Freedom Debt Relief vs. National Debt Relief Reviews

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated May 6, 2020

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freedom debt relief
Debt Relief
March 4, 2020

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Overwhelmed by debt? Then, you might consider hiring a debt settlement company. Debt settlement companies negotiate paying your creditors. Then, you pay a monthly sum to the debt settlement company, who distributes your payment to your creditors. By doing this, you can get out of debt faster. Need help choosing a company? If so, here’s a breakdown of how the companies compare against each other and other debt relief companies.

Best Debt Relief Companies

RankDebt Relief ServiceBest ForCostExpert Rating
1Freedom Debt ReliefAffordability15%-25% of debt★★★★★
2National Debt ReliefDebt Settlement18%-25% of debt★★★★
3Payoff LoansDebt Consolidation5.99%-24.99% loan rates★★★★

Best Debt Relief Companies

RankDebt Relief ServiceBest for
1Freedom Debt ReliefAffordability
2National Debt ReliefDebt Settlement
3Payoff LoansDebt Consolidation

Two of the most well-known debt settlement companies are Freedom Debt Relief and National Debt Relief. In short, these companies both assist customers with the debt settlement process. Want to know more? Here are detailed reviews of National Debt Relief vs. Freedom Debt Relief.

Freedom Debt Relief Review

Get Started with Freedom

Freedom Debt Relief Review image
  • Price: Freedom Debt Relief prices range between 15 and 25 percent of enrolled debt.
  • Debt Qualification: You must enroll at least $15,000 unsecured debt to qualify.
  • Features: Freedom Debt Relief reviews show that services are really what give this debt settlement provider an edge. Not only does this company offer the traditional consolidation, reduction and bankruptcy options, but it also has credit counseling services and some guides on how to manage debt yourself.
  • Customer Service: Exceptional customer service that is available every day of the week is another benefit to working with Freedom Debt Relief. Many other debt relief companies only operate Monday through Friday, but Freedom Debt Relief also has Saturday and Sunday hours that run into the evenings. You can contact them by phone or email, whichever works best for you.
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Disclosure
Disclosure

Freedom Debt Relief Disclosure: Our 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. We do not guarantee that your debts will be resolved for a specific amount or percentage or within a specific period of time. We do not assume your debts, make monthly payments to creditors or provide tax, bankruptcy, accounting or legal advice or credit repair services. Our service is not available in all states and our 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 we obtain on your behalf resolve the entire account, including all accrued fees and interest. C.P.D. Reg. No. T.S.12-03825.

National Debt Relief Review

Get Started with National

National Debt Relief Review image
  • Price: 18-25 percent of enrolled debt is the National Debt Relief price for helping to negotiate your debt reduction.
  • Debt Qualifications: To qualify for National Debt Relief services, you must have at least $7,500 in qualifying debt.
  • Features: Working with National Debt Relief gives you access to a toolbox of options for reducing your monthly outlay on debts. You can pursue everything from National debt consolidation to debt relief, and even bankruptcy services are available if you are unable to keep up with your existing debts.
  • Customer Service: Keeping up with your debt relief program is quick and easy with plenty of contact options. You can always call toll-free during extended service hours on any weekday. Email and fax are also available for anyone who needs to make contact with their debt relief counselor.
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freedomdebtrelief.com  |  (844) 752-5316

Freedom Debt Relief is a debt resolution company based in San Mateo, Calif. What does it do? The company focuses on helping people get out of debt in just 24 to 48 months. In addition, it negotiates to reduce the amount you are paying your creditors.

Debt Relief Process

What is the process? First, they will create an FDIC-insured Dedicated Bank Account for you. Next, you deposit money into the bank account each month to fund your debt repayments. Then, Freedom representatives can use information from the bank account during their negotiations with creditors, but you retain full control of the money in the bank account.

Freedom Debt Relief’s number is 844-752-5316. A quick phone call will get you customer service.

nationaldebtrelief.com  

National Debt Relief is a debt consolidation company. In short, it works with your creditors to resolve your debt. However, the focus of National involves consolidating your debt into one loan.

Ideally, by using a loan to pay your creditors, you can reduce the amount of your overall debt and simplify payments. For example, instead of sending payments to multiple companies each month, you make one payment.

Other Benefits

In addition, National provides financial counseling services to help you avoid future debts. For instance, you may need to learn how to create and follow a household budget that lets you save money and avoid credit cards.

