Is Golden Financial Services Legit? Reviews and Complaints Reveal What You Need To Know!
Golden Financial Services (GFS) is a Trusted Company Reviews Accredited and Top-Rated debt relief and credit card relief company. The top 10 national debt relief reviews for 2021, including all national debt relief, settlement, and consolidation programs, rates Golden Financial Services as the #1 rated company in the nation.
GFS is a licensed and bonded debt management company. Review its Texas Debt Relief Program page to verify its debt management license. In addition, we checked with the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner and verified Golden Financial’s debt management registration number of 2000067863-218472. Their debt management license is active and in good standing as of 2022.
Golden Financial Services Reviews and Complaints
Reviews online about GFS illustrate mainly 5-star reviews with very few complaints. Golden Financial Services is also A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), 5-star rated on Google and Yelp. Golden Financial reviews below are from verified clients that have used the programs available through Golden Financial Services. Reviews illustrate many success cases and, for the most part, speak very highly of their programs.
What’s different about Golden Financial Services?
GFS has a unique infrastructure for its operations. Rather than having a single in-house debt settlement or consolidation program, the company is always offering the most innovative and cutting-edge options on the market. GFS strives to offer the best programs, not stagnant with only one in-house program as most companies offer. Consumers can count on getting the best results and choose from flexible payment options.
But it’s more than just having more options for consumers. Consumers can save more money going through Golden Financial Services. The company has pre-negotiated deals with all of the law firms and debt relief companies it works with, so consumers can pay less going through GFS on the same option that they could go to directly.
- GFS debt counselors provide the financial education consumers need to make informed choices
- Pay less going through GFS
- Choose from flexible payment options and plans
- Understand the downsides clearly
- Get an entire financial recovery plan from A-Z. No other company that our secret shoppers reported, offered a personalized program that included debt relief with credit repair, and all through an attorney and with legal protection.
- Paul Paquin, GFS’ CEO stated, “We’ve done the research, tested each option, and have the expertise to guide consumers onto the best path to achieving financial freedom.“
Clients get the best debt relief options and savings through GFS.
One of our secret shoppers went directly to a law firm GFS worked with and applied for the debt resolution program.
- The client had a total of $46,000 in credit card debt.
- The law firm offered this client a program to resolve all of the debt with a total savings of $13,300.
- This person then went to Golden Financial Services requesting the same attorney-based debt relief program and was approved for the program with a total debt reduction savings of $17,580.
When evaluating the debt resolution contract, the only difference in the program’s cost was in “fees.” We were able to verify that going through Golden Financial Services; the consumer could pay $4,280 less in fees (i.e., extra savings).
We verified similar results in over twenty-five secret shopper cases. When digging deeper, GFS’ management team did send an email explaining that “GFS consumers will save more money on any debt relief programs available due to the negotiated agreements GFS has worked out on behalf of its customers.” It’s part of their deal that they have with partners, offering business to its partners but in exchange for extra savings for the consumer, making it mutually beneficial for all.
More Benefits of Using Golden Financial Services for Debt Relief, Settlement, and Consolidation
The best highlight about GFS is their industry-leading debt counselors. Its debt counselors are highly recommended online and act as fiduciary for consumers when they need help with debt. Consumers can get a free consultation from a financial expert, getting valuable insight and guidance that they can trust.
Take, for example, Concepcion Gutierrez, one of GFS’ senior debt counselors. After digging deep to learn about her past, we found Mrs. Gutierrez had multiple certifications for consumer credit counseling, NFCC, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and many more certifications over the years that she received. She worked on all sides of the debt relief industry, including experience working directly for a bank, collection agency, and debt settlement companies.
GFS counselors provide free debt consultations to the public, giving consumers life-changing and free financial advice. The consultations aim to provide financial education, not pressuring consumers into a debt settlement program. We found this trait most valuable about GFS.
In fact, in many cases, consumers won’t qualify for debt relief but will end up getting the help they need through free financial education and tools, such as GFS’ free debt snowball calculator.
GFS gives consumers the information they need to get out of debt, save money and improve credit scores, whether it’s through a program, on their own, or in many cases they just need options.
And only when consumers qualify can they get placed in the program of their choice.
Transparency at the Highest Level
GFS counselors are transparent and make sure consumers understand all options, including the pros and cons that come with each program. In addition, the counselors are comprehensive about downsides and how potential obstacles are dealt with, according to Secret Shoppers when Trusted Company Reviews did its investigations.
Not many companies talk more about the downsides than the upsides. But most of the secret shopper reports illustrate GFS speaking the majority of the time about the downsides.
