Freedom Debt Relief vs National Debt Relief

Jenna Vasquez
Jenna Vasquez | Contributor

Freedom Debt Relief and National Debt Relief are two top companies in the debt relief industry. Both service about 40 states across the United States and hold a number of industry accreditations to support their legitimacy. 

Both have a minimum debt requirement of $7,500. This means that if you owe a smaller amount of debt than this to a credit card company or other creditor, neither of these companies will be able to take your case. 

The two companies’ differences lie mainly in their pricing and state availability, which is detailed more thoroughly below.

Freedom Debt Relief logo verified_user
#1 Freedom Debt Relief
9.9 Overall Score
4.7
star star star star star_half
(14,607)
National Debt Relief logo verified_user
#3 National Debt Relief
8.0 Overall Score
4.5
star star star star star_half
(1,089)

Overview

Freedom Debt Relief

Cost

15-25% of Debt

Setup Fee

None

Interest Rate

N/A

Minimum Debt Requirement

$7,500

Time in Business

19 Years

National Debt Relief

18-25% of Debt

None

N/A

$7,500

12 Years

Ratings

Freedom Debt Relief

Overall Score
9.9 of 10
Review Score
4.7
star star star star star_half
Value for Money
4.5
star star star star star_half
Quality of Product or Service
4.6
star star star star star_half
Company Trustworthiness
4.6
star star star star star_half
Likely to Recommend
9.1 of 10

National Debt Relief

8.0 of 10
4.5
star star star star star_half
4.3
star star star star star_half
4.4
star star star star star_half
4.4
star star star star star_half
8.6 of 10

Reviews

Freedom Debt Relief

Number of Reviews
14,607
Review Breakdown
4.7
star star star star star_half
5 star
81%
4 star
12%
3 star
3%
2 star
1%
1 star
2%

National Debt Relief

1,089
4.5
star star star star star_half
5 star
72%
4 star
14%
3 star
6%
2 star
2%
1 star
6%

Reviews for Freedom Debt Relief

Helpful Favorable Review

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Review Source

star star star star star

Judi Spencer Cordova, MD

Freedom Debt Relief has been a godsend to me! I had just been through a bad divorce and a horrendous car accident and they have had me back since I joined. Praise God for them! Even when things came up and I had to skip a payment it was no problem, they completely understood and I have paid what I could when I could and got right back on schedule. I don't know any company that does that but they do and did for me!

2 days ago

Helpful Critical Review

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Review Source

star star star_border star_border star_border

Patricia Wallace Pittsfield, MA

At first I was happy with the program, but quickly discovered that my credit score plummeted. I also realized that with all of the fees Freedom collects, I really wasn't saving ANY money at all. There was one debt they could not settle for me, so I am paying the entire amount AND was threatened by the lender with legal action. Now my payments with Freedom have been extended for longer than originally planned. If I had to do it all again, I wouldn't. I would have tried to negotiate my debts with the lenders on my own.

6 days ago

Reviews for National Debt Relief

Helpful Favorable Review

check_circle

Review Source

star star star star star

Maryellen Rowley Gibbstown, NJ

Very professional staff. They treat you with respect and explain the plan clearly and consistently carry it out. No surprises. I honestly didn’t expect all to go as well as it has. I’m very impressed and pleased.

3 days ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star star_border star_border star_border

Aleli Quintos Las Vegas, NV

I am not happy with the way my debt situation is handled. For 3 mos they took money from me, when I checked my account had $7000 sitting there and nothing has been done. They only started calling the debtors when I complained. It’s like they prolong the case so you have to pay more.

4 months ago

The Final Word

Company Experience and Expertise (Winner: Freedom Debt Relief) 

Freedom Debt Relief has been in business since 2002, while National Debt Relief started offering its services in 2009. Thus, Freedom’s team has seven extra years of experience over National Debt’s. 

Both companies are members of the AFCC, and Freedom Debt is even a founding member. 

User Experience (Winner: Freedom Debt Relief)

User experience is determined using sentiment from customer reviews and by evaluating ease of website use. To start, Freedom Debt has over 14,000 positive user reviews on BestCompany.com and also offers a user-friendly client dashboard that customers love. For these reasons, it wins the user experience category.

State Availability (Winner: National Debt Relief)

National Debt Relief offers its services in 41 states and territories, while Freedom Debt operates in about 75 percent of the country, or around 38–40 states. 