Freedom Debt Relief’s fees can be confusing. Essentially, debt relief clients pay fees of between 15 percent and 25 percent of the total enrolled debt.

While this is a pretty low interest rate, some debt relief programs only charge a percentage of the settled amount. Depending on the difference between your total enrolled debt and debt settlement amount, you may or may not get a good deal. Freedom also has no upfront fees.

National Debt Relief charges 15 percent to 25 percent of your total enrolled debt. How much will you pay? Well, National has no upfront fees. Since the higher rate also applies to your enrolled debt rather than the settled amount, there is a good chance that you will pay more money for those services.

Freedom follows a fairly selective process. Why? It’s because companies can only help consumers with only unsecured debt. What does that mean? Basically, credit card debt, personal loans, medical bills and so on.

Freedom vs. National

Who gets chosen? Freedom Debt Relief is much more selective than National Debt Relief. Every application is reviewed, and it only accepts clients it thinks it can help. Basically, this makes it more likely that your debt relief will be successful. However, the company does not appear to have criteria for who get’s accepted. Essentially, it works with clients who are struggling with their debt.

Every application is reviewed, and National only accepts clients it thinks it can help. Why? This makes it more likely that it will be helpful with handling your debt.

The company offers a range of services and products to help clients find debt relief.

Debt Settlement

Settle up. Freedom Debt Relief says that debt settlement is what it does best. What is debt settlement? The debt settlement industry involves negotiating to lower the overall amount you are paying your creditors. Therefore, if the companies can reach an agreement, money comes out each month from an escrow account that is set up for the customer to repay creditors.

Debt Consolidation

Shoot for lower interest. Debt consolidation lets you take out a loan so you can resolve your debt. Typically, these loans have a lower interest rate, so you will save money. Also, you get the benefit of paying one lender instead of several.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is usually a last-resort option. Freedom Debt Relief will help you decide whether you want to file for Chapter 11, Chapter 13 or another type of bankruptcy. However, Freedom doesn’t handle bankruptcy directly. Once you have made your choice, the company will refer you to a service that specifically handles bankruptcies.

Credit Counseling

Need help with your credit? Freedom has counselors who will look at your finances to create a debt management plan that matches your unique needs. The process will help you resolve your debt. Perhaps more importantly, it will help you avoid future debt. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains the difference between credit counseling and debt relief fairly well here[1].

Do It Yourself

Give yourself a leg up. If you want to get out of debt on your own, you can use Freedom Debt Relief’s online tools for help. The tools will let you calculate payments and track your progress. A phone call to customer service will also get you help with your relief efforts.

National Debt Relief offers at least five debt relief programs that could help you eliminate debt and remain debt-free.

Debt Settlement

Settle your debts. National Debt Relief uses debt settlement as a way to lower its clients’ debt. How does it work? It lets the company’s debt lawyers negotiate lower outstanding balances with creditors. Also, settlements can also lead to lower interest rates and waived fees. Still, National says that some debtors will not negotiate in good faith, which makes it hard for settlements to work.

Debt Consolidation

Lower your interest. Debt consolidation involves getting a loan that’s large enough to repay your outstanding debts. Ideally, your loan will have a lower interest rate. Why? Because, less interest means you effectively owe less money.

In addition, debt consolidation makes it easier to keep track of your repayment efforts. How? Instead of paying your creditors every month, you only have to make one loan payment per month.

Bankruptcy

Last ditch effort. National cannot file bankruptcy for you, but it can provide essential services that help you decide whether bankruptcy is a good option. If you decide to pursue bankruptcy, National will explain the steps you should take to file.

Debt Negotiation

Talk it out. Negotiating with creditors can take a lot of time and effort. Most don’t have the time. So, many people decide to let companies like National Debt Relief do the work for them. That way, National will contact your creditors to discuss ways to resolve your debt. Some companies will agree to reduce the amount that you owe. Others will agree to lower their interest rates and waive fees.

Debt Education

Educate yourself. People who eliminate debt often fall back into debt. Why? They don’t change their spending habits. If you don’t change the reason that you have so much debt, then you will probably stack up more debt and need debt relief help again in the future. How do you change things? Learn from your mistakes. For example, National Debt Relief provides educational services to help you avoid this. If you want to remain debt-free, you need to take seriously the debt education services National offers.

