Since 1991, CreditGuard of America has been helping customers to consolidate and eliminate credit card debt with the goal of reducing monthly payments by 30 to 50 percent. They have a clean history and good track record of low interest rates along with a team of certified credit counselors. They also provide a limited money-back guarantee, which is a welcome sight, but they lack some important accreditations and our reviewers also noted some issues with transparency.
About CreditGuard of America
CreditGuard of America is an independent, non-profit credit counseling agency that offers all kinds of debt and financial guidance to those who need help settling their credit card debts. CreditGuard offers debt consolidation programs to customers by consolidating unsecured debts into one monthly payment with a lower interest rate, ensuring there is no need to take a new loan out.
- Address: 791 Park of Commerce Blvd STE 500, Boca Raton, FL 33487-3633
- Web Address: http://www.creditguard.org/
- Date of Founding: 8/14/1991
- Contact Number: (800) 500-6489
- BBB Accredited? Yes, since 1991.
CreditGuard of America have been around for a good length of time and have helped a lot of customers escape the clutches of debt in that time. In one often cited case they claim to have helped a customer get out of $25,000 worth of credit card debt in 6 years. That debt eclipses what many customers have to deal with and will likely give them hope, but even customers who have much more debt to tackle with can still benefit from their services.
You need at least $2,000 worth of debt to qualify for a debt management plan with CreditGuard of America, at which point they can help you to consolidate and manage your debts. They are not a credit management service though, and if you want to keep an eye on your credit score and to make sure that you still have some credibility in this department, then you will need to go through a different service.
CreditGuard of America have some solid advice on their website, but they are nowhere near as in-depth as other companies are in this area. There is some information concerning things such as budgeting, managing credit card debt, buying a house, and getting personal loans, but if it's a financial education that you need then there are better options out there.
We do like their calculators though and had some fun playing around with these. They could do with an aesthetic overhaul (the same could be said for much of their website) but they work, they go into detail, and they can help you to better manage your debt even without signing up for one of their plans.
There are a lot of negative reviews for CreditGuard of America, as well as a fair share of complaints. On the one hand, we understand that these are common in this industry and are nothing to be too concerned about, but on the other hand the companies at the very top have a disproportionate number of positive reviews, and they make companies like this look bad.
CreditGuard of America have been responding to complaints, which is good, but a lot of unhappy customers have reported encountering shocking customer service when filing complaints, expressing their dissatisfaction, or trying to cancel their services. This is not what you want to see as a prospective customer and it's very off-putting, to say the least.
Our CreditGuard of America Review
It is fair to say that there are a lot of mixed opinions out there about this company. Some customers have had nothing but good things to say, others seem to spend all their time leaving complaints, bad reviews, and warning others away. To try and get a clearer picture we asked our own team of reviewers and researchers to take a look and what follows is our own, complete and unbiased CreditGuard of America review.
- Free consultation with a certified counselor
- They have nearly 30 years experience in the industry
- They are an ISO-certified business
CreditGuard offers a no-strings-attached free consultation whereby they connect all prospective customers with certified counselors. This gives the client and counselor an opportunity to review the debt situation and to determine what program, if any, is a good fit. In the case that a customer decides to enroll in the company’s services, they should expect their interest rates to drop and pay one monthly payment to cover all of their unsecured debt.
Accredited and Solid Reputation
CreditGuard has a good reputation and there are a lot of positive reviewers out there for them. There are a lot of reviews claiming that the staff is friendly and helpful, which is always good to see, and that the services they provide are effective and professional. The company has a history of working hard to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings and their ISO 9001 certification indicates that it is regularly audited to ensure legitimacy.
Our reviewers like to see accreditations, it demonstrates the business’s willingness to follow best business practices and to offer a certain level of quality in everything that they do.
- There are reports of hidden fees
- They lack transparency
- They don't have any AICCA or NFCC accreditations
Lack of Transparency
One of our biggest concerns with CreditGuard of America is that the monthly and upfront fees are not disclosed. In addition to this, the company does not reveal what average interest rates are. Without this information, it is difficult for a potential client to determine if CreditGuard is the right fit for their needs. It also makes it difficult for our team to rank their services.
With the amount of experience that CreditGuard has, it is unusual to see that they lack industry accreditations like the AICCA and NFCC. This could be an indication that the company doesn’t always follow the best industry practices. Although this shouldn’t be seen as a deal breaker, and definitely doesn't mean they are not reputable, it should be taken into consideration before enrolling with them.
There have been reviews left by customers stating that CreditGuard has hidden recurring fees. It is troubling that these fees are not disclosed at the time of signing. That being said, the company does make an effort to resolve any problems brought to their attention and are quick to deal with complaints and bad reviews. We always say that while you can't stop bad reviews, you can make sure that they are dealt with promptly, and this is the case with CreditGuard of America.
The company offers a money-back guarantee and there are no cancellation fees, but clients will not be reimbursed the monthly administrative fee should they decide to cancel the plan. In some special circumstances, clients are exempt from having to do this, so this money-back guarantee won't affect everyone equally.
The Bottom Line
CreditGuard of America has a good reputation, with a stable and lengthy history in business. Additionally, they are ISO certified and offer a free consultation with a certified counselor. On the other hand, the company’s monthly and upfront fees along with their average interest rate are not disclosed.
There are also reports of billing problems that lead us to conclude that this company needs to be more transparent with their clients. Due to this, we cannot recommend working with CreditGuard of America at this time.
Instead, you should take a look at some of the debt consolidation companies that we have rated highly from the likes of Advantage Credit Counseling, right on up to Freedom Financial Services. If you're looking for something a little different, take a look at our reviews of Snap Finance, LowerMyBills and Best Egg.