Is Guardian debt relief legit? April 2019 review | finder.com

Guardian Debt Relief review

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Guardian Debt Relief

Settle your debt with a professional negotiator, no upfront costs and a flat fee in 17 states.

Guardian Debt Relief offers a five-step program to consolidate and negotiate your existing debt. It focuses on unsecured debt like credit cards, medical bills, utility bills and private student loans. But its services are available in 17 states only.

Guardian debt relief details

  • Free consultation. Complete a form online to be contacted by a specialist to discuss your options.
  • Costs. No upfront fees; 20% fee after successfully negotiation on an account.
    Types of debt accepted. Credit card debt, medical bills, utility bills, private student loans and other unsecured debt.
  • Services offered.Debt settlement, debt negotiation, debt consolidation and financial education.
  • Minimum debt considered. $7,500 in unsecured debt with proof of financial hardship. Typical turnaround. 2 years to 3 years, though varies by customer.
  • Ratings, accreditation and memberships. Accredited by BBB with an A+; 8.3 Trustpilot score with 92% positive reviews. AFCC membership, IAPDA accreditation and SURE compliant.
  • Direct or third-party negotiations. Direct, in-house negotiations.
  • Service limitations. Available in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
  • Free resources or tools. Wide-ranging blog topics.
  • Customer service. Phone, email and live chat.
  • Other details. Guardian does not charge any fees unless it successfully lowers your enrolled debt.

How much does Guardian Debt Relief cost?

Guardian doesn’t charge upfront fees. Instead, it charges a fee equal to 20% of your original debt after successfully settling each account in the program.

Say that Guardian successfully negotiates a debt of $7,500 to a lower $3,500. Factoring in Guardian’s 20% fee — or $1,400 — you’d end up paying $4,900, or 70 percent of the debt you started with.

How much can I save with Guardian Debt Relief?

Guardian boasts that its debt negotiators are typically able to settle accounts for 40% to 60% of their original balance, helping clients to realize average savings of 20% to 40% after settlement fees.

You’ll also save time and energy with Guardian. Guardian consolidates your multiple debts into one monthly payment, completing its debt negotiations and repayments in 2 years to 3 years. Note that your actual savings depend on the types of debts and balances you carry.

What are the pros and cons of Guardian Debt Relief?

Pros

  • No upfront fees. You pay a 20% fee after Guardian successfully settles each account’s debt.
  • Flexible repayments. How much you pay depends on the monthly payment schedule you help create.
  • Accredited and certified. Guardian is accredited by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators and hires certified specialists for its team.

Cons

  • Affects your credit. Your settled debt will likely show on your credit report, resulting in a lower credit score.
  • Potential taxation. You may need to pay taxes on the the money you saved on settled debts.
  • Limited availability. For Guardian to help, you must live in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, DC, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Virginia or Washington.

Compare other debt relief providers

Updated April 20th, 2019
Name Product Costs Requirements
Monthly payment based on enrolled debt, no upfront fees
Must have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt and live in a serviced state.
Freedom Debt Relief is a debt settlement company that works to help people with unmanageable, unsecured debt get back on their feet.
18–25% of total enrolled debt
Must have a legitimate financial hardship which is preventing the ability to pay creditors and a minimum of $7,500 in debt.
Get back on your feet with a top-rated debt relief company that works with multiple types of debt.
Fees regulated by client's state of residence, can range from
$0 to $69 with an average monthly fee of $35. No upfront or contingency fees.
Debt must not be payday loans or secured loans.
This debt settlement alternative can help you find a path to financial freedom.
20% of enrolled debt or less, no upfront fees.
Must have verifiable income and more than $10,000 in unsecured debt or tax debt — excluding payday loans.
This company claims to significantly reduce your consumer and tax debt.
Charges and fees vary by the company you're ultimately connected with
Must be at least 18 years old and a legal US resident; additional terms may apply based on services and products used.
This A+ BBB-rated service offers free consultations to lower your monthly payments help you get out of debt faster.

Compare up to 4 providers

What is Guardian Debt Relief?

Based in New York, Guardian Debt Relief offers debt negotiation services designed to guide clients out of debt in five steps:

  1. Free debt analysis. Call or email to learn whether a Guardian specialist can help with your debts.
  2. Establish a repayment plan. A specialist works with you to create a monthly repayment schedule for your debts that’s less than your current minimums.
  3. Negotiate your debts. Guardian works with your creditors to negotiate lower account balances.
  4. Learn about successes. You’re notified each time a creditor successfully accepts Guardian’s offer.
  5. Creditors report to the bureaus. After each debt is paid, your creditors will report your zero balance to the credit bureaus — one step closer to financial health.

What does the Internet say about Guardian Debt Relief?

In the six years its been in business, Guardian has earned an A+ from the BBB and an 8.3 Trustpilot score with 92% positive reviews.

Positive reviews outweigh negative reviews online. Clients praise Guardian’s easy, streamlined process to get out of debt with little to no direct effort on their part.

Common complaints cite unsuccessful negotiations with select creditors. Some potential clients say that Guardian representatives were pushy, emailing excessively to determine interest.

Your mileage with this debt negotiation company may vary.

Is it safe to use Guardian Debt Relief?

Yes. Guardian is a member of the American Fair Credit Council, is accredited by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators and complies with federal and state regulations.

How do I sign up with Guardian Debt Relief?

Apply for a free debt consultation by visiting Guardian’s homepage and completing the online form:

I’ve signed up. What happens next?

A Guardian specialist will assess your debt accounts and balances. If you’re a good fit for debt negotiation, you’ll continue working with your specialist to design a customized program that fits your situation.

You’ll agree to a monthly repayment schedule and the amount of money you’ll deposit into a new account for your negotiations. Guardian then contacts each of your creditors to negotiation your outstanding debt balances on your behalf.

You’ll authorize each settlement after Guardian successfully negotiates with your creditors, paying the full settlement amount and Guardian’s fees.

If you need help at any step of the process, contact customer support at 888-986-9939 or enroll@guardiandebtrelief.com. Or chat live with a representative online.

Bottom line

The highly rated Guardian Debt Relief may be able to negotiate your credit card debt, medical and utility bills, private student loans and other unsecured debt to more manageable amounts.

It’s among the few such services charging a predictable 20% flat fee on each successfully negotiated debt. But those fees can add up, eating into what Guardian’s able to save you. With a limited 17-state service area, you may not be eligible for its help in the first place.

If you aren’t eligible for Guardian Debt Relief, compare other debt negotiation companies to find the most affordable you’re eligible for.

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