Americans' insatiable appetite for credit - and the resulting debt - is creating expansion opportunities for financial-counseling firms.
And the Valley could benefit with new jobs.
Freedom Financial Network, a debt-resolution and consumer-education firm, said it plans to add more than 100 workers at its Tempe office, which currently boasts roughly 50 employees.
"We could be at 200 (in Tempe) within the next 12 to 18 months," said Brad Stroh, co-chief executive officer.
The private firm, based in San Mateo, Calif., recently passed the 250-employee count, including those who work at its Sacramento office.
Freedom Financial said it expects to double the number of its employees on the payroll to more than 500 workers by the end of 2008.
The company said it expects its revenue to jump 150 percent to more than $40 million in 2007 as more people seek help with their finances because of high debt loads and the subprime-mortgage crunch.
"With uncertainty about the future of housing prices, the high cost of oil and record hikes in health care and higher-education costs, many people are on the precipice of financial disaster," said Stroh.
"For those in debt, now is the time to tackle it."
Freedom Financial opened its Tempe office during the spring of 2006 with four employees. The firm occupies 18,000 square feet at 4545 S. Wendler Dr.
Stroh said the company chose the Valley based on the availability of talented employees in the area plus a modest cost of living and other factors.
The company provides services in five main areas: debt relief, tax relief, student loans, mortgages and its Bills.com educational Web site.
As a general rule, Stroh said the company is seeking college graduates with five to 10 years of experience, preferably in financial services.