Guardian Debt Relief review

Settle your debt with no upfront costs and a flat fee in 14 states.

Bottom line: A flat fee makes your payment predictable based on the amount of debt you enroll. How much you save will depend on what it can successfully negotiate. And you may not end up getting the best in terms of customer service.

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Guardian Debt Relief details

ServicesDebt settlement, debt negotiation, debt consolidation and financial education
Minimum debt$7,500 in unsecured debt with proof of financial hardship
Typical turnaround2 to 3 years
FeesDoes not charge any fees unless it successfully lowers your enrolled debt
Types of debt Credit card debt, medical bills, utility bills, private student loans, other unsecured debt
AccreditationsAFCC membership, IAPDA accreditation, SURE compliant
RatingsBBB: A+ and accredited, Trustpilot: 4.3/5
Free resources or toolsWide-ranging blog topics
Customer servicePhone, email, live chat

How does Guardian Debt Relief work?

When you enroll in Guardian Debt Relief’s program, it will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. You need to have at least $7,500 in unsecured debts to qualify.

The process requires you to make regular monthly payments toward an account, which means you will need to stop paying your creditors. This could have a negative impact to your credit score and leave you open to collection calls and potential lawsuits.

Settling your debts should take 24 to 48 months, although the exact length of your program will depend on how much you are able to save and your creditors’ willingness to negotiate.

How much does it cost?

Guardian doesn’t charge any upfront fees. Instead, you will be charged 20% of your enrolled debt after it reaches a settlement for your accounts. For example, if you enrolled into its program with $10,000 worth of unsecured debt, you would pay a $2,000 fee — regardless of how large your settlement is.

How much can I save with Guardian Debt Relief?

Guardian states that its debt negotiators are typically able to settle accounts for 40% to 60% of their original balance. After the settlement fees, this is an average savings of 20% to 40%.

Is Guardian Debt Relief legit?

Yes. Guardian is accredited by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) and complies with both federal and state regulations. Its website is encrypted to keep your information safe, and its privacy policy covers standard ways it collects and uses your personal information — including that it won’t sell any of your contact details without your consent.

What are the pros and cons of Guardian Debt Relief?

Guardian Debt Relief has a lower fee than other debt settlement companies, but it only works with a handful of states.


  • Lower starting debt requirement of $7,500
  • Accredited by the IAPDA
  • Relatively competitive 20% fee


  • Fee charged on enrolled debt, not settlement savings
  • Only available in 14 states
  • Potentially lapsed accreditation with the AFCC

Compare other debt relief providers

Explore your options by cost or requirements. Select the Go to site button for more information about a particular lender.

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Costs Requirements
Freedom Debt Relief
Monthly payment based on enrolled debt, no upfront fees
Must have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt, have a hardship is preventing the ability to pay creditors, and live in a serviced state.
Freedom Debt Relief works to help people with unmanageable, unsecured debt get back on their feet.
Accredited Debt Relief
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.
National Debt Relief
15–25% 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 company that works with multiple types of debt.

Compare up to 4 providers

Before you sign up with a debt relief company

Debt relief companies typically charge a percentage of a customer’s debt or a monthly program fee for their services. And not all companies are transparent about these costs or drawbacks that can negatively affect your credit score. Depending on the company you work with, you might pay other fees for third-party settlement services or setting up new accounts, which can leave you in a worse situation than when you signed up.

Consider alternatives before signing up with a debt relief company:

  • Payment extensions. Companies you owe may be willing to extend your payment due date or put you on a longer payment plan if you ask.
  • Nonprofit credit counseling. Look for free debt-management help from nonprofit organizations like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
  • Debt settlement. If you can manage to pay a portion of the bill, offer the collection agency a one-time payment as a settlement. Collection agencies are often willing to accept a lower payment on your debt to close the account.

Guardian Debt Relief reviews and complaints

There aren’t many reviews for Guardian’s service. It has a high rating on its Trustpilot page, but the most recent reviews are from before 2017. Its reviews on its BBB page are more recent but mixed. Some were pleased with the quality of customer service, while others stated that the fees and monthly payments were too high.

What is Guardian Debt Relief?

Based in New York, Guardian Debt Relief offers debt negotiation services. It has been accredited by the BBB since 2018, and is one of a handful of companies to charge a standard fee for its services.

However, it only works with people in Washington, DC and 14 states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

How do I get started?

Fill out Guardian’s contact form by following these five steps:

  1. Visit Guardian Debt Relief’s website and click See your debt relief options.
  2. Select the amount of debt you want to settle and state.
  3. Enter your full name, email and phone number.
  4. Click Get free quote.

A customer service representative will be in touch to discuss your options. You can also call Guardian’s customer service line to speak directly to a representative.

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.

After you get your program worked out, 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 aren’t eligible for Guardian Debt Relief, compare more debt relief options to find the most affordable way to deal with your debt.


Review by

Kellye Guinan was a financer writer for Finder, covering everything from loans from auto to personal to business finance.

Expert review

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 is one of the few services that charges a predictable 20% flat fee on each successfully negotiated debt.

But with a limited 14-state service area, you may not be eligible for its help in the first place. Even if you are eligible, those fees can add up, eating into what Guardian’s able to save you — though this is true for any debt relief service.

Before you sign up, compare quotes from multiple debt relief services to find the right option for you.

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