Debt Mediation

Updated on September 30, 2011
C.A. asks from Arlington, TX
55 answers

Just wondering if anyone has tried debt mediation or credit counseling and what your results were. I tried to get a loan from the debt consolidation loan from the bank, but they wouldn't approve me. The company I am looking at is called Free Life Yes. I am at the end of my rope and could lose my car and home. Please, any advice is appreciated!!

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

As long as they don't charge you money. I actually use the Dave Ramsey Money Makeover plan. And I'm much happier and my creditors are happy too. www.daveramsey.com It is not really an instance fix but long term planning.

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L.L.

answers from Dallas on

I too was at the end of my rope. Try calling American Consumer Credit Counseling 1/800/769-3571 or
www.consumercredit.com
I am getting my credit cards paid off and slowing getting out of debt.
Good luck.

L.

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

I haven't tried it but anything to do with finaces I would look up on Dave Ramsey's website! He has a radio show AT 570 KLIF at 1pm Monday thru Friday.
B.

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P.B.

answers from Tyler on

They can NOT repo your credit cards. Pay your car and home first and quit answering your phone unless you know the caller (in case it is a harrassing phone call from a creditor).

Provide the necessities by prioritizing the bills (house, car, gas, food) and then see how much is LEFT to reduce the other debt.

What do you have around the house that you do NOT need. Have a blow out yard sale and use the extra cash to catch up the house and car payment.

Google Dave Ramsey and possibly get his book. It explains it ALL. He went bankrupt and then decided to listen to what GOD says about money and finances. It REALLY works.

Be blessed,

P. <><

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K.G.

answers from Dallas on

I suggest you find a Crown Financial class or Financial Peace University. FPU is part of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover...we are going through that class right now through my husband's workplace. One should be held at one of your many local churches. They will help set a budget and you do the work yourself. If you do it all yourself, you will not end up back in the same boat...God speed to you. We are still working on our issues but we are going to make it;)

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

i wouldn't suggest debt mediation or anything like that. also, please don't file bankruptcy, that's a VERY irresponsible way of solving the debts you got yourself into. what you need to do is sell your car, and buy a "beater", clearly you can't afford what you have, so you need to get rid of it. use the money from selling your car to pay off the note and use the remainder to outright buy your beater, even if it's only $500. next, be SURE to pay your mortgage ON TIME each month. next, pay your utility, phone, and groceries. those are your NEEDS. use the remainder of your money to set up an "emergency fund" and begin paying off your debts. also, sell anything and everything you don't NEED, have a yard sale or use craigslist, i'd also get rid of your computer and internet. good luck!

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

I second daveramsey.com. Stay away from any debt consolidation, mediation, credit counseling, etc. Dave Ramsey is amazing and can offer do-able solutions to any financial situation. I know when money is tight...or non-existent...you try not to spend on anything extra, but you have to get The Total Money Make-Over or Financial Peace (Although I am not sure the latter is still in publication). Go to half-price books or look on Amazon if you can wait a few days. The return on that small investment will amaze you. I know first-hand how desperate you feel in tough financial situations. But, just PRAY, remain calm, check out daveramsey.com, read the book, make a plan and then work that plan. It will all work out, and if you use Dave Ramsey's snowball plan, you will feel so accomplished in solving your financial situation. Good luck, and God Bless!

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R.

answers from Dallas on

I just encourage you to be very careful and read the fine print because often times you are paying them more than they are paying to your creditors and it takes even longer. Also, I know that this isn't a short term immediate fix but I truly encourage you to tune into Dave Ramsey on AM 570-he's great and very helpful. I do know that he is against CCC but if you feel it's what's best for you then go for it.

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B.D.

answers from Dallas on

C.-

I have used CCCS, Consumer Credit Counseling Service, www.cccs.net, and it was so simple. You put in the amounts you owe plus all of your living expenses, etc. and they come up with a monthly rate that you can afford. You pay them monthly and they disperse money to each of your creditors. It gave me such peace of mind. Granted, it still looked bad on my credit report, but I was making the effort to pay off my debt, so that made me feel good.

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K.C.

answers from Dallas on

Basically, those debt assisstance companies are just debt collectors you choose. So you have one collector to work with that you chose instead of 15 others that were chosen for you and can get quite rude. There are also atty's who specialize in going after creditors who don't follow the rules - for no fee. Sometimes you can get paid for something as simple as the creditor doesn't have a permit to collect in TX. Check him out - Dean Malone in Dallas. As far as the debt relief companies - shop around and CHECK THEM OUT. There have been cases where someone pays everything off, but it never gets reported to the original creditor and they still have to pay. Also try talking to your creditors directly. Come up with an overall plan and see how that works for them. Sometimes they can be flexible - especially when the economy is not so strong. good luck

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

My husband and I did that about 4 years ago and we are still paying on it. It is awful. We have a HUGE payment that is killing us more now than it was then. We thought we were at the end of our rope then, but it is worse now. I honestly believe that if we had tightened our belts we could have done it on our own. What you need to do is listen to 570 am from 1pm-4pm and get the book called "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. The radio program is Mr Ramsey speaking on debt and debt management. Many many churches in the area offer a workshop on his system. I think it is well worth checking out. The book is a EVERY easy read and wouldn't take much time to figure out if it would work for you before making the next move.