Rick Sorrentino, a counselor at GFS, stated, “It’s easy to talk about the savings and benefits of debt settlement, but many companies shy away from talking about the downsides because they are not prepared to deal with these downsides. GFS programs are all fully equipped to deal with any potential downsides, including lawsuit protection and credit repair.”
Compare two doctors:
Doctor one: Think of a doctor that only tells a patient about the benefits of a medicine, failing to disclose potential downsides. You then find out this doctor gets paid attractive commissions every time they prescribe this particular medication.
Compare that to a specialist who thoroughly explains a medication’s potential side effects. This doctor also explains multiple options for his patient. The doctor explains the pros and cons of each medicine, ensuring the patient is fully informed.
The second doctor is the one most people would feel more comfortable using.
With debt relief programs, it’s the same. If a company has a plan in place to deal with a credit card lawsuit, it’s not a problem. But for a company that has no plan in place to deal with a credit card lawsuit, that could be a devastating problem. Likewise, suppose a company fails to discuss the potential negative effect a debt relief program can have on credit scores and has no plan to help consumers rebuild their credit. In that case, that’s a subpar company that probably has low ratings and many negative reviews.
Factors Considered When TCR Rates “The Top 10 Debt Relief Companies”
- companies with the most positive reviews at TCR
- companies that have the least amount of complaints on sites like the BBB, TCR, and Yelp (click to verify Golden Financial’s A+ BBB Rating)
- certifications, licensing, and accreditations
- how long a company has been in business
- how many programs a debt relief company offers, as one program is not for everyone (top companies need to have multiple options available)
- Most importantly, is the debt relief company transparent with customers, and does the company explain the potential dangers of each program?
About Golden Financial’s History
Golden Financial Services was incorporated in Florida in 2004 and was the first company to offer debt settlement in Florida. The company started as a debt settlement company and, over the years, quickly evolved into one of the largest national debt relief companies, now offering multiple plans to help consumers get out of debt.
BBB Review Golden Financial Services
Is Golden Financial Services BBB Accredited?
We did verify that over the first ten years of business GFS was accredited by the BBB. But then over the last decade, they stopped paying for accreditation, however, they have always remained A+ rated. We find it’s more commendable that they maintain that the A+BBB rating not being accredited, due to the fact that their A+ rating is solely based on time in business, number of successful client cases, and complaints. Golden Financial Services averages less than two complaints per year at the BBB. Golden Financial Services has always resolved any BBB complaints.
Their CEO responded to questions about why they are not BBB accredited saying: “Clients would always tell us ‘We know that you can pay for your A’ when we were accredited. “We put that argument to rest when we stopped paying for BBB accreditation but yet maintained an A+ rating.”
What Debt Relief Options Does Golden Financial Services Offer?
– debt validation
– consumer credit counseling
– debt consolidation for student loans
– attorney-based debt resolution and debt negotiation
– do-it-yourself debt relief options and free tools at the Golden Financial Services debt relief blog
– free financial education
One of the main reasons Trusted Company Reviews awarded golden Financial Services the top-rated debt relief company is because this company offers multiple debt relief options.
GFS’s certified counselors are passionate about educating consumers on their debt relief options and providing the best possible solution for each person’s needs, even if that means not using a program at all.
Each individual can pick the right plan for their specific financial needs and not feel pressured into the wrong program just because it’s all a company offers. Not only that, but GFS also prides itself on saving consumers money. The company strives to provide consumers with the lowest possible monthly payment.
Depending on the state consumers live in will determine what debt relief programs are available. For example, you can see New York’s debt relief programs are different from New Mexico’s debt relief options.
The debt counselors at GFS will provide each person with a free consultation, including a free credit report and score. From there, the counselors go through each debt relief program that a person qualifies for, or if they don’t qualify for any GFS, counselors will direct consumers to self-help free tools and articles on the blog.
One of the most popular free tools offered by GFS, according to customer reviews, is their debt snowball calculator.
Golden Financial Services Reviews
Not only is Golden Financial Services #1 rated for debt relief services on Trusted Company Reviews, but the company also has outstanding client reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Google, BBB, and ShopperApproved.com. In addition, the company is IAPDA Certified.
And in 2020, Golden Financial made the list at Inc.com for being one of the “Fastest Growing Companies in the Nation.”
Golden Financial Services has had less than two complaints at the BBB and an A+ rating since 2004.
The majority of other debt relief, settlement, and consolidation companies across the nation offer only one program. When a company provides a single debt relief option, consumers are more likely to get signed up for the wrong plan, leading to poor results and potentially ending in worse financial shape. This common malpractice gives debt relief companies and debt settlement law firms a “bad name.” Another massive benefit with Golden Financial Services is that they only offer plans which include some written guarantee and no up-front fees.
