How Debt Consolidation Affects Your Credit

How does debt consolidation affect my credit?
Hello everyone, my name is Paul J Paquin and I’m the CEO at Golden Financial Services. I want to start off by giving you a few of my credentials so that you can trust the information that I am providing you today. Helping consumers find the simplest way to get out of debt has been my focus since 2004. I wrote the book on debt consolidation.I am also certified by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrator (IAPDA), and Golden Financial Services is Accredited by Trusted company Reviews and A+BBB rated.

Since we offer multiple debt relief programs and debt consolidation, you can trust that the following information is 100% unbiased and I will give you my best insight on the subject. See, most debt relief companies offer one program, so of course, they are biassed to that one plan. However, at Golden Financial we offer debt consolidation, debt settlement, debt validation, and consumer credit counseling, and therefore you can trust that we are not trying to push you in any one direction. Our goal is to help you get out of debt in the best possible way, depending on what your goals are.

OK, enough about me, now let’s talk about you!

Inside this post you can learn:

  • how debt consolidation can affect your credit score
  • what the best way to consolidate your debt is


The reason that the answer to the question, “will debt consolidation hurt my credit score?”, is not so black and white, is that it depends on what your current financial situation looks like. If you have an 800 credit score and comfortable income, your consolidation solution will be different from the person who can barely afford minimum payments and has a 650 credit score.

  • Are you looking to save as much money as you possibly can, or just want to get out of debt in the quickest possible time-frame?
  • Do you have a retirement date set for the near term and your goal is to become debt free before this date?
  • Are you just looking to cut out some interest by using a low-interest loan to pay off your high-interest debt?
  • Can’t afford minimum payments and need a lower payment?


See, these are common needs that people have. Based on your specific needs is what will determine the right solution for you.

Call (866) 376-9846 to Learn Your Options for FREE from an IAPDA Certified Debt Counselor or Keep Reading.


Debt Consolidation (Table of Contents)

Try Debt Consolidation Calculator

This debt calculator is more than just a debt consolidation calculator. You will see multiple debt relief options within one click!

If you are currently paying around minimum monthly payments, try entering an amount that is a little less than what you are paying now. Of course, you can also enter more than the minimum payment amount, just to play with the figures and see different scenarios.


Debt Consolidation Can Improve Your Credit Score

The reason why is because your credit utilization ratio will improve after paying off all of your existing debt. Even though you are taking on a new debt, the consolidation loan, which can cause your credit score to go down, simultaneously you are creating a positive action by paying off your credit card balances. Paying off your existing credit card balances outweighs the negative effect of getting the consolidation loan because the older accounts have more influence on your credit score.

The longer you’ve had an account, the more effect it will have on your credit score.

This information is all assuming that you’re current on ALL credit card payments. If you’ve even fallen behind on a single payment over the course of the last 12-months, your credit score won’t be sufficient and high enough to get approved for a low-interest debt consolidation loan. So in that case why get a consolidation loan, when credit card hardship programs can save you more money and get you out of debt much faster.

Why do you want to consolidate your debt? You either need a lower payment, want to pay less interest or just want to get out of debt faster, right? The only way to benefit from debt consolidation is to get a low-interest debt consolidation loan, which you can’t get unless your credit score is at least 720. The good news is, there are credit card consolidation hardship programs that are designed to eliminate interest and cut your balances by as much as 50% if you have a credit score of less than 720.

If you have even a single late payment from the last year, call (866) 376-9846 and talk with an IAPDA Certified Debt Expert about credit card hardship programs that can cut your balances by 50% and eliminate ALL INTEREST! Ask about getting free credit repair included if your credit is a major concern! 

See if credit card debt consolidation improves or hurts your credit score

Debt Consolidation and Credit Repair

At Golden Financial Services we are often asked, is there a debt consolidation program that comes with credit repair? There is no debt consolidation program that includes credit repair, but there is a debt relief program that includes credit repair! Remember folks, debt consolidation is a loan. We don’t offer loans here at Golden Financial Services. We offer debt relief programs to reduce the amount that a person must pay to get out of debt.

Golden Financial Services offers one of the only debt relief programs that include credit repair, in the entire nation. The program is called debt validation and it’s for delinquent credit card debt and most unsecured debt will qualify.

CLICK HERE to See Benefits & Downsides of Each Credit Card Relief Program:

You must have either fallen behind on payments already or can no longer afford to pay the minimum payments. To find out if you qualify just call (866) 376-9846

Best way to consolidate credit card debt?

If your credit score is above 720 and you can comfortably afford minimum payments or higher:

  • Go to a credit union and apply for a bank loan, but first shop around at 10-15 credit unions to compare rates. Go with the credit union who offers the lowest interest rates and fees.
  • Balance transfer credit cards can be used to transfer your credit card balances, consolidating all of your debt onto a low to no interest credit card. The catch is that you MUST pay off your credit card balance on the balance transfer card within the introductory rate time period or else your interest rate will shoot up high. Also, balance transfer cards come with upfront fees that range from about 3-5% of the amount that you transfer to the card. If you transfer $50,000 in credit card debt to a balance transfer card, most balance transfer cards will charge you around $2,000 UP FRONT!
  • Use a home equity line of credit to pay off your credit card balances because these loans come with the lowest interest rate and monthly payment. Just because it’s a “home equity line of credit”, does not mean you have to use it on home-related expenses.

Best Way to Consolidate Debt With Bad Credit

  • Consumer credit counseling can cut your interest rates by 50% and consolidate your credit card payments into one lower payment (this is not a loan)
  • Debt settlement services can reduce your credit card balances by as much as 50% but your credit report will be negatively affected by late and collection marks
  • If you have third-party debt collection accounts, debt validation can dispute your debt and possibly prove it to be legally uncollectible, where legally you may not have to pay it. And in many cases, the debt and it’s associated negative marks can be removed from your credit report entirely.