Debt Settlement vs. Credit Repair

Note that debt relief companies such as National can help you with your debt but don’t offer any assistance when it comes to your credit. Credit repair is a different service altogether. If you are looking to improve your credit score, check out one of the best credit repair companies to help, including top picks like Sky Blue Credit Repair and Lexington Law.

Pros:

  • Low monthly deposits
  • Quick phone call gets you customer service
  • No upfront fees

Cons:

  • Only deals with unsecured debt

Pros:

  • Low fees for some clients
  • Debt education services to keep clients out of debt
  • No upfront fees

Cons:

  • Seems to accept clients regardless of financial situation
  • Fees based on enrolled debt rather than settlement amount

The debt relief company has had minor legal issues in the past, but it has overcome those obstacles to become one of the most popular accredited debt relief companies online. Despite negative reviews, it’s clear that Freedom Debt Relief isn’t a scam.

Reviews Summary

In fact, many Freedom Debt Relief clients credit the company for getting them out of debt and teaching them how to avoid future debt, which can be done with a quick phone call. You should always compare several companies before choosing a debt relief option, but this one stands out as one of the top debt management companies. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also has some tips on what to look out for when choosing a company[2].

It’s important to remember that all debt consolidation companies receive negative reviews from clients who don’t feel that they got the results they wanted. Which reviews should you believe? You will always see a mixture of negative and positive reviews, so try to take an even-handed approach.

Reviews Summary

According to most people who have left National Debt Relief reviews, it can help you find medical debt relief, business debt consolidation and other strategies that quickly repair your financial circumstances. Some people just can’t be helped, but chances are you can get the assistance you need.

How long have these companies been around? Both Freedom Debt Relief and National Debt Relief are well-established companies that have been debt settlement industry providers for several years. Freedom was founded in 2002, and National was founded in 2009. This is important because there’s potential for scams in the debt settlement industry.

Beware of Scams

Hone your scam radar. Some companies claim to be debt settlement companies but are really just fronts for collecting debtors’ money and putting it in the company operative’s pockets. The longer a company has been in business, the more likely it is that it is legitimate. Check any companies you might work with out with your state Attorney General and local consumer protection agency[3].

Keep in mind, there is no magic pill to solve all their debt problems. Also, there are no guarantees when it comes to debt relief. These companies try to work with customers to lower their debt burden, but they aren’t going to work miracles.

Complaints Summary

With that in mind, we’ve found that many of the complaints against companies like Freedom Debt Relief or National Debt Relief are from customers who had unrealistic expectations. What does that mean? They expected results greater than any debt relief company could reach, so take the complaints you read about with a grain of salt.

BBB Results

The BBB has 3,272 customer reviews of Freedom Debt Relief[4]. The majority of complaints filed with the BBB note problems with products or services. Presumably, this means that the some of the company’s customers (more than 115 of them) feel that the services may not have matched up to their expectations regarding the amount of debt resolved and so on.

How does National stack up? The BBB has 654 customer reviews for National Debt Relief[5]. More than 40 of those reviews shared with the BBB are complaints. Most complaints refer to problems with products and services. Still, other complaints relate to billing and collection issues (12 complaints) and advertising and sales issues (eight issues).

Complaints Summary

Although National Debt Relief does not have as many complaints, you shouldn’t assume that it provides better services. For instance, it does not have the brand recognition of Freedom Debt Relief. Also, far fewer people use the company. The smaller number of complaints could just mean that National has fewer clients.

If you’re looking for debt relief, you are probably having trouble making all of your payments each month. This could be due to some unexpected expenses, a change in your employment status, an injury or illness, or even because of overspending. No matter why you are underwater on your debt, the question of whether or not National Debt solutions can help really depends on the type of debt you are carrying.

If you owe back taxes or a high mortgage, or you can’t make your car payments, debt relief likely can’t help. Secured loans, those that have physical property used to guarantee the loan, are usually not subject to negotiation in the same way as unsecured debt. After all, if you don’t make your mortgage payments, your lender will simply foreclose on the house. The same is true with your auto loan. Debt relief becomes a real option when you have a fair amount of unsecured debt.