National Debt Relief also wins this category because it more clearly communicates the states in which it does not offer its services: Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, and West Virginia. 

We cannot find a list of the states not serviced by Freedom Debt Relief, and we would like to see more transparency here so that potential clients can quickly determine if FDR services their state or not.

Cost (Winner: Freedom Debt Relief)

The range of enrolled debt that FDR typically charges for its services is between 15 and 25 percent, while the range for National Debt Relief ranges from 18 to 25 percent. Thus, Freedom Debt wins this category because its minimum cost runs slightly lower than that of National Debt.

However, in general, both companies average charging between 20 and 22 percent of total debt, so they are also fairly equal in this category.

Minimum Debt Requirement (Winner: Tie)

Both Freedom Debt and National Debt have minimum debt requirements of $7,500. However, National Debt Relief does include a section on its website of previous cases it has settled, and some of the enrolled amounts are smaller than $7,500, so there may be exceptions to its rule.

We recommend scheduling a free consultation with one or both companies and communicating how much debt you are hoping to enroll, so the company can determine if you are eligible for its services or not.

Freedom Debt Relief vs. National Debt Relief: Which Is Better?

We are very impressed with both Freedom Debt Relief and National Debt Relief. Both have hundreds of positive customer reviews, both hold industry accreditations, and both offer services to the majority of the United States.

While National Debt Relief is a little more clear on its state availability, it has less overall reviews than Freedom Debt Relief and its costs start out a little higher than Freedom’s (18 percent vs 15 percent). 

We also prefer Freedom Debt Relief’s user experience and recognize its longer time in business has given the company more time to establish a positive reputation and relationship with clients. 

For these reasons, our top pick in this comparison is Freedom Debt Relief, but we also recommend National Debt Relief if it operates in your state and you feel confident after your initial consultation.

Top Choice

Freedom Debt Relief Logo
Freedom Debt Relief

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a debt relief program?

Debt relief can come in two main forms: debt settlement or debt consolidation. 

With debt settlement, you work with a debt relief company that negotiates with your creditors on your behalf to settle your debts for less than you owe. You then pay the debt relief company settlement fees, and pay off your debt once a settlement amount has been agreed upon.

With debt consolidation, you receive a loan from a debt consolidation loan company that allows you to pay off your existing debt. Then, because of your loan, you are now in debt to the loan company, but you can now focus all of your energy to pay off that loan, rather than paying off multiple creditors at once. 

This option does not reduce the total amount of debt you owe, but rather just consolidates it in one place so that it is easier to keep track of.

How does Freedom Debt Relief work?

Freedom Debt Relief doesn't charge an upfront fee or any other fees until after debt is settled with creditors. This practice is standard for the industry. Debt relief companies, like National Debt Relief and Pacific Debt, also do not have upfront fees.

Upon enrollment, customers will open an FDIC-insured bank account that the client controls. Clients will put all of their money that would have gone toward paying their debt into this bank account instead. This is the main reason why this program hurts your credit score more than debt consolidation.

Next, FDR or its representatives or agents will negotiate with your creditors to settle on debt to pay.

Freedom Debt Relief makes money by charging fees on the enrolled debt amount. Its average fees are a bit high (around 22 percent fees on enrolled debt), but its services are thorough.

The company's ability to help clients find an easier road to financial freedom and paying off debt is highly valuable.

How does National Debt Relief work?

The debt settlement program or settlement process at National Debt Relief is three-way; it involves the debtor (you), the settlement company, and the creditors.

With NDR, customers can expect to settle any type of unsecured debt (student loan debt, medical debt, credit card debt, etc.). Unsecured debt does not have any property attached to it as collateral (such as home loan debt or car loan debt).

It is important for customers to carefully monitor their credit score and credit report. Note that the nature of debt settlement will involve moderate to heavy penalties on your credit score.

Debt settlement companies generally have clients stop making payments so that the lenders become more willing to start debt negotiation. Stopping to make even minimum payments will affect your credit.

Instead, clients pay money into a savings account each month. The money in the account will be used in the settlement agreements with creditors. Once the debt is settled, the client's credit report will show that the debts were settled, not paid in full.

The challenge for the settlement company is to weigh the debtors present and future financial situation against the patience and requirements of the creditors. The fact that NDR is generally providing quality customer service while navigating the testy relationship between the creditors and debtors is significant.

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