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  4. National Debt Relief vs. Freedom Debt Relief

National Debt Relief vs. Freedom Debt Relief

Which debt settlement company is better for you?

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Freedom Debt Relief and National Debt Relief
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When your debt situation feels out of control, a debt settlement company can help make your finances more manageable. Debt settlement is a better option than bankruptcy, but it can take time to settle debts, become debt-free and rebuild your credit.

We’ve compared two popular debt settlement companies to help you decide which choice will be best for your debt situation. Both companies are accredited by the  American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) and work similarly, but there are a few differences to note before making your decision.

National Debt Relief or Freedom Debt Relief: Which is better?

We’ve compared the top features of National Debt Relief and Freedom Debt Relief. Both companies offer settlement services for unsecured debt with a similar fee structure and payoff period.

Determining which is the better debt settlement option for you depends on how much debt you have and if the company is available in your state. Reading reviews of both companies can also help you get a better idea of which company to choose.

National Debt ReliefNational Debt ReliefFreedom Debt ReliefFreedom Debt Relief
Minimum debt $10,000 $7,500
Types of debt covered Unsecured debt Unsecured debt
Program length 24 - 48 months 24 - 48 months
Fees 15% - 25% of enrolled debt 15% - 25% of enrolled debt
Availability Not disclosed; not available in all states 41 states
Read Reviews Read Reviews
All information accurate as of time of publication.

» MORE: Debt settlement vs debt consolidation

National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief has been around since 2009 and offers debt settlement services for individuals with a wide range of unsecured debt, including medical bills and repossessions.

The company offers a free consultation to help you choose which debt solution best fits your needs. You can then work with National Debt Relief’s experts for a customized plan that fits your budget. It says it can help you resolve your debt in 24 to 48 months.

If you have a minimum of $10,000 in debt, National Debt Relief can help you settle your debt. We recommend National Debt Relief for those who are already facing financial hardship and are behind on their bills.
National Debt Relief cannot help with every type of debt. It does not provide relief for the following debts:
  • Mortgage loans
  • Auto loans
  • Child support
  • Back taxes
  • Speeding tickets
  • Current litigation accounts
  • Non-sufficient funds (NSF) checks
  • Gambling debts
  • Cash advances
  • Car repair bills
  • Bail bonds

A few of our reviewers had a negative experience with National Debt Relief because they did not fully understand how the debt settlement process worked or that it would impact their credit.

One reviewer from Michigan was happy with National Debt Relief’s enrollment process but felt like things didn’t move well after signing up. “... As far as the communication, it’s not very good with my creditors, myself, and National Debt Relief. NDR said that they sent letters out to everybody, but nobody's gotten one yet.”

Since 2020, 97% of the reviews posted for National Debt Relief were a 4- or 5-star rating. It claims to have helped over 400,000 clients get out of debt.

A reviewer from Arkansas said their credit score dropped by 150 points when they first started working with National Debt Relief, but once the debt was settled, their credit started reporting as paying again. “Working with this company immediately reduced the money going out by $400 a month,” they said. “It also helped my credit score go back up.” (Note that a drop in your credit score is typical with debt settlement programs and not specific to National Debt Relief.)

Freedom Debt Relief

With a team of experts, including over 550 certified debt consultants and more than 200 debt negotiators, Freedom Debt Relief (FDR) can help clients with debt settlement, debt negotiation and debt consolidation. It claims to resolve over 31,000 accounts per month and can help clients resolve their enrolled debt in 24 to 48 months.

Potential customers can partake in a free debt consultation, and if they sign up, they will be able to track their debt settlement progress 24/7 on an online client dashboard.

Freedom Debt Relief is a good choice for individuals who have a wide range of debt that needs to be settled, since it also tackles business and private student loan debt on a case-by-case basis.

We also recommend Freedom Debt Relief if you don’t meet the $10,000 debt minimum other debt relief companies have. It takes clients with debt minimums starting at $7,500.

Freedom Debt Relief is not available in all states, including New Jersey. It cannot help you find relief for the following debts:
  • Mortgage loans
  • Auto loans
  • Debt involving collateral
  • Federal student loan

Freedom Debt Relief's fee structure was a pain point for a few reviewers. Unlike National Debt Relief, which has no upfront fees, with Freedom Debt Relief, you pay $9.95 upfront and once a month for a third-party dedicated account (which Freedom Debt Relief uses to make settlement payments). This is in addition to the fee of 15% to 25% of your enrolled debt — however, this fee does not need to be paid until a debt is settled and is determined by your state of residence.

One reviewer from Tennessee said, “Biggest financial mistake I have made. With their fee structure you get very little savings.”

Antonio from New Mexico was surprised to see that the debt settled was counted as extra income and affected their taxes. “For some not a big deal, for me, it sucked. It was the difference in paying or getting a refund.” (Note that tax implications are a consideration with any debt settlement and not specific to Freedom Debt Relief.)

Since 2020, 88% of the reviews posted for Freedom Debt Relief were a 4- or 5-star rating. According to the company, Freedom Debt Relief has helped over 850,000 customers and settled over $15 billion in debt since 2002. Reading through the company’s reviews, you will find that some clients were able to turn their lives around with Freedom Debt Relief’s help.

“This was one of the best decisions in my life!” said reviewer Anthony from New York. “Today, I only owe on my student loan, and my credit score has gone up over 200 points. My borrowing power has increased tenfold.”

Another reviewer from Indiana saw results after being a customer for 60 days, saying, “We have already saved $1500.00 on one of our collection debtors.”

How to choose a debt settlement company

Doug Carey, founder and president of WealthTrace, a retirement and financial planning software, shared the top factors to look for when comparing debt settlement companies.

  • Accreditation and licensing: Check if the company is accredited by a reputable organization like the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and licensed to operate in your state.
  • Experience: Look for a company that has been in the debt settlement industry for over a decade and has a proven track record of successfully negotiating and settling debts.
  • Customer service and reputation: Evaluate the quality of customer service offered by the company, including its responsiveness, availability and professionalism. The easiest way to do this is to read reviews and ratings from previous customers to get an idea of the company's reputation and level of customer satisfaction.

Additionally, Carey said, “Ensure that the company is transparent about its services, fees and the expected outcomes and adheres to all state and federal laws.”

» MORE: Do I need a debt settlement lawyer?

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    Are debt settlement companies like National Debt Relief and Freedom Debt Relief legitimate?

    Yes. Both National Debt Relief and Freedom Debt Relief are legitimate debt settlement companies and accredited members of recognized associations, such as the American Fair Credit Council and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators. It is important to note that both companies, along with most debt settlement companies, do not offer any guarantees or money-back refunds.

    How long does the debt settlement process typically take?

    The process length will vary depending on your debt load and how much you can contribute monthly to the settlement fund. The average time it takes an individual to complete a debt settlement program is between two and four years.

    Will enrolling in a debt settlement program negatively impact my credit score?

    Debt settlement can negatively impact your credit score, especially if your score is good to excellent before you enroll in the program. Debt settlement companies require you to prove financial hardship, which is done by halting payments to creditors. This will result in negative reports on your credit.

    Bottom line

    Is National Debt Relief or Freedom Debt Relief a better debt settlement company? The answer depends on your debt needs. Both companies can help you relieve your current debt burden and make paying off your credit cards and loans more manageable. Read through each company’s reviews and request a free consultation to better see which program you want to sign up for.

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