This could be anything from high credit card balances to money owed to vendors for your business. Some student loan debt is also negotiable, depending on the type of loan. The best way to find out whether or not National Debt Relief is the right choice for your is with a consultation. Debt relief specialists can discuss all of your options and talk about the potential consequences to your credit when you choose a debt relief solution. They will even give you an estimate on the costs and potential savings, so you can move forward with confidence.

If you have a lot of unsecured debt that you can’t pay in a timely fashion, Freedom Debt Relief might be exactly what you need. Life changes can also change your financial picture. A sudden injury, the birth of a child, job loss or dozens of other situations can impact your ability to pay your debts. When that happens, some of your debts can be negotiated down. You can’t use debt relief on things like home loans or auto loans, but you can use it for unsecured debt like personal lines of credit, business debts or credit card accounts.

If you have more than $15,000 in unsecured debt — debt that is not secured by tangible property — you can qualify to work with Freedom Debt Relief. Certified debt consultants can look at your financial situation and make recommendations specific to you. They can also provide guidance on how to tackle your debts without using debt relief programs. If you don’t qualify or if you can manage to pay off your debts without debt relief, you may want to handle the situation directly.

Debt relief services are best for those consumers who have a lot of unsecured debt and have trouble even making the minimum payment. When that happens, Freedom Debt Relief can help create a plan, negotiate down your debts and consolidate your enrolled debt into a single, lower monthly payment.

To find out what Freedom Debt Relief can do for you, get in touch with one of their consultants. You pay nothing until negotiations are completed with your creditors, so if Freedom Debt Relief can’t save you money, you don’t lose anything by trying.

Freedom and National are not the only big players in the debt relief family. Here are quick reviews of the best debt relief companies, including our Accredited Debt Relief review. If you are looking for debt consolidation only, Payoff is a great service that offers lower consolidation rates than most other debt relief companies. Here are our reviews of both of these services.

Accredited Debt Relief

Get Started with Accredited

Accredited Debt Relief image
  • Best for: Debt settlement AND consolidation. Accredited Debt Relief is one of the only services that offers both debt settlement and debt consolidation. You can call (877) 729-0051 to get started or sign up for Accredited Debt Relief here.
  • Price: Like most debt settlement companies, Accredited Debt Relief take a percentage of whatever enrolled debt they are able to settle, in this case 18 percent to 25 percent, depending on your debt. So if they are able to reduce your debt from $10,000 to $8,000, you would owe $360 to $500. If there is no change in your debt, you don’t have to pay anything.
  • Time frame: Accredited Debt Relief’s program time frame ranges from 24-48 months, which is the average time for debt settlement.
  • Other highlights: Accredited Debt Relief is one of the only debt relief companies to offer debt management tools as well as debt consolidation services. Debt consolidation services are when a company will help you consolidate your debt in order to pay a lower interest rate on it.
  • Available states: One of the benefits of Accredited Debt Relief is that it is available in 39 of the 50 states, which is rare for a debt relief company. The average is usually around 35 states.
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Payoff Debt Consolidation

Payoff website

Payoff Debt Consolidation image
  • Best for: Debt consolidation. Payoff deals in debt consolidation loans, and is one of the best at it, but if you are looking for debt settlement, Payoff is not the right choice.
  • Rates: Payoff Loans range from 5.99% to 24.99%, depending on the lender and your qualifications for the loan.
  • Loan Amounts: You can borrow from $5,000 to $35,000 to pay off your credit card debt.
  • Features: Payoff concentrates more on debt consolidation than other loan companies. Its main concern is helping you pay off your debt, so it offers things like flexible payments, financial guidance and low starting rates.
  • Customer Service: Payoff is known for its great customer service, walking you through every step of the debt consolidation process. You can reach out to Payoff through online chat or a personal member advocate.
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Article Sources

  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: What’s the difference between a credit counselor and a debt settlement or debt relief company?
  2. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: What are debt settlement/debt relief services and should I use them?
  3. Federal Trade Commission: Coping with Debt
  4. Better Business Bureau: Freedom Debt Relief
  5. Better Business Bureau: National Debt Relief

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

  • I would like to consider Freedom Debt Relief….for consolidating my debt….
    It sounds like what I need.

  • Hi there,
    I been trying to pay my debt for more than four years, but nothing changed, instead it increases compared to last two years. Thanks for your time.
    Fatima

  • I will like to know who did you use.

  • This article really helps because I was debating who to use to consolidate my bills. I guess I did make the right choice after all.

    • Who did you use?

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