Golden Financial Services Review

Plans for most types of unsecured debt, but there are transparency issues

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Golden Financial Services

Golden Financial Services

overall rating
2.4

Our Take 

Golden Financial Services isn’t an active member of the two most reputable debt relief industry associations. It’s difficult to tell which services are offered directly versus brokered to one of its partners, and there are some transparency issues. Although Golden Financial Services has a long history of operations and it charges industry average fees, you would be better off choosing a different debt relief provider.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Spanish resources are available

  • Website contains free interactive tools

  • Typical fees of 17% to 20% are within the industry average

Cons
  • No live chat

  • Unclear how existing clients can get support

  • Website doesn’t include a client portal

Key Takeaways
  • Details aren’t clearly disclosed about the states where Golden Financial Services are unavailable.
  • You’ll need at least $7,500 in unsecured debt to qualify for its debt settlement program. 
  • Phone support isn’t available on Sundays.
  • The company’s website says it's accredited by the Association for Student Loan Relief, but this organization no longer exists.
  • We didn’t find evidence of any recent lawsuits by the government against Golden Financial Services at the state or federal level.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2004
  • Types of Debt Relief Unsecured consumer debt (e.g., credit cards, medical bills, collection accounts, personal loans)
  • Fees 17% to 20%
  • Average Repayment Period 24 to 48 months
  • Accreditations None
  • Minimum Debt $7,500
  • Official Website https://goldenfs.org/

Introduction

Golden Financial Services is a debt relief provider that offers debt relief services directly and indirectly through various partners. If you sign up for its debt settlement program, the company will work with your creditors to negotiate settlements on your behalf. Once a settlement has been agreed upon, you’ll pay a fee to Golden Financial Services (e.g., 17% to 20% of the total debt enrolled in the program) and the settlement amount to your creditor. This performance-based fee structure is typical for the debt settlement industry.

There’s no guarantee that your creditors will agree to settle, and your credit can be negatively affected by debt settlement for up to seven years. As such, it should only be viewed as a last resort after considering other debt relief options like nonprofit credit counseling or debt management plans.

Read on to learn more about the debt settlement program offered by Golden Financial Services.

Company Overview

Golden Financial Services was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Cornwall, New York. In addition to directly providing debt relief services, Golden Financial Services also refers potential clients to other debt relief providers with whom it has established partnerships. While there are some locations in the United States where Golden Financial Services isn’t able to offer services, details aren’t provided about which states are excluded from its program. 

The company’s website says that Golden Financial Services and its debt experts are certified by the IAPDA (International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators). However, the company isn’t shown on the IAPDA’s active lists of top companies and accredited service centers. Also, although Golden Financial Services includes a link to the IAPDA’s website, it appears as if the page is no longer active since you can’t use it to search for IAPDA members and Golden Financial Services doesn’t appear anywhere else on the IAPDA’s website. 

The company’s website says it is accredited by the Association for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR). However, the AFSLR is out of business, indicating that Golden Financial Service does not always provide up-to-date information on its website for potential customers.

In addition to making sure their debt counselors are certified by the IAPDA, many of the best debt relief companies are members of the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). Golden Financial Services is not a member of the AFCC. 

When searching for a debt settlement provider, look for companies that are members of the AFCC and the IAPDA, two of the most reputable professional associations in the industry. 

Although Golden Financial Services claims to be a debt relief company, it appears as if the company focuses primarily on providing referrals to its partners instead of offering debt settlement solutions in-house. However, the company isn’t fully transparent about this on its website, making it difficult to know which debt settlement services are offered directly versus referred to its partners. 

Our review didn’t uncover any recent government legal actions against Golden Financial Services at the state or federal level.

Debt Relief Options

Golden Financial Services can assist with most types of unsecured consumer debt including credit cards, medical bills, collection accounts, and personal loans. You won’t be able to get support for loans secured by collateral (e.g., home mortgages or auto loans). To qualify for a debt settlement program with Golden Financial Services, you’ll need at least $7,500 in unsecured consumer debt. 

When you reach out to Golden Financial Services, a counselor or representative will evaluate your request and provide you with a list of potential debt relief options and providers. This means you may be connected with one or more of its partners to discuss your situation. For example, in addition to debt settlement providers, you may be connected to companies that can help you get debt consolidation loans.

Whenever a company refers you to one of its partners, make sure to read reviews and check out the credentials of the company to which you’re referred before you sign up for services. 

It’s unclear if the company can help negotiate student loan debt as a part of its debt settlement program. Although Golden Financial Services has sections on its website that discuss student loan relief options, the materials focus on debt consolidation and forgiveness options versus debt settlement. Notably, not all debt settlement companies help with student loans and those that do typically focus solely on private student loans. Even so, this is normally clearly disclosed.

Fees

The fees charged by Golden Financial services typically range from 17% to 20% of the total amount of enrolled debt, which falls within the industry average (15%-25% of enrolled debt). You won’t pay anything upfront and will only pay a fee when the company has successfully negotiated a settlement with your creditors. 

