review
Freedom Debt Relief is not for everyone. They have had significant success in helping their clients settle their debts, and they have an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, they were sued by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau in 2018 for billing customers without paying their debts as promised.
If you want to work with Freedom Debt Relief, make sure you know the terms and conditions you are signing up for. You should also consider all of your options before deciding to work with them, as there may be better options available for your situation.
If you’ve decided to work with Freedom Debt Relief, they have a five-step process to help clients through their debt relief program:
- Evaluation: During this step, one of the company’s debt counselors will help you complete a financial assessment and determine your eligibility for the program. This step is free and is designed to determine if you are the right fit for their program.
- To pay: If you qualify and decide to enroll in the Freedom Debt Relief program, you will begin making monthly deposits to an FDIC-insured account for which you are responsible. During this step, you will also be asked to stop making payments to your creditors. Once you have saved a significant amount in your account, the trading process will begin.
- Negotiation: Throughout the negotiation process, the Freedom Debt Relief team will work to reduce your debts. The length of this process varies depending on how many debts you have to settle and how long creditors try to negotiate.
- Rules: When a settlement is reached, payments are made to your creditor. Your payment to Freedom Debt Relief will also be processed at this point.
- Diploma: Once all debts are settled, you are considered a graduate of the debt relief program. It is important to note that not all program members reach this stage since debt settlement cannot be guaranteed.
Only unsecured debt is eligible for the Freedom debt relief program. This means debts like credit cards, unsecured personal loans and medical bills. Secured debt, such as a mortgage or car loan, does not qualify. To qualify for the program, you must have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt.
The estimated time frame for the Freedom debt relief program is 24 to 48 months. However, each individual is different and the process may be shorter or longer than this time frame. Freedom Debt Relief works with each client to design a schedule that fits their budget and financial goals, so the schedule can be flexible depending on your needs.
Customer reviews and lawsuits
As with any company you work with, you should know all the factors before enrolling in a Freedom debt relief program. Like any debt settlement company, Freedom Debt Relief cannot guarantee that it will get your debt reduced.
The company has an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews via the BBB. Many negative reviews cite the high settlement fees as a disappointment. But many other reviewers mention that the company has genuinely helped with the debt settlement and they are happy with the company.
Potential customers should also know that the company was sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2018. The lawsuit alleged that Freedom Debt Relief charged customers a fee before their debt was settled and misled consumers about their fees. The lawsuit was settled in June 2019 and the company was ordered to pay $20 million in restitution to affected consumers.
Liberty Debt Relief Fees and Terms
According to federal law, no debt relief company can charge an upfront fee. Freedom Debt Relief follows this law in its terms. Once charged, their fees may vary by state, but typically they will be between 15-25%.
Enrolling in the program could also have a negative impact on your credit score in the short term. Their debt settlement program asks you to stop making payments during the negotiation phase so that missed payments can mean an affected credit rating.
Participating in the Freedom Debt Relief program also means you could potentially be sued by a credito. Although Freedom Debt Relief works with a legal team to help you if this happens, it is still possible to be sued.
Freedom Debt Relief should tell you all of its terms and fees before you enroll in the program. If you’re considering signing up, be sure to read all the details so you know what you’re getting into.
Advantages and disadvantages
|Their debt consultants can negotiate lower debt for you||Settlement fees can be high|
|No upfront settlement fees||They cannot guarantee that your debts will be reduced|
|Graduates of their program will be released from their unsecured debts||Your credit may be negatively affected|
Freedom Debt Relief Alternatives
When you consider freedom debt relief as an option, know that it is not your only choice. There are other ways to get debt relief, so factor those into your decision as well.
- Work with other debt settlement companies. Freedom Debt Relief is not the only debt relief company. When considering them, you should also research other debt settlement companies to ensure you are getting the best service.
- Negotiate the debt yourself. It is possible to negotiate your debts yourself. Although it takes time and perseverance, you can save yourself the expense of a debt settlement company if you are willing to do the work yourself.
- Declaration of bankruptcy. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remove your liability for discharged debts. To find out if you qualify for this, you may want to consult a lawyer.
- Budgeting. If you are able, consider reworking your budget to pay off your debts. Could you trade in your car for something cheaper? Do you have unnecessary monthly expenses? Temporarily pinching pennies might be worth it if you can pay off the debt on your own and avoid additional fees and the possibility of a bad credit score.
Freedom Debt Relief is a reputable company that has helped many customers. They may also be able to help you. However, using their service is not without cost and risk. Know all the terms and conditions before enrolling in their debt relief program. You should also consider all options before enrolling in a debt relief program.
How Bankrate Rates Liberty Debt Relief
|Discount rate score||4.1|
|Services||Services were rated based on eligibility for minimum debt, eligible debt types, and whether or not the company offers free credit counseling.|
|Affordability||Affordability was assessed based on associated fees and whether or not the company specifies money-back guarantee terms.|
|Client experience||Customer experience was evaluated based on website usability and functionality, as well as application availability. Customer satisfaction and company reputation were assessed based on Better Business Bureau accreditation and ratings, as well as TrustPilot ratings.|
|Stability||Stability was assessed according to the duration of the activity of the company and the maintenance or not of its membership in a professional association.|