Is there a written guarantee with debt relief programs?
The attorney debt settlement program offered through Golden Financial Services includes an “assurance of performance,” similar to a guarantee. Still, in the “attorney world,” attorneys cannot say the word “guarantee.”
The debt validation plan Golden Financial offers includes a money-back guarantee.
Sign Up With Ease
Golden Financial Services has partnered with some of the top debt relief back-ends across the nation.
The Golden Financial Services debt calculator can figure out how much money a person can save on each debt relief plan within 60-seconds, making it fast and easy for consumers to learn their options and pick the program with the most savings.
Get Unbiassed Results
By having multiple debt relief programs under one company umbrella, this type of business infrastructure focuses on getting the consumer the best possible deal and eliminating discriminatory sales practices. Rather than debt relief companies competing against each other and every company reaching out and trying to grab as many customers as possible, at Golden Financial Services, its umbrella of companies all work together in a synergistically efficient manner that puts the consumer first. The focus is “which plan will save you the most.”
Get a Personalized Plan to Get Out Of Debt
Golden Financial Services is a one-stop shop for debt relief. Personalized plans help a person escape debt in the fastest possible time frame. You have the power to make a choice based on what suits you best at GoldenFS.org.
Whether a person needs to consolidate student loans or reduce credit card debt, Golden Financial Services can help a person do that and more. It’s common for one person to enroll in two different plans at Golden Financial to maximize their savings and efficiently address each type of debt.
Golden Financial Reviews Debt Relief Program Disclosures:
Interest rates: Maximum Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
Consumers pay 0% interest on all debt relief programs; remember, these programs are not the same as getting a loan – there is no interest.
With debt settlement, consumers can pay approximately 70% of their total debt, including fees, and complete the program in 24-48 months. Fees can range from 15-30 of the total debt enrolled, but the plans offered through Golden Financial Services are performances based, meaning no fees get charged until after results are achieved (i.e., each debt gets settled one by one).
Short-term personal loans
Golden Financial Services does not offer any short-term loans.
Affect on Credit Scores
Debt settlement and validation programs require consumers to stop making monthly payments to creditors, resulting in accounts eventually getting charged off and sold to collection agencies. However, late marks and collections can remain on credit reports after settling and paying each debt.
After a debt is reduced and the balance paid in full, the savings is considered taxable income by the IRS. Therefore, the IRS requires a person to pay taxes on the savings from a debt settlement. However, if a person has a legitimate financial hardship and is not solvent, this tax debt can get eliminated by filling out certain IRS tax forms. Refer to a licensed accountant for more information about eliminating tax debt resulting from a “settled debt.”
Not all clients finish.
Not all clients complete the debt relief programs through Golden Financial Services due to various reasons, such as some may not be able to afford to make all of their scheduled payments.
Balances can grow before getting settled.
With any debt settlement program, credit cards don’t get paid monthly. Therefore late fees and interest can grow balances before each debt gets settled. In addition, if a person cancels their program before finishing the plan, they could end up with more debt.
Creditors can sue
There are cases where creditors issue clients a summons to go to court, and if ignored, this summons could result in a default judgment. Golden Financial Services anticipates this potential downside and proactively sets clients up with an experienced law firm dealing with potential lawsuits. As a result, a summons gets settled before the court date, and in the end, clients still will make it through the program successfully.
There is NO guarantee that creditors will settle
No settlement company can guarantee creditors will settle at a certain percentage or settle at all, but in most cases, creditors will settle all of the debts that get enrolled into the program. Companies like Golden Financial Services quote clients conservatively based on the prior year’s results, so in the end, they perform better than expected and keep clients happy with the results. Any extra savings go directly back to the client, as the debt settlement company never drafts these funds.
FDIC Trust Account or Special Savings Account
With a debt settlement program, monthly payments are deposited into the client’s special purpose savings account. This is where monthly payments go and accumulate. As the funds accumulate and the savings account balance grows, that’s when negotiators start working towards settling a debt. Clients must approve of a settlement before funds get released. Clients remain in complete control of this money until they agree to pay off a debt, and only after a debt gets settled and paid does the settlement company earn their fee. Any extra savings will go directly back to the client and not the settlement company’s fees.
Student Loan Consolidation Disclosures
GFS offers a program to assist consumers with Federal Student Loans. Consumers can consolidate their loans independently or hire a debt relief company to do this for them. GFS will consolidate student loan debt for the client and get them on an affordable income-based repayment plan.
GFS will file all of the appropriate documentation annually to recertify for the clients and communicate with creditors for the clients. For many students across the nation, consolidating and maintaining an affordable monthly payment, along with making sure they get loan forgiveness at the appropriate time, is just all too overwhelming. For that reason, GFS’s student loan relief program can be a Blessing for many.