If you’re searching for the best way to consolidate your debt, you need to get a professional debt relief evaluation. At Golden Financial Services we offer debt consolidation, debt settlement, debt validation, and consumer credit counseling, so you can expect unbiased debt relief advice.

Most debt relief companies offer only one debt relief program, which can make a person fearful to call that company because obviously, they will be biased to offer the one program that they have available, right? That is not the case at Golden Financial Services. You can trust our friendly advisors will give you all of your options after first evaluating your credit report and credit score for free.

If you would rather not call Golden Financial Services and want to handle this on your own, here is the best advice ever on how to clear credit card debt on your own.

Does debt consolidation go on your credit?

When consolidating credit cards with a debt consolidation loan, your credit report will illustrate that a new loan was obtained. Some people will use debt consolidation to pay off credit card balances and then close out their credit cards, by closing out their credit cards that action hurts their credit score the most.

The key to restoring your credit score is to use a debt consolidation loan to pay off your credit card balances and keep your cards open after paying them off.

Here is why a debt consolidation loan can raise your FICO score.

Your credit utilization ratio refers to – how much of your available credit is used up. Your credit utilization ratio makes up about 30% of your credit score. If your credit cards are all maxed out; your credit utilization ratio is extremely high, which lowers your credit score.

A low credit utilization ratio improves your credit score. If you have a $10,000 credit limit, with a zero dollar balance, you have a low credit utilization ratio. Congratulations!

By taking out a $30,000 debt consolidation loan; to pay off $30,000 in credit card debt, you can quickly pay off your balances in full and improve your credit utilization ratio – helping your Credit/FICO score go up.

An extra tip to raise your credit score even more:
Once your credit card balances are paid off in full, now’s a good time to request a credit limit increase. Wait about 45 days after your credit card balances are paid off and ask the creditors to raise your credit limit by $5,000 to $10,000.

By raising your limits, this improves your credit utilization ratio even more – increasing your credit score.

Here is why a debt consolidation loan can hurt your FICO score.

A. Future lenders could view you as a “high-risk applicant” because you now have a huge debt consolidation loan to pay back–plus potentially you could rack up credit card debt again.

B. Applying for a debt consolidation loan will put a new inquiry on your credit report, lowering your credit score.

Contact Golden Financial Services to learn more about debt relief programs and debt consolidation loans.


Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card worth it? (See Top Cards!)


Is the Chase Sapphire Credit Card worth it? (See Benefits & Negatives at

Are you considering the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) credit card? Contemplating about whether or not the 50,000 bonus points and $300 travel credit, are worth the $450 annual fee and 20% interest rate? Hopefully, what were about to tell you, will clarify your uncertainties and maybe even set you in a more lucrative direction.


There’s no shortage of positive reviews across the internet pertaining to the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card as many websites are raving about its benefits and flashy “perks”, so my objective today is to point out the information that most advertisers choose not to focus on, but information that will be extremely valuable to you if you decide to apply for this card.


Also, I will show you some outstanding alternatives to the Chase Sapphire card, new credit cards for mid-2018 that pay the highest amount in cash back. I’ll show you my favorite cash back cards, that you can’t go wrong with because there are no annual fees – just lots of cash back (AKA: free money and tax-free!)


Want Real Unbiased Reviews of the Chase Sapphire?


Sites like,,, and — all get paid to advertise the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. These websites are all affiliates of Chase and get paid every time a visitor goes to their website and then purchases the Chase Sapphire card.


Golden Financial Services has NO affiliation with Chase or any credit card company for that matter. The following Review of the Chase Sapphire Credit Card is genuine and unbiased. Our company offers national debt relief services. We help folks who can’t afford to pay off their credit card balances. However, once they become debt-free, we teach our clients how to use credit responsibly and benefit from credit cards by getting cash back and using credit cards to boost credit scores.


If I forgot anything, please let me know in the “comments section” below.


Without further delay, let’s dive in!


Negatives of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

  • Average Interest Rate is over 20% – The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 16.99% to 23.99%
  • $450 up-front and annual fee — that’s $4,500 of debt you accrue the day you get approved for the CSR. What if you sign-up for the Chase Sapphire credit card and a year later lose your job, then what? How will you pay the $450 annual fee?
  • The cash advance APR is over 25%
  • If you fall behind on a monthly payment you could be charged up to $37 as a “late fee”
  • Horrible customer service – this is based on the hundred’s of complaints that we found across the internet specifically related to the Chase Sapphire customer service
  • If you redeem for airlines, you still have to pay additional to get assigned seats ahead of time
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Card has a $75 annual fee for each authorized user


If used correctly, this can be a great credit card to have. The $450 annual fee can be offset by the $300 travel credit — so in reality, once your travel credit is deposited into your bank account now the annual fee is reduced to $150.


Benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months after opening the account. (That’s $625 toward travel)
  • Priority Pass Select membership includes access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide
  • You get reimbursed up to $300 annually for a broad range of travel purchases, plus a refund of up to $100 for a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee every four years
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • These cards have a sleek design and are made of metal — definitely one of the nicest looking cards
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value (huge discounts) when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards (Discounts with Avis, National Car Rental and much more!)
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve offers three points per $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants purchases and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance (If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.)

Now, are you ready to learn about some outstanding alternatives to the Chase Sapphire? The credit cards that I’m about to discuss are amongst the best cards for cash back.

The “Discover It” Cash Back Card (Best Pick for 2018)

As the author of this post, I’d like to reveal my #1 pick for 2018. The name is, “Discover It”.