Hope this helps!

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S.H.

answers from Dallas on

Start listening to Dave Ramsey. He is on KLIF 570 AM every weekday from 1 pm to 4 pm. He will teach you how to work though this so you don't get to this place again. Go to the library and get his book "The Total Money Makeover". If you are not in the DFW area check out his website DaveRamsey.com and find out what time he is on in your area.

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H.G.

answers from Dallas on

Great advice from Pamela. Also, sometimes you can negotiate with your creditors. They'd rather have some money from you than none.

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E.J.

answers from Dallas on

I used a counseling service several years ago when my credit card debt reached $20K. I think I had about 8 credit cards then. They made it easy, I just sent them one payment each month, and they paid the creditors. They also got the interest rate reduced and on one, eliminated.
The bad part was that it gave me bad credit on my report, even though I was never delinquent. You can also look into filing for bancruptcy if you have a huge amount of debt, but as a last resort. Or you can marry a rich guy and have him pay your debts, and then write it into the pre-nup. :)

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J.F.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with many others who responded - go with Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS). Here is the website for the Texas branches: http://www.cccs.net/.

CCCS is very reputable, they have been around for years, and they are approved by the Better Business Bureau. My friends used them to get rid of over $50,000 in debt. Five years later, the debt is gone and there was NO harm to their credit report. In fact, their credit is better than it was before, because they don't have all those credit cards wrecking havoc on their credit report and they now know how to be responsible with their money. Since going through CCCS, my friends have had no problem buying a car or getting other services that check your credit. They say it's the best thing they ever did to save themselves from debt.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

hi C.
my husband i use CCCS and they have done a great job for us. We were in debt up to our ears and now only have 1 1/2 of 4 years and we'll be out of debt!!! they took care of the creditors calling us non stop and now just pay them one lump sum!!! :) i love them!!
good luck, hope you find something that works for you, i know how you feel being in debt....its a terrible feeling!!!
S.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

How about credit consumer counseling. I heard they were able to help alot. Or maybe the family you work for would assist in some way. A.

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A.O.

answers from Dallas on

Dave Ramsey 100%!!! Don't use ANY kind of debt consolidation or do anything else before looking into what he has to say. Grab his book The Total Money Makeover and check out his website: www.daveramsey.com. Listen to him from 1-4 on AM 570 KILF M-F also. We are doing his Total Money Makeover and are down to only two more debts before we're debt free!

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D.K.

answers from Dallas on

I would recommend CCCS (consumer credit counseling service); they have offices in McKinney, Plano, and Frisco just to name a few. http://www.cccsnct.org/ They are non-profit, but do charge $30 per month if you use their services and a one-time set up fee. In most cases they can get your interest rates reduced AND payments reduced. You pay them a set monthly fee and they distribute payments to your creditors for you. They are very friendly and very aware that "life happens" and do everything possible to alleviate some of the stress associated w/ financial crises. Also, remember Angel Food Ministries. This is a great way to make the most of your grocery budget. http://www.angelfoodministries.com/

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L.J.

answers from Dallas on

my mom has gone through Consumer Credit Counseling Services, non-profit organization. They consolidated all of her debt and she was able to pay it off in about 4 or 5 years. They just took one payment out every month until it was paid for. It worked great for her and her credit is still in very good standing.

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C.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I used Consumer Credit Counseling a few years back in Washington state and it worked out great. They'll have you bring in every debt you owe and will consolidate the amount and work out a monthly amount you can afford. The fee for me was only $10 per month. I think it's the same for them all. They contacted all of the companies and I only paid one check per month to the Credit Counseling company and they paid the bills. You have to give up all your credit cards during the process but it's worth it because it saves your credit. These credit agencies are owned by the credit card companies who don't want to see you default on your debts so they try to help with these agencies. If during the process you find the amount is too much per month they'll re-work it so you're sure to have enough to live on every month. My amount was reduced when I needed more for rent. The website for your area is http://www.cccs.net/. Good luck!

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D.T.

answers from Dallas on

We did Consumer Credit Counseling. It has been great for us. We even got letters from our credit cards thanmking us for taking this step. It has made our home a peaceful place again. I used to want to cry every time the phone rang. Now I don't worry! The people at CCCS were awesome. Nobody made us feel bad for being in the spot we were. Good Luck. I also believe in Dave Ramsey, but i feel like we were too far gone- we needed the help from CCCS. We follow him now to get the rest of our money in order and he is great.

