Money Health

ASU Study: Freedom Debt Relief Clients Are 24% More Financially Healthy

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Do you get a feeling of dread every time you get a credit card bill? You’re not alone. Many Americans are dealing with the same financial stress. But if you find yourself worrying about money more and more, it could be a sign that it’s time to commit to improving your financial health.

Being financially healthy means you can:

  • Cover an unexpected expense without a credit card or loan
  • Have a realistic action plan to achieve financial goals like buying a house or car
  • Maintain a budget and spend less than you make each month
  • Feel confident about your financial abilities

There are some simple ways to start improving your financial health, such as creating a budget and cutting back on unnecessary expenses. But if you’re struggling with heavy credit card debt, getting financial healthy may not be possible until you put that debt behind you.

The Freedom Debt Relief program was designed to help people do just that. In fact, a recent study proves that Freedom Debt Relief improves our clients’ financial health.

In late 2018, the L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University compared current and former Freedom Debt Relief clients to people who qualify for Freedom Debt Relief but did not enroll. In this study, they used an assessment called the Financial Capability Scale to measure each group’s financial health.

The study found that both current and former clients who used our program to get out of debt were more financially capable and healthy than people who could have enrolled in our program—but chose not to.


Freedom Debt Relief graduates reported being 24% more financially healthy and capable than people who never signed up for our program. Compared to folks who didn’t sign up for Freedom Debt Relief, our graduates stated they were:

  • 13% more likely to have a budget or personal spending plan
  • 17% more confident in their ability to achieve a financial goal they set for themselves
  • 19% more likely to have automatic transfers into a savings account
  • 25% more likely to say that their monthly income was higher than their monthly expenses
  • 45% less likely to have been charged a late fee on a loan or bill in the past 2 months

Freedom Debt Relief does more than help people get out of debt, reduce stress, and sleep better at night. By educating our clients about their finances and encouraging them to save money and make smart financial decisions, we also help them gain stronger financial footing.

However, our program may not be right for everyone. So if you want to start improving your financial health without our help, here are some smart steps you could take to get your finances on track:

  1. Assess Your Financial Situation
    Having a full picture of your current situation is the best way to start taking control of your finances. Sit down and look over all of your bills, bank statements, and paystubs to figure out how much debt you have, how much you’re making each month, and where you are spending that money.
  2. Start Budgeting
    Once you understand your financial situation, it’s time to start tracking your income and expenses. A budget helps ensure that you are you are not overspending, and it could help keep you focused on your long-term financial goals, like paying off debt or saving for a house.
  3. Make More Than the Minimum Payments
    Making minimum payments on your debt could end up costing you thousands of dollars in interest by the time you pay it off. Instead of just paying the minimum, consider making additional payments on your debt so that you save money and get out of debt sooner.
  4. Reach Out for Help
    If you’re dealing with heavy debt and struggling to make your payments, it may be time to get debt help. Credit counseling, debt consolidation, and debt settlement are all options that could help you solve your debt problem. Read more about how to get out of debt to learn about these solutions and find out which one is right for you.

John Russo is a Creative Manager at Freedom Financial Network. His goal is to make the world of personal finance more accessible so that everyday people can find the right financial solutions for themselves. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, reading pretty much anything, and spending time with his fiancée and two cats.