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?
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
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:
- New York
How do I get started?
Fill out Guardian’s contact form by following these five steps:
- Visit Guardian Debt Relief’s website and click See your debt relief options.
- Select the amount of debt you want to settle and state.
- Enter your full name, email and phone number.
- 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.