Your debt load is large and growing, and you’re having trouble even making your minimum payments. Somehow, things have gotten out of control.
So, it’s understandable that you’ve chosen debt settlement as your financial solution. After all, the strategy will likely enable you to settle your debts for less than what you owe and give you a fresh start.
The problem is you’ve been warned by friends about scams – and for good reason. The industry does have more than its share of unscrupulous characters who seek to rip people off, steal their personal information, or do something else unlawful.
However, you have been hearing positive buzz about Freedom Debt Relief (FDR), a 20-year-old debt settlement company that has helped hundreds of thousands of people pare their debt load and clear their obligations faster than they could by themselves.
But still you wonder: can Freedom Debt Relief be trusted? The answer is yes — but keep reading.
What is Debt Settlement?
It’s a strategy in which you enlist the help of a company such as FDR to negotiate with each of your creditors to try to get your debts settled for less than what you owe. The odds are in your favor since your creditors – typically credit card issuers – know you’re in financial trouble and would, well, rather get something than nothing.
How it works is, instead of paying your creditors directly, you’ll put money in a dedicated account for several months. While you’re saving up, your negotiators are in talks with your creditors on your behalf. Once you’ve saved a sufficient amount, settlements can be reached, agreed upon by you, and paid from your account. Only then do you pay the debt settlement company?
Debt Settlement Scams
Fortunately, there are red flags you can look for when it comes to debt settlement companies. Chief among them:
- The company asks for fees upfront, before any work is done on your behalf. Not only does this signal a scam, but it is illegal.
- The company guarantees it can erase your debts or slash them and within a time certain. While debt settlement is a proven strategy and is usually successful, negotiations are inherently unpredictable.
- The company won’t give you info about its services unless you give it financial data such as credit card account numbers and balances.
Freedom Debt Relief
So, what about FDR?
Is Freedom Debt Relief legitimate?
In fact, over the last two decades, FDR has serviced some 650,000 customers, settling north of $10 billion in debt, more than any other U.S. competitor. It simply wouldn’t have been around this long if it were a bad company.
Further, FDR is an accredited member of the American Fair Credit Council, which is the industry’s watchdog body. Members must pledge to adhere to its code of conduct and demonstrate required business practices, so that they can display the AFCC seal.
Arizona-based Freedom Debt Relief is also accredited by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators and has a coveted A+ rating with the BBB.
The kinds of debt the company helps with includes credit card, medical, personal loan, and department store. Having said that, debt settlement isn’t for everyone. Your Freedom Debt Relief representative, in a free consultation, will go over your options with you.
Ultimately, the company has a 20-year-old track record of success, so, yes, Freedom Debt Relief can be trusted. In fact, you can attribute its longevity to the fact that it checks all the boxes: accreditation, experience, excellent customer service, a digital presence with its progress-tracking Client Dashboard, and more.