Recommendations for credit counselling
October 29, 2013 3:51 PM   Subscribe

I am in financial difficulties because my wife and I are unable to work. The debts are mounting up, and I need some help. Can you recommend a credit counseling agency?

I am in the US (New England area), and would rather do this online than over the phone or in person, as leaving the house is often difficult for both of us. We are mainly talking credit card debt here. It is not at the stage of collection agencies, but I would rather keep it that way.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

You start with a free consultation of about 90 minutes. They'll give you a quick lowdown on your options and then they will manage the negotiations with creditors and set up a debt repayment plan for you. The set up fee is $85 and then there's a $35 per month fee while you're in the plan.

They also have a ton of information and they want to help you get out of your mess. My boss told me about this and I've looked into them and recommended them to others, who have found it helpful. Memail me if you want more detail. (they are NOT debt consolidation people)
posted by janey47 at 3:57 PM on October 29, 2013

National Foundation for Credit Counseling is a clearinghouse for nonprofit credit counselors, search their site for local resources. Also check with credit unioms in your area to see if they have staff who are FiCEP certified credit counselors.
posted by headnsouth at 4:23 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

I listened to a (BBC and hence UK focused) radio program the other day that warned against predatory credit counselors and / or consolidators. I suspect that the general advice should apply to the US too however: there are many free services available, exhaust those before paying money for services.

I see that Denver offers some free counselling to low income families. Perhaps your city has the same. Good luck to you.
posted by NailsTheCat at 7:33 PM on October 29, 2013

I used CCCS here in Dallas. I don't know if they would require you to be local.

I cannot recommend them enough! I think the initial consult was $25 and it was $19/month to be in the plan. I was out of debt way faster than they said I would be.
posted by getawaysticks at 10:01 AM on October 30, 2013 is what we're using. another month and a half and we'll have paid off just under $30K in credit card debt in just under 5 years. they dealt with the credit card companies and got all our interest rates down to a single digit, lowered our monthly payments A LOT, etc. there was no consultation fee, i did a TON of back and forth with them to make sure it wasn't a scam and that we wouldn't be screwing ourselves somehow, and we pay 45$ a month (higher than i would like, but still way cheaper than if we were trying to do it ourselves) for them to "manage" our plan. there were a couple months where we weren't going to be able to make our payment date by a few days because of how the pay day fell that month, and we were able to move our payment date back with no penalty. they're very responsive by email and phone. i've been pleased.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:33 PM on October 30, 2013

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