The company doesn’t guarantee how much money you can save or how long it will take you to get out of debt. However, its clients save 30% of the total debt they owe on average, including the fees charged by Golden Financial Services. 

It usually takes 24 to 48 months for its clients to finish paying off their debt. 

Customer Service: Phone Support Is Unavailable on Sundays 

You can reach someone from customer service with Golden Financial Services by calling 1-866-376-9846 Monday through Saturday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. (Note: The time zone isn’t disclosed, but the company is headquartered in New York. To email, send a message to info@goldenfs.org and someone from the company will contact you.

To get a free debt consultation, you can either speak to a debt consultant by calling the company’s toll-free number or submit a request online. 

Unfortunately, you can’t speak to someone from Golden Financial Services using online chat.

Customer Satisfaction: Mostly Good but Some Mixed Ratings   

We analyzed reviews from a wide variety of sources to understand what it’s like to work with Golden Financial Services. In our search, we found a mix of positive and negative reviews and in some, the reviewers called the customer service agents out by name. 

Some reviewers say the agents named were helpful and that they were pleased with the level of service provided. In contrast, other reviewers say they experienced communication problems with the same agents, like phone calls not returned and unprofessional email responses.

Most of the positive reviews appeared to focus on the initial consultation, with limited reviews from the perspective of people who were in the program for a while. In contrast, most of the negative reviews seemed to address what it’s like to work with the company after the initial call. Overall, there were more positive reviews than negative ones, but the sentiments are mixed.

Account Management

It’s unclear how a client would manage their account. We weren’t able to find a client portal on Golden Financial Services’ website and the company’s website doesn’t contain information about how existing clients should contact them. 

Other Features

In addition to partner referrals, the company’s website also has a wide variety of tools and resources. This includes free tools you can use to learn how to get out of debt on your own and a variety of interactive calculators. Plus, it has a variety of Spanish resources, something that debt relief providers do not always offer.

How Golden Financial Services Compares to Other Debt Relief Companies

One of the most well-known competitors is Freedom Debt Relief. To qualify for the debt settlement services offered by both companies, you need to have at least $7,500 in unsecured debt. Plus, Golden Financial Services and Freedom Debt Relief both offer resources in Spanish on their websites. Even so, there are a few differences between the two companies.

These are some of the key differences between Golden Financial Services and Freedom Debt Relief:

  • Golden Financial Services fees typically range from 17% to 20% of total enrolled debt.
  • Freedom Debt Relief’s typical fees range from 15% to 25% of total enrolled debt.
  • Golden Financial Services doesn’t have any active industry accreditations.
  • Freedom Debt Relief is a member of the AFCC and a platinum accredited service center with the IAPDA (meaning it has over 100 IAPDA-certified agents).
  • Freedom Debt Relief’s clients can monitor their progress and manage their accounts online 24/7 by logging into their client dashboard. In contrast, there isn’t a client portal or dashboard on Golden Financial Services’ website.
  • You can get phone support seven days a week with Freedom Debt Relief, whereas no phone support is available on Sundays with Golden Financial Services.

When comparing Golden Financial Services with Freedom Debt Relief, the better choice is Freedom Debt Relief. Not only is Freedom Debt Relief accredited by the two most reputable industry associations, but it also offers better customer support. Its customers can manage their accounts online at any time; plus, customer service is a phone call away every day of the week.

Read our full Freedom Debt Relief review.

  Golden Financial Services Freedom Debt Relief
Year Founded 2004 2002
Fees 17% to 20% of enrolled debt 15% to 25% of enrolled debt
Minimum Debt  $7,500 in unsecured debt $7,500 in unsecured debt
Resources in Spanish  Yes Yes
Industry Accreditations  None AFCC and IAPDA
Client Dashboard  No Yes
Phone Support  6 days a week 7 days a week
Final Verdict

Golden Financial Services has been in business for a long time with operations dating back to 2004. Even so, it’s not an active member of the AFCC and the IAPDA, and it’s difficult to tell which debt relief services it provides in-house and which ones it brokers to one of its partners.  

Furthermore, despite its library of free and Spanish-language resources and good customer service reviews, Golden Financial Services’ website contains some out-of-date and confusing content, bringing into question its transparency and accuracy of the information it provides to potential clients. You would be better off choosing a debt relief provider with a greater level of transparency.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of debt relief companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company based on offerings, customer service, pricing, years in business, accreditation, and more. To rate Golden Financial Services and other providers, we developed a debt relief review methodology that compares the debt relief options offered, additional features, fees, success rates, and reported customer experiences to help us provide insights into things like customer service and the strength of each company’s offerings.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. IAPDA Certification. "Search IAPDA Certified Professionals." Accessed April 24, 2021.

  2. IAPDA Certification. "IAPDA Accredited Service Centers." Accessed April 24, 2021.