Hi. Decisions can be tough when the money will only go so far. But at such points, be careful, doubly conservative, and step back.
Either choice is NO guarantee for success of any kind.
A "freelance editorial" choice could be a huge and expensive mistake. For one, many "freelance editors" will simply red-pen your every line, sometimes with "another choice" even when your original choice is really fine. And beware of anyone who would edit a partial work because, in my humble opinion, it is very difficult to "polish-edit" a partial before you know what the whole looks like. (Developmental Editors or critique groups can, however, point at the holes or questions or weaknesses along the way.) So if you're going to go with an editor, I strongly suggest a developmental editor who looks at the whole of your story first and only then goes back to focusing on the details of "polishing."
There are a few "freelance editorial services" out there that will give you a few page "sampler" and/or provide you with a sample edit of your first pages for a low enough price. This might be advisable even though, again, it is not a complete look, it gives you an idea what working with that editor is going to be like.
Personally, I believe strongly that having really sharp (and correctly matched to the work) critique partners, first with developmental, and later with polishing (possibly not the same people) is the tried and true method of getting your novel ready. A "freelance editor" may look like "the way" but it may just end up with a LOT of rewriting on your part and even a chopped up work.
There is often a HUGE difference in a professional editing/editors by an agent-editor and or publisher's editors than many "freelance editors," which is not to put them down, but it's a marketplace still strewn with pros and not-so-pros walking and talking like they are pros, and for a pretty penny at that. BE CAREFUL.
If you are looking at working with a professional freelance editor over a MFA, and it will be an ongoing back-and-forth, evolving working relationship, and you are SURE this is a pro, and you are compatible match, and you have had a test page edit, and you are aware it won't get you in anyone's door, and you have the money, you can afford to consider it. But don't spend your ONLY money and no loans. The critique group may not seem as "professional" but you can find professional level help in them: Good critique groups and partners DO HELP. They DO GET work agent/publisher ready. They may be harder to find, but they are worth it. The payback is in kind. You get to devote your talent and skills towards their work too. Both sides of these efforts makes you a better writer.
Re conferences: If you can afford a more expensive conference, by all means go. But if you can't, wait on it. It may not feel as glamorous, but do not discredit local, smaller, nearer, more affordable writing conferences. You will still benefit, meet people, make connections, learn. Just be a little more careful of professional opportunists on the smaller level, since they may not have organizers, often local writers or literary supporting groups, that are not able to screen their experts as well as the big conferences where there is little chance of bad eggs in the panel crowd. (Unfortunately, it is not unheard of to meet an occasional "pro" at a smaller conference who is "religious" or "very sympathetic" and gives you a "free" or "discounted" opinion and then comes in for the (big money) kill. Run if you meet such a person.)
I know, the road towards getting your work out there is tedious and slow, but it is what it is. Be careful with yourself along the way not to let anyone or any dangling expensive thing seduce you that the path can be made more certain. It can't. You can polish, grow as a writer, and put your work out there. But there are no guarantees. You could be Shakespeare in the closet and in this time of publishing, still overlooked.
Enjoy your writing. Most of all, DO NO HARM TO YOURSELF. That includes, don't spend money you don't have.
(BTW, a writing coach (someone who keeps you moving forward past your own obstacles, getting words on the page and putting the work out there), not to assess your work but to keep you motivated can be affordable and helpful. There are many available to work with you via email and/or once or twice a month meetings for very reasonable costs like $30. or $55. a month. No need to use anyone much more pricey than that. It can be an occasional treat and or good idea during a bleak spell.)