  • The Discover It card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that change each quarter (1% on all other purchases)
  • Discover It matches the cash back you’ve earned after one year, doubling your rewards for the year
  • 5% rebate at gas stations and wholesale clubs in the first quarter of 2018, grocery stores in the second quarter of 2018, 5% at restaurants in the third quarter and wholesale clubs in the fourth quarter – so imagine what 2019 will bring!
  • There is no annual fee on this card
  • A typical annual rebate: $341

Chase Freedom Visa – Another Outstanding Alternative (2nd Place for 2018)

My second favorite pick for cash back cards in 2018 is almost identical to the Discover It.

  • No annual fees
  • $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months
  • Add an authorized user in the first three months and get $25 back
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,5000 in combined purchases in certain categories and 1% back on all other purchases
  • Typical annual rebate: $363

Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card


How much are sapphire Reserve points worth?

When redeemed for travel Reserve, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 points per dollar thanks to a 50% point redemption bonus. At a minimum, the Reserve points are worth 1 penny – not too shabby for a Reserve program.


Do Chase Sapphire Ultimate Rewards points expire?

Ultimate Reserves points will never expire as long as your credit card account is open. When an account is closed for any reason, your unused points will be forfeited.


Will it hurt my credit score to close a credit card account?

Yes, it will lower your credit score if you close a credit card. A portion of your credit score is based on credit history. The longer you have an account open — the more beneficial this is for your credit score. On the flipside, by closing a credit card you will lower your credit score.


What credit score do I need for Chase Sapphire?

You will not get approved for the Chase Sapphire credit card with a credit score that’s less than 650. However, Chase looks at more than just your credit score — such as your debt to income ratio, credit utilization ratio, total credit limits across all banks, the total number of credit cards that you currently have, payment history on other credit cards and other proprietary factors that Chase may have in their algorithm.


How can I dodge paying the high-interest rate on the Chase Sapphire?

Generally, you can avoid credit card interest by paying your balance in full every month before the end of the grace period.

Grace periods are typically between 21 and 27 days. Credit card issuers must mail your billing statement earlier so you have time to take advance of the grace period.


Can I do a balance transfer on the Chase Sapphire Credit Card?

Don’t do a balance transfer on the Chase Sapphire credit card because the interest rate is too high. If you need to get rid of debt, only do a balance transfer to another card if you can find a credit card that has a low-interest rate and no annual fee. However, credit cards are usually the last place you want to turn to if you are looking to eliminate debt. Explore credit card debt relief programs before doing a balance transfer.

What’s the best credit card to get?

You want to get a credit card that has no annual fee — and you want to get whatever credit card is willing to pay you the most.

Depending on your lifestyle, determines what credit card will be best for you.

For example, the Chase Sapphire credit card caters towards individuals who like to travel.

But what if you never travel? Find a credit card that’s willing to pay you cash back whenever you use the card for purchases at… wherever you like to shop!

For example:

With my Bank of America Cash Back Reserves Card I get;

***2% cash back on all grocery shopping

*** 3% cash back whenever I buy gas

— PLUS I get paid a 25% – 75% bonus on my cash back because I bank with Bank of America — which equates to even more income!


Author Review of the Chase Sapphire:

Overall I rate this card “3 out of 5” because it’s not a practical card for the average person due to the high-interest and annual fees that come along with it. The Chase Sapphire should only be used by someone who understands the costly nature of interest. For someone that likes to travel, has a high credit score and intends on paying the balance every month in full — well this card was made for you!


Additional Resources:

Want to see how much interest you are paying? Try Debt Calculator

10 Best Ways to Clear High Credit Card Debt

How to Have an Excellent Credit Score (24 Expert Tips)

What is the best advice for clearing credit card debt?

The following infographic highlights the benefits and downsides of each debt relief program.

Read the disadvantages CAREFULLY – to protect yourself and help you get out of debt safely.

Debt relief programs can reduce credit card balances down to a fraction of what they currently are and cut interest rates in half – and most importantly, bankruptcy can be avoided. But if you don’t thoroughly understand each program before choosing a plan, you won’t be able to pick your best option intelligently.

You could destroy your credit and have no idea on how to recover.

Before joining a debt relief program, make sure to understand:

  • How each plan will affect your credit score.
  • Is credit repair included in the program?
  • If your credit score is adversely affected, how will you rebuild it?
  • How will you deal with EACH potential downside?
  • What if you get sued?
  • Have any guarantees?

How Credit Card Debt Relief Programs Work & Affect Credit Scores?

Original Source of Infographic: 

Downsides exist on every debt relief program. Federal laws and regulations enforced by The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require debt relief companies to disclose the disadvantages of each debt relief program, but companies don’t always do so. 

A reputable debt relief company will put together a blueprint that will get you out of debt and financially healthy again. IF you have a complete plan in place, taking you from A-Z (buried in debt —>>> financially healthy again) – a program to reduce credit card debt can be your best option.

If some fast-talking sales representative calls you from ABC debt relief company that just opened up two days ago and has three employees – turn the steering wheel fast! Because that’s a bad accident waiting to happen!

Investigate a debt relief company’s credentials and client reviews at the Better Business Bureau and on Google. Make sure any debt relief, settlement or consolidation company that you’re considering using is a member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators, the Association for Credit Counseling, or a non-profit company.

Before you continue reading: If you’re not considering a debt relief program, visit this page here – learn the simplest way to get out of debt on your own.

Note: All of these programs are equally as valuable. Depending on each person’s unique situation, circumstances and needs — will determine what plan is best for each person.

Debt Consolidation for Credit Cards (option 1)

Is debt consolidation a loan to pay off my credit cards?

Yes, debt consolidation is a loan.