GFS is not affiliated with the government or federal student loan servicers.
Debt validation program disclosures
Validation programs come with many of the same downsides as debt settlement, but some differences exist. For example, if an account is invalidated, there are no tax consequences, and the debt can no longer legally remain on credit reports. However, to qualify for a validation program, consumers need to stop paying on their accounts, resulting in an adverse effect on credit and potential lawsuits. The program offered through GFS ensures if any downsides occur, a solution is in place to deal with it. For example, if a creditor issues a client a summons, the client is fully refunded on the account and referred to a settlement law firm to help them resolve the debt. In addition, if an account is invalidated, free credit repair is included then to dispute the debt from the consumer’s credit.
What type of debt qualifies on Golden Financial’s debt relief programs?
No single program addresses all types of debts.
For example, consumer credit counseling only addresses credit card debt.
The federal student loan relief program addresses federal student loans.
Private student loan debt can get settled for less than the total amount or refinanced at a lower interest rate.
Unsecured personal loans and credit cards can get settled or included in a debt validation program, which disputes each account.
Golden Financial Services can tailor the right combination of debt relief options to address a person’s entire unsecured debt situation.
At Trusted Company Reviews, we’ve not been able to find any other company in the nation that offers debt settlement, debt validation, debt consolidation, and consumer credit counseling.
Plans even come with a money-back guarantee, really setting Golden Financial Services above the others.
Full Disclosure Debt Relief Company
Consumers can benefit from Golden Financial’s programs in different ways. Ultimately, their programs focus on eliminating debt, addressing derogatory credit information, and providing immediate savings for their clients. However, another benefit of using Golden Financial Services is that potential clients get fully educated on the downsides associated with each debt relief program. This type of transparency is essential because clients better understand what they’re getting into and prepare for financial recovery. Golden Financial Services makes it a point to fully explain the negatives and then assist clients with credit recovery and financially starting fresh. Again, they even go that extra mile by making sure credit repair is included in specific plans for no additional cost.
Most complaints against a debt relief company are related to either:
- a salesperson misleading a consumer and not fully informing them about a debt relief program before approving them for one
- failure to perform debt relief services and to charge up-front fees
- putting a consumer in the wrong program, just because that’s the only program the company offers and salespeople would rather not lose a client (see, most debt relief companies will use sales representatives on the frontline, enrolling clients into the debt relief program)
How Golden Financial Services is different:
- plans offer a money-back-guarantee
- attorney backed plans provide an assurance of performance, which is similar to a guarantee
- The company discloses the negative side to each debt relief program online, inside each program agreement, and verbally through a compliance call.
- the company uses IAPDA certified and accredited debt counselors on the frontline, properly educating and qualifying consumers for the right debt relief program
After interviewing 105 Golden Financial Services clients, here are the results:
— Two out of Three Golden Financial Services clients had their debt resolved and credit repaired within a 3-year program.
— 98% of their customers were happy with the results.
— About 35% of the same clients had student loan debt and credit card debt (multiple debts) resolved inside of their one monthly payment, even though the student loan relief and credit card relief programs are different programs. Their state-of-the-art technology and algorithm make it easy for clients to manage their monthly payments.
It is also important to note that out of 2,500+ debt relief companies listed on our review boards; Golden Financial Services provided the highest number of clients for us to call and had the least amount of customer complaints.
Another difference with Golden Financial Services, compared to other debt relief companies, is that they solidified partnerships with some of the leading credit repair businesses in the nation.
Credit repair is considered a separate program with a separate fee, but it’s all-inclusive at Golden Financial Services on a few of their plans.
For specific details, it’s best to call Golden Financial Services at 1-866-376-9846.
Debt Relief, Settlement and Consolidation Company Reviews
At Trusted Company Reviews; debt relief, settlement, and consolidation company reviews are based on a company’s:
- Better Business Bureau Rating (ranging from A->F) & Number of Complaints: a debt relief company with unresolved complaints is one that you want to avoid.
- Experience: How long has the company been in business? Reputable debt relief companies need at least five years in business.
- Transparency: Does their website provide detailed information?
- Disclosures: Does their website illustrate clear disclosures?
- Range of products: Do they offer multiple debt relief options? (with debt relief, one shoe size does not fit all!)
- Accreditations and Certifications: (i.e., IAPDA, BBB, licensed non-profit)
- Complaints Online: Does the company have complaints on the BBB and bad reviews on Yelp?
- Fees: If a loan company, how are their interest rates? If a debt settlement company, are they charging high upfront fees?