No. 1 in Financial Services

Debt Free Associates
12,376.2% Three-Year Growth
Revenue: $26.2 Million
Employees: 46
CEO: Bradley Smith
Founded: 2006
Overall RANK: No. 7
Oklahoma City

Back in 2005, Bradley Smith gathered up a bunch of his smartest friends, all of whom worked in the financial services field, and took them out to lunch. The topic of the day was: What's going to be the next big economic wave? Smith, who had been a stockbroker, wanted some ideas for a new business. At that informal roundtable, he and his friends discussed things like college students who could get $70,000 loans and unemployed people who were piling up thousands of dollars in credit card debt. In other words, Americans were living beyond their means, and there was going to be a price to pay. The group concluded that the next big thing in finance was going to be debt and how to help get people out of it. Smith and three partners founded Debt Free Associates, which helps some 5,000 consumers either negotiate lower interest rates or arrange debt settlements with their creditors, for a fee.