A bank or third-party financial company can grant you the loan.

You can even use a home-equity line of credit to consolidate your credit cards. And a home equity line of credit usually comes with a low interest-rate.

Debt Consolidation Benefits

  • All debt gets paid off in one shot
  • Can help credit score to improve (No adverse marks reported on credit report)
  • Combines monthly payments into one
  • Reduces interest rates, resulting in a shorter pay off period (assuming it’s a low-interest loan with no extra fees)

Negatives of Debt Consolidation 

  • Must pay the entire loan back, plus interest and fees (not ideal for anyone who is experiencing a financial hardship)
  • Challenging to get approved for a low-interest loan due to strict credit restrictions
  • Can take over 5-years to pay back
  • No income-based repayment options


Debt Settlement for Credit Card Relief (option 2)

A debt settlement program acts as a liaison between you and your creditors. A negotiator contacts your debt collection companies to negotiate the balances on each debt, down to a fraction of the total owed. (i.e., $10,000 in delinquent credit card debt, can be reduced to $5,000.)


Discover Credit Card Debt Relief Program

Benefits of Debt Settlement

  • Debt-free in 36-42 months
  • Reduce debt by 25%-32% (including fees)
  • Get a low monthly payment
  • Avoid bankruptcy
  • Pay only if results are achieved
  • Flexible payment options

Negatives of Debt Settlement

  • Negative marks on credit (late and collection marks)
  • Could get sued or get harassed by creditors (reputable debt settlement companies will offer lawsuit defense in this case)
  • IRS could report a person’s “savings” as “taxable income” resulting in a tax bill. (The IRS “Form 982” can be used to illustrate the inability to pay a debt due to being insolvent)
  • Balances continue to grow until the debt is settled due to late fees and unpaid interest
  • Not all clients can complete the program for various reasons, including their ability to save sufficient funds


Do my creditors get paid with a debt settlement program?

Debt settlement companies set you up with an affordable single monthly payment, no matter how many accounts a person has. That single payment goes into a trust account. Creditors don’t get paid on a monthly basis with debt negotiation services.


How low can my payment be with debt settlement?

The payment can be as low as half of what you would be paying when paying minimum monthly payments. Try this debt relief program calculator to get a better idea.

The funds continue to accumulate in a client’s trust account until they have about half of what they owe on one of their debts available – and around that time is when the first debt will get settled.


Will a debt relief program hurt my credit score?

The action of not paying your creditors each month is what negatively affects a person’s credit score when joining a debt relief program.

With bankruptcy, your credit report gets severely scarred with “bankruptcy” on it for seven years.


Consumer Credit Counseling Program (option 3)

Consumer credit counseling programs combine a person’s credit card payments into one single payment.

Consumer credit counseling is not a loan. Creditors continue to get paid with consumer credit counseling but at a reduced interest rate.

Upside to Consumer Credit Counseling 

  • Reduces interest rates on each credit card (could be reduced from 25% down to 8%)
  • Consolidates payments into one single payment
  • Debt-free in 4.5 to 5-years
  • No creditor harassment since creditors get paid “on time” every month
  • Credit score shouldn’t go down

Negatives of Consumer Credit Counseling 

  • A small reduction in monthly payment, compared to when paying minimum payments
  • 3rd-party notation on credit report Source:
  • Takes longer than debt settlement to pay off credit card debt
  • Only credit card debt qualifies
  • Inflexible payment terms


Debt Validation Program (Option 4)

Disputes a credit card debt that was sold to a third-party debt collection company. After a debt is disputed the debt collection company must cease all collection activities until they can produce the legally required documentation and accurate records being requested.

Debt validation is the program that you want to do before debt settlement. There is a chance with debt validation that your debt can be proven to be invalid, and you could walk away without paying it. Additionally, the debt could come of off your credit report entirely. Debt validation clients do pay the company fees but don’t pay their alleged debt when it gets invalidated, making debt validation a more effective debt relief program over debt settlement in many cases.

Client walked away from paying over $4,000 on a credit card debt and was able to get it off their credit report.

Debt validation program example letter (Benefits & Downside Included)

Upside to Debt Validation

  • Can be the least expensive debt relief option
  • Flexible and affordable monthly payment
  • Consumers get to defend themselves from illegal debt collection
  • Don’t have to pay a debt that can’t be validated
  • Get “financial education” – learning about laws such as the Credit Card Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

Negatives of Debt Validation 

  • The dispute process starts after accounts are written-off and sold to a third-party debt collection company, resulting in a temporary adverse effect on credit scores
  • Results may vary
  • Creditors can issue a lawsuit
  • The debt doesn’t disappear until after the statute of limitations expires (unless an attorney can get it legally dismissed due to legal violations)


Do federal credit card relief programs exist?

There are NO federal credit card relief programs currently available.

Federal student loan relief programs do exist. Here you can learn how to consolidate your federal student loans on your own and get student loan forgiveness.


You may also be interested in “31 Ways To Get Rid Of Credit Card Debt.”


Paul J Paquin is the CEO of Golden Financial Services and the author of the book called; “A Complete Debt Consolidation Guide to Becoming Debt-free.” Paul spent the last 15-years engulfed in debt consolidation, as the CEO at Golden Financial Services, learning about the most effective debt relief options by researching and testing different methods. You can follow Paul on Twitter.

Sources for this page:

Golden Financial Services


The Truth About Debt Relief (What You Need To Know)

Editor’s note: Many people will continue to deal with creditors on their own because they have misconceptions about debt relief and how it works. We sat down with Wes Hendrickson, Executive Manager of Golden Financial Services and an IAPDA Certified Debt Relief Expert, for some answers.

