Determine if credit counseling is right for you

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Some credit counseling agencies are non-profit, while some are for-profit. In most cases, credit counseling agencies set consumers up with a debt management plan (DMP) that often reduces the consumer’s monthly payment obligation. The agencies can do this because they maintain pre-arranged agreements with credit card companies that allow them to lower interest rates on existing debt to a creditor-issued “concession rate.” Benefits of Credit Counseling Counselors teach smart money skills. A true credit counseling agency will spend at least an hour reviewing your entire debt situation and overall financial position. This initial interview should be free of charge. A good credit counselor will evaluate your debt load and how much you are paying in interest and fees. Then he or she can offer advice on ways to get out of debt. A reputable credit counseling program will teach clients budgeting and financial management skills. You can get out of debt over time. With a DMP, your money is deposited each month with the credit counseling agency, and the agency then uses those funds to pay your creditors. Because credit counselors are often able to reduce the interest rates on certain of your outstanding balances, your monthly payment may go down. In addition, the simplicity of having a single monthly payment to worry about makes it easier to stay on top of your bills. Collection agencies will stop calling. As long as you are making payments via a credit counseling program, harassing calls from collection agencies should stop. Concerns about Credit Counseling It can be costly, and take several years. Monthly credit counseling fees range from $10 to $15 per enrolled debt account. This might not sound like much, but the standard DMP lasts five years, and total fees can easily mount to $3,000. Principal remains the same. Credit counseling only reduces interest rates. It does not lower the principal amount of debt owed. In five years, an original debt of $20,000 may wind up costing $30,000 when you factor in interest and DMP fees even after the reduction in interest rates. In comparison, you might pay approximately $14,000 (including fees) if you chose a debt settlement option instead. Your credit report may be viewed negatively. Creditors may report that your payments are being made through a credit counseling service, and that the accounts included in the credit counseling plan are “not being paid as agreed.” Many lenders will not issue credit until your debt management program has ended. This could be five years after starting the program. The success rate is low. Credit counseling companies historically have a success rate of about 26 percent. One out of five enrollees leave to “self-administer” a debt-reduction plan, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Furthermore, many consumers who attempt a DMP eventually wind up filing bankruptcy. That’s because payments in a DMP still are more than they can afford. Credit counseling can be a viable option for consumers who would benefit from a lower interest rate and who can stick with the program for several years.
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Advantage Consumer Credit Counseling Service is now licensed in North Dakota

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Advantage Logo Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania March 06, 2013 Business News ( PRLEAP.COM ) Advantage Consumer Credit Counseling Service is pleased to announce that they have recently been licensed and approved to provide free consumer credit counseling, along with debt management services in North Dakota. Advantage CCCS is a qualified and reputable non-profit consumer credit counseling agency that helps individuals by providing them with free debt and credit counseling, a debt management program (DMP), bankruptcy education courses, housing counseling, and much more. Advantage CCCS has been helping consumers with their financial issues since 1968. debt reduction Non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling services allow individuals to work with a certified and trained credit counselor who will educate the consumer on how to manage a monthly budget and how to use credit wisely. If consumers meet certain qualifications, then customer service representatives within the organization will work with the creditors to discuss modified monthly payment plans that work for both the consumer as well as the creditor. The DMP proposals that are sent out to the creditors must be approved by both parties before the consumer can be accepted onto the debt management program (DMP). There are certain guidelines and rules that are already set in place that the organization must follow when dealing with each creditor. If a DMP proposal gets accepted, that usually means lower interest rates and no more hidden late fees for the consumer. This will help the consumer pay off their unsecured debt at a much faster pace. Individuals who are plagued by their unsecured debt should recognize that they are not alone and that there is free professional help out there for them. With the rapidly declining economy in America today, Advantage CCCS offers free and confidential debt relief advice thru their credit counseling session and they work with the individual to help them move towards becoming debt free. Advantage Consumer Credit Counseling Service is now available to provide these same expert services to consumers living in the great state of North Dakota who are having trouble handling their unsecured debt. All About Advantage CCCS – Advantage Consumer Credit Counseling Service has been educating and counseling individuals about realistic monthly budgeting, personal money management, and the sensible use of credit since 1968. The Agency’s services help to financially empower consumers and ultimately help to better their lives by assisting them with becoming debt-free. Advantage has six locations in Western and Central Pennsylvania. The Agency offers financial education, credit counseling, housing counseling, pre-filing bankruptcy counseling, pre-discharge bankruptcy education, and credit report review sessions. For additional information on all of their services, class schedules, and the states serviced please go to their website at: http://www.advantageccs.org or call them toll-free at 866-699-2227. Advantage Consumer Credit Counseling Service is a long time member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), a certified housing counseling agency by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and also a member in excellent standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Advantage Credit Counseling Service
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit Advantage Consumer Credit Counseling Service is now licensed in North Dakota

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