Here are the “debt relief program” related questions that we asked Wes Hendrickson from Golden Financial Services:

1. I am drowning in credit card debt. I call you. What can you do for me?

2. How long does a debt relief program take?

3. My only debt is student loan debt but I am being threatened with garnishments. Can you help me?

4. What are some of the misconceptions about debt relief programs?

5. Do you have advice for consumers who feel like they are on the verge of a financial crisis?

6. Tell me about Golden Financial and their reputation in the industry.


Question 1: I am drowning in credit card debt. I call you. What can you do for me?

Here is the answer to this question, provided by IAPDA Certified Debt Relief Professional From Golden Financial Services – Wes Hendrickson

  • I will ask a few questions to determine what information and debt relief programs will best fit your situation and how they’ll work.  Program availability is first determined by the state in which the client lives.  Some states don’t allow almost any type of relief for their residents.  We have one program that’s available in all 50 states that other companies don’t offer.
  • I’ll explain the appropriate debt relief options based on the information gained from the caller and email a description with a quote on the cost.  Most debt relief programs will dramatically reduce the pay-off amount and include zero interest, affordable payments.
  • Our two most popular programs will have the client out of debt within 15-18 months and include free credit restoration to improve their chances of being able to obtain a loan in the future to buy a car, house and other items.
  • We provide education on their Federal Consumer rights and education on how to keep excellent credit in the future.  In most cases we will ultimately cause their debts to be released in full by the creditors and then remove the debt accounts from their credit reports along with any other incorrect notations on their reports.  These debt relief programs include a money back guarantee or an assurance of performance.


Question 2: How long does a debt relief program take?

Here is the answer to this question, provided by IAPDA Certified Debt Relief Professional From Golden Financial Services – Wes Hendrickson

  • On average, the entire debt relief program takes around 18-36 months to complete. 

Here is an example illustrating how long each debt relief program would last and the total cost of each plan, based on $25,000 in debt:

Quote on how long debt relief programs last and the cost of each plan


Question 3: My only debt is student loan debt but I am being threatened with garnishments. Can you help me?

  • Presuming we’re talking about Federal Student Loans we are, to the best of our knowledge, the only processor that has been successful in resolving FSL debt that’s defaulted to this level.
  • We have recent cases where we have been able to reverse the wage garnishment order already in force and consolidate all the loans into one low monthly payment, saving the client tens of thousands of dollars due to our relationship with the DOE.
  • We have equally been successful in resolving Private Student Loans; however, the process is entirely different with PSLs as opposed to FSLs.

$0 Income Based Repayment Plan and Entire Balance Getting Forgiven. 

Question 4: What are some of the misconceptions about debt relief programs?

  • There are several, the first being debt relief programs don’t work.
  • Others say debt relief programs leave a person with bad credit.
  • Others say the debt is not permanently resolved
  • and the person will still get sued or have their wages garnished.

We have testimonials from our thousands of clients to prove these are not true.


Question 5: Do you have advice for consumers who feel like they are on the verge of a financial crisis?

  • We can help more than you know and in some cases, people say it sounds too good to be true.
  • When a person is in a financial crisis, they are in major denial, overly stressed, often not thinking clearly and have no hope for resolution.
  • The financial industry has built a strong misconception that bad credit is the worst thing in the world and they have created the idea that a customer who doesn’t pay will be sued and potentially have liens placed on property or other equally negative consequences.
  • Financial hardship in America has a stigma that it’s “the end of the world.”  It’s not the end of the world.
  • There are multiple, legal ways to get people’s finances on track and back with great credit in a matter of months.
  • These programs are “tried & true” over many years and in our case, most of our programs are fully guaranteed and include credit restoration.


Question 6: Tell me about Golden Financial and their reputation in the industry.

  • GFS has the highest level of integrity and ratings in the industry.
  • You can’t beat an A+ rating with the BBB and absolutely zero complaints. 
  • Most companies in our business have hundreds of complaints in the last 3 years alone with the BBB, but consumers need to remember to click on the Reviews/Complaints tab while on the BBB webpage.
  • We have earned the “Best Debt Relief Company” designation for several consecutive years and our company name is highest ranked in organic Google searches in most categories.
  • We maintain credentials with the IAPDA for debt relief and the AFSLR for Student Loan processing.
  • Finally, our programs are performance-based, where consumers only pay if results are achieved.  
  • We assure our customers that if we can’t help you, we know someone who can, and we’ll gladly refer you, without charge, to a competent and highly-rated organization who can solve their financial issues.


Here are a just a few testimonials:


1 review

Published Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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I cannot say enough about how Wes …

I cannot say enough about how Wes helped me when I was to the point of asking myself in despair, “What am I going to do?”. Life has dealt me several harsh blows of late and I felt helpless and hopeless. This morning when I woke up, instead of thinking the usual, “Ugh. I’m still alive.” – I woke up thinking, “Wes and the team at GFS have got that. Thank you, Jesus! Now, why don’t I take one day and do something beneficial since NOTHING is beneficial about worrying.” So, I am.



  1. F. – Customer

1 review

Published Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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5-Star Team — Wes and Golden Financial Services!

Wes and the team Golden Financial Services team may be the last good people of a dying breed of angels out there to help consumers, fighting to do the right thing, like myself to be successful. Wes, without any cost or upfront fees, took the time, upon my request, to counsel me on a happening reposession we had on my account. As an entrepreneur, one knows that there are ups and down — Wes was able to help come up with a strategy when the bank, other credit service companies (and even his experience) said it was impossible to overcome.

In talking with Wes, he was able to assess the situation and provide meaningful alternatives. But it doesn’t stop there, he spent over an hour talking with me guys — who do you know, in their right heart (and mind) still does that for people they don’t know will be a customer.

Not only am I grateful to the team at Golden Financial Services — I will do business with them for the upcoming credit improvement and as me and my family make our way back to where we need to be.

Thanks Wes! Thanks guys.



Anthony Linder

1 review

11 months ago-

I am dealing directly with Wes Hendrickson. Very professional individual. Very easy to work with. Very patient with everything going on. Took his time with me. I didn’t feel rushed. I feel this service is a PERFECT 10 and look forward in the next year to seeing not only my credit improve but rebuilding my credit the RIGHT WAY.

I would recommend this company to anyone!


Chuck Snyder

2 reviews

a year ago

I have just started the validation process working with Wes Hendrickson. He has been most patient in helping me understand this approach to helping me handle my credit card debt. Further he was very careful to explain the details of the application and in answering my questions. His communication skills are excellent. Your organization is lucky to have him.


Bill Laverty

1 review

2 months ago-

This is my first experience working with Golden Financial and it won’t be last. My wife was having her wages garnished, due to Student Loans for my son. We were deep in the process with Collections agencies constantly trying every angle to pick her pockets. Once I started working with GFS and must say they were all professional. It’s nice to truly work with a team that truly cares about you personally. I feel like a built a friend ship that make’s me comfortable to discuss our problems. They really pulled my butt out of the fire. Thank you GFS, it’s a nice Christmas Gift.

Do you have unpaid medical debt? How to get relief

How to get medical debt relief
What You Need To Know About Unpaid Medical Debt

A 2014 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that one in five Americans have some type of medical debt in collections. While you may have been told that medical debt does not affect your credit score, that’s a myth. According to Nerd Wallet, medical debt can drop your score by as much as 40% if you average 680 and as much as 100 points if your score is over 700. That can keep you from getting a mortgage, automobile loan or other loans you need.

The issue is complicated by hospital and doctor’s office billing procedures. Consumers may face two scenarios.

  1. The bill is turned over to collections before the consumer is even aware of the debt. Some medical facilities will use a third-party collector on debt that is just 60-days past due. You may not have opened the bill before you are sent to collections. Unless it is a large facility, you probably won’t get a courtesy call reminding you to pay the bill.
  2. You may not actually owe the bill—your insurance company does. Some insurance companies are slow to pay, even if the procedure or appointment is covered. In the meantime, the medical facility will come after you and if you don’t pay, you could be turned over to a collections agency. Some facilities will wait for the insurance company to pay but you need to make sure that the bill is still at the doctor’s office.
  3. Your bill has errors. A study of Medicare claims by Nerd Wallet discovered that 49% of all bills had errors. And about 57% of respondents said they were confused by their medical bills.
  4. The cost of healthcare is rising along with the cost of medical insurance. It’s harder for families to budget for medical expenses when they are not sure what they will be.

Another complication—many hospitals and doctor’s offices will no longer see you if you have an unpaid medical bill. That forces consumers to either not seek treatment or start over with another provider.

Some good news

A court case out of New York state may give some debtors relief. In 2015, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigated how medical debt was reported by the three main reporting agencies—TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Based on that investigation, the credit reporting agencies have agreed to wait 180 days before listing an unpaid medical debt on a credit report.

What do you do?

Unfortunately, most of us have unforeseen illnesses and accidents and have to visit healthcare facilities. A major illness or accident can wipe out your savings and ruin your credit if you are not careful. But you don’t have to sit idly by and let that happen. Here are some tips you

  1. Keep an eye on statements from your insurance company. These statements will indicate what was paid and what was not paid. You may learn about unpaid bills faster this way.
  2. Monitor communications from your healthcare provider and your insurance company. The company may say the bill was paid but your doctor may still not have the funds. Remember, the medical provider will come after you if the insurance company doesn’t pay.
  3. Meticulously go over your hospital bill for errors. Do you not remember being given a $50 aspirin in the emergency room? Question it.
  4. Ask the hospital or medical provider about payment plans or discounts. Many will offer these as they want to get paid, even if it is more slowly than they would like. Some offer discounts based on your income and ability to pay.

Finally, don’t let hospital bills drive you to bankruptcy. Consider a debt relief plan that can save your credit and save you money.


How Trump’s tax reform plan affects you

Taxes can be confusing to many. The new tax reform plan passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump has some wondering what they need to do this year to make sure they take advantage of all the tax breaks possible. First, a bit of bad news. Most of the tax breaks won’t officially take effect until you file your 2018 taxes. The only break anyone will see in the next couple of months will be in paychecks for those who work W-2 jobs. The Internal Revenue Service is expected to release new withholding tables in the next few weeks. Be patient. Small employers may take a little bit longer to make the adjustments to paychecks. But you can expect to see some additional dollars this year.

Your biggest savings will come when you file your 2018 taxes. The tax breaks will mostly affect the “middle class,” which includes most Americans. According to online research firm Statista, only 27.7% of American households bring in more than $100,000 a year.  Another bit of bad news—many of the tax cuts expire in 2025. Here’s a breakdown of some of the plan’s biggest impacts for 2018.

The standard deduction and child credit

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, about 70% of taxpayers take the standard deduction, which would have been about $13,000 for a married couple filing jointly in 2018 before the tax plan passed. The new standard deduction is $24,000, nearly double. Single taxpayers, married filing separately, and those filing head of household saw similar jumps in the standard deduction. The committee is now predicting about 94% of taxpayers will forgo the hassle of itemizing and just take the standard deduction. The increase in the standard deduction is important since the personal deduction goes away in 2018.

Parents will also see an increase in the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000. And if you have a child over the age of 17 that is still living at home, you can take a $500 credit. This credit also applies to families taking care of elderly parents or relatives. Parents can also use their 529 savings plan for other expenses such as private school or tutoring for children in kindergarten through the 12th grade. The savings plan was previously only for college-related expenses.


Some deductions will be eliminated in 2018 and this will provide another reason for taxpayers not to itemize. Moving expenses, tax preparation expenses and unreimbursed employee expenses are some of the items that are no longer deductible. Alimony payments are also no longer deductible. For homeowners, the biggest change is the removal of the deduction of interest for home equity loans.

Business taxes

Opponents of the plan noted the tax break given to corporations. The corporate tax rate was reduced from 21% to 35%. Many corporations, including AT&T and Fifth Third Bancorp, are offering bonuses to some of their employees because of the reduction in corporate tax.

The tax plan also gives self-employed people, who usually pay a lot more taxes than those who work W-2 jobs, a big break. Self-employed people also pay their own Social Security and Medicare fees, along with their taxes. The new bill will allow those who are self-employed to deduct 20% of their income. This “pass-through” tax break includes sole proprietorships, LLCs, partnerships, and S corporations. The tax break is capped at for those who provide professional services such as doctors and attorneys. The cap is $157,000 for single filers and $315,000 for married filers.

Health insurance penalty

A lot of attention has been given to the elimination of the individual health insurance mandate required as part of Obamacare. This does not take effect until 2019 so you will need to provide proof of your healthcare coverage in 2018 or pay a penalty.

In closing, do your homework and consult with an accountant or tax preparer if you are confused. It’s better to get it right the first time and not have the IRS penalizing you later.

Compare Holiday Credit Card Relief Options for 2018



Holiday credit card debt relief options in 2018 are the best that they’ve ever been, in terms of “saving money” and “addressing credit issues”. But on the flip side, U.S. credit card debt is at an all-time high and what’s even worse is that credit card interest rates are expected to increase in 2018.

Take a look at these stunning credit card debt statistics:

  • Credit card debt spikes-up by more than 7% over the course of 2017
  • The average credit card debt per household is over $15,000
  • Outstanding revolving credit debt (credit cards) reaches $1.021 trillion (an all-time high)l
  • The Federal Reserve expects credit card interest rates to rise after December 2017


What’s caused credit card debt to rise to an all-time high?

The Dodd-Frank Act gets repealed.

The Financial Choice Act, which deregulates the strict banking policies, takes its place.

Banks then loosen up their lending policies and start giving out more unsecured credit and credit cards.

Simultaneously, the cost of medical treatment is going up, year after year.

As consumers gain access to higher credit limits, they start charging their medical treatments on their credit cards.

“Over the past 10 years, medical costs have increased 34%, which is more than any other spending category the typical American is subject to, such as food, housing, and the like. A good 29% of Americans have problems keeping up with their medical bills, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and 37% have taken on additional credit card debt to pay for those costs. The problem, of course, is that charging medical expenses on a credit card often means adding to those costs in the form of accrued interest.”

Source: The Motley Fool 


You may not have to pay the debt

Holiday credit card debt can turn your New Year’s Eve party into a “pity party”. But what if you found out that behind the scenes at Chase, Discover, Citibank, or at any bank for that matter; that your bank was breaking the law and you may not have to pay that $10,000 credit card debt.

Don’t drop your head in a depression just yet, the tables can quickly turn in the world of “debt”–IF you play your cards right. That frown on your face can turn into a smile as fast as you blink your eyes–and you could walk away from a debt without having to pay a dime in some cases.

The following article could be that crystal ball that you wish you had during your darkest moments in time. So buckle up, were about to reveal “holiday credit card debt relief options” that the banks like to keep on the “hush-hush”.


Summary of Holiday Credit Card Debt Relief Programs for 2018

Depending on your current situation, goals and needs – will determine what program is right for you.

If you’re a more visual type learner — stop reading here — and visit this credit card relief infographic.

Talk to an IAPDA Certified Professional to See if You’re Eligible for Holiday Debt Relief! Call Toll-Free (866) 376 9846



Debt Consolidation or Debt Settlement, What’s the Better Option for Holiday Debt Relief?

Debt settlement programs can save you more and offer a lower payment, compared to debt consolidation. You can experience a feeling of “immediate holiday credit card relief” after starting a debt settlement program

However, the downside of debt settlement is that it can lower credit scores.

Expert Tip: Debt settlement programs are ideal for consumers who fell behind on monthly payments and are experiencing a financial hardship.

On the flipside, debt consolidation pays off your debts in one shot. Life can become less stressful when you only have to worry about one loan to pay each month.

Expert Tip: Debt consolidation is ideal for someone who is current on monthly payments and who has a high credit score.

The main benefit of debt consolidation is that you can reduce interest rates and get out of debt faster.


Debt Settlement Program Positives:

  • Debt free in under 3.5 years on average.
  • Low monthly payment.
  • Flexible plans – you can pay extra and finish the program faster at any time.
  • You can see progress over the course of the program and this motivates clients to get out of debt faster (within six months one debt could get paid off, by twelve months two debts could be paid, within 16 months a third debt gets paid off, etc..).

Debt Settlement Program Negatives:

  • Creditors harassment (How to deal with it? Once they are notified that you have an attorney — all creditor calls must be directed to your attorney.)
  • Creditors can issue you a summons (How to deal with it? The debt settlement company will settle the summons prior to the court date, for a fraction of the balance owed.)
  • The IRS could send you a bill for the taxes owed on the amount of money you saved (How to deal with it? By submitting a #982 IRS form the taxes owed can be waived.)
  • Interest and fees can accumulate on top of your original balance when enrolling into the program (How to deal with it? Make sure the debt settlement company incorporates this into your estimated savings and that they fully disclose this)
  • Credit score could go down after joining a debt settlement program since creditors aren’t paid on a monthly basis. (How to deal with it? Have a plan to rebuild your credit score as your debts begin to get paid off.)
  • Creditors are not required to settle a debt. (Make sure that if the debt settlement company can’t settle a debt that you won’t be charged anything for that account.)

 get holiday debt relief quote


Debt Consolidation Positives

  • Debt gets paid off fast.
  • Only one loan to pay back.
  • Can reduce interest rates.
  • Can help to improve credit scores. (may see an initial hit due to getting issued a new debt and the credit inquiry, but as you make “on-time payments” your credit score will rise to higher than what it was prior to getting the loan)

Debt Consolidation Negatives:

  • High credit score required to qualify.
  • Payment stays around the same as when making minimum payments.
  • Very little flexibility in the payment plan.
  • Not the right plan for anyone who is experiencing a financial hardship.
  • Must pay back entire debt, PLUS interest.


get holiday debt relief quote


Consumer Credit Counseling Positives:

  • Credit card interest rates get reduced.
  • Pay off credit card debt faster (under five years).
  • Credit card late fees can be waived.
  • Credit score should not go down.

Consumer Credit Counseling Negatives:

  •  Third-party notation on credit.
  • Only credit cards qualify.
  • Takes longer to get out of debt, compared to other programs.
  • Very little flexibility in the payment.

get holiday debt relief quote


Debt Validation for Holiday Credit Card Debt Relief

Debt validation is used to challenge a debt collection company in hopes of not paying a debt.

This can be your least expensive route to dealing with a high debt collection account and getting it off your credit.

How can banks be so careless, that debt can be disputed and proven to be legally uncollectible? 

Holiday Debt Relief with Debt Validation Programs at

Here’s how it works … Credit card companies issue a massive number of credit cards each day. It’s one of the most profitable businesses in the word. They have their system down to a science, and it’s all aimed at making the banks rich and trapping consumers in debt.

On average more than 10% of debtors eventually fall behind on monthly payments. Credit card companies will then aggressively work to collect on a debt for around 4-6 months, then eventually giving up, and writing-off the debt.

After a bank writes off a bad debt, they get to remove it from their balance sheets — and report “a reduction in the value of an asset or earnings by the amount of an expense or loss”. In other words, after writing off a debt, credit card companies recoup their lost money through tax benefits and banking insurance. In reality, they could then walk away from the debt and still remain profitable.

Instead, they sell your credit card account, along with hundreds of other accounts at a given time, to some third-party debt collection company … whichever debt collection company pays the most, gets the deal.

Credit card accounts are sold for as low as 5-10 cents on the dollar. What do the banks care, they’ve already been reimbursed and it’s pure profit for them. Keep in mind throughout this entire process fees are adding up, paperwork gets lost, records get flawed, accounting paperwork becomes inaccurate and the debt truly becomes — a “bad debt”.

Credit Card & Debt Collection Laws (14 laws regulate credit card companies and debt collection companies)

These consumer debt protection laws require banks and debt collection companies to maintain accurate, complete and legally binding records such as; the original contract you signed, a debt collection license, accurate accounting records and much more.

A debt validation program challenges the debt collection company — sending out more than 30 pages of disputes … where line by line different items are being requested.

Most of the time the debt collection companies will give up without a fight, as they are clearly aware of the fact that they don’t have legally verifiable records to validate the debt.

Best Case Scenario with Debt Validation: 

  • The debt becomes legally uncollectible.
  • The client doesn’t have to pay the debt.
  • The debt gets removed from their credit.
  • Collection activity stops after disputes start.
  • Low monthly payment to debt relief company.

get holiday debt relief quote


Debt Relief Program Creditor Guidelines:

Debt Relief Program Eligible Accounts:

  • Credit Cards
  • Student Loans
  • Bank Loans
  • Financial Company Loans
  • Debt Collection Accounts
  • Almost every type of unsecured debt is eligible

About Golden Financial Services Debt Relief Programs

  • Golden Financial Services has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • Voted #1 on Trusted Company Reviews.
  • Golden Financial Services is IAPDA Certified and AFSLR Accredited.
  • NOT A SINGLE COMPLAINT with the Better Business BureauHow is that even possible after 15-years in business? Paul Paquin, Golden Financial’s CEO answers that with: “It’s because we do the right thing for our clients and get them out of debt. We don’t just offer one program like all of the other debt relief companies, we offer a full array of debt relief programs. Golden Financial Services has partnered with the top national debt relief companies to ensure that consumers have access to every debt relief program on the market.”


Debt Relief  Program Costs

Each debt relief program has its own set of fees, but every program charges fees.

Make sure to ask the debt relief company what their fee is, and confirm on their client agreement that what they told you matches up with exactly how they explained it to you.

Debt settlement program fees can only be charged after a debt is settled, so make sure the debt settlement company doesn’t try to charge you upfront fees.

Average debt settlement company fees range from 15%-30% of the total debt enrolled in the program. At Golden Financial Services, the debt settlement company fee is 17% of the total debt enrolled.


Golden Financial Services aims to be the driving force that rescues the U.S. economy in 2018

Golden Financial Services is dedicated to turning this economy around, even if that takes getting one person at a time out of debt.

At Golden Financial Services consumers can speak with an IAPDA Certified Debt Relief Professional — for FREE.


Talk to an IAPDA Certified Debt Relief Counselor Toll-Free 1(866) 376-9846


Federal Reserve System, Consumer Credit – G.19, December 07, 2017, 12/22/2017, FederalReserve.Gov

Maurie Backman, “Is This the Reason U.S. Credit Card Debt Keeps Climbing?”, The Motley Fool, Dec 20, 2017 at 6:09AM, 12/22/2017, FederalReserve