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J.H.

answers from Dallas on

If you are using your 401K money, see a bankruptcy atty before doing anything. We went thru my entire $250K 401K to stay afloat, only to find out later that with bankruptcy, we would have been able to keep that. Live and learn. Good luck.

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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.!

Some of the debt mediation and consumer credit agencies are scams. I would be very careful.

I recommend Dave Ramsey at DaveRamsey.com. You can check out his endorsed local providers and counselors that are trained to deal with creditors too.

Good luck and God bless!

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W.D.

answers from Dallas on

Hello, I am sorry to hear of your misfortune. I know that your car and house are secured debts, but if you have unsecured debts, like credit cards, med bills, or personal loans my husband can help you. Please call him for more info. He will do his best to help you. 1-877-332-8357. God Bless.

About me sahm with 2 kids& happily married to a wonderful& caring man.

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L.G.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,

I recommend looking into Dave Ramsey before deciding on a credit counseling/debt mediation service. We did lose our van, almost our house & we are on the road to financial stability. It was a huge perspective change, but one that makes a lot of sense. Dave is on the radio (AM 570) from 1-4 pm, M-F. His website is www.daveramsey.com. His book "The Total Money Makeover" is a great start... & it's at the library so you don't even have to buy it! Good luck.

L.

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F.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,

I know a lot of people have said so many things so you are going to have to decide what is going to be best in your situation. I would (and have) started with the essentials. Cut back wherever you can. Start with some of the most common things like grocery, electricity, water, and phone bills. We have done a major overhaul in our home and we are probably saving about $300 a month. It just takes a little time and planning. Next (this should really be first) work with your mortgage company and the financing company for your car. Mortgage companies (the good ones)are making a great effort to work with customers. The gov't has really cracked down on them to do as much as possible to slow down this foreclosure rate. They should have a plan that can help you either skip a payment or catch up on your mortgage. Also with your car, finance companies can offer a certain amount of extensions over the life of your loan. Contact them to see how they can help. This will allow you to skip at least one payment. Believe me it cost them a lot more to repossess your car than working with you. The credit cards and unsecured loans...let them go if you can't afford to pay. You can later settle those with the creditors...or look into a company called Credit Solutions to settle the debt for you. I like Dave Ramsey as well, but have not done his courses, but he has very very good advice. The key to all of this is get yourself out of as much debt as possible and don't go back! Debt free living is the way to be. We have been brainwashed about credit and consumption which leads us to debt. It's just a revolving door. Watch the movie "Maxed Out" and it will change your whole view on things. I would avoid bankruptcy or CCC as much as possible. God wants us to be good stewards of our money. I pray you have much success with this season of your life. Be Blessed! F.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

We also used CCCS five years ago after my husband was out of work for 5 months and then had to take a much lower paying job. They are honest, and it was a wonderful experience. When we bought our house, we were told that the completion of that program was a deciding factor for our approval since our credit score was still so low. Now, we are in good shape. You have to be careful who you go with because there are some companies out there that will make things worse for you. I know when you are in the thick of it, it feels hopeless, but you will survive. If you need help creating a budget, get help, and then stick to the budget no matter what. You can do it!

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T.D.

answers from Dallas on

Please contact this man at Freedom Debt Relief:

[email protected]____.com

www.freedomdebtrelief.com

I recently contacted him and he was very helpful. We did not end up going with his company because we did a consolidation loan through our credit union. He was our next option. He was very helpful and not at all pushy. He was the one who suggested the different options to go with. They do debt settlement where they contact the lenders and ask them to reduce your balances owed. Best of luck to you, this can be a very stressful situation.

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L.H.

answers from Dallas on

I would not go with credit counseling either. Although CCCS seems to have worked very well for some posters here. If you were going to call anyone, I would talk with them. DO NOT USE CCA (Credit Counseling of America). I would also consult with a bankruptcy lawyer before making any decisions. There are lots of good ones out there who will lay it all out for you and tell you the truth about what will happen and if you are a good candidate. I noticed one poster wanted to shame you about considering bankruptcy but that is WRONG. Sometimes you don't have a choice and let's face it, the credit card companies hold some responsibility here too. They are notorious for raising your limit and raising your limit and before you know it, you are in over your head. Yes, we are all responsible for out own actions but they make it easy to drown in debt. Don't be ashamed, do what you have to do and learn from your mistakes. Best of luck to you.

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K.

answers from Dallas on

If your credit is already shot you may want to consider filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will protect you from losing your home and car, and help get your life back on track. I had to get past the feeling of being a loser doing it and realizing it was a second chance. It was the best thing we ever did. Now I am just working on rebuilding my credit. I have a good attorney if you want the name. Good luck to you!!

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

Call Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS), they have an office in the metroplex. They are a nonprofit company, versus these private consolidation companies that often leave you in worse condition than you started in.

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E.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.! Please check out DaveRamsey.com before you do anything drastic!!! He is my Hero! I am strongly against consolidating debts, because the interest you pay for each debt is usually a different rate. In order to fully benefit, you really need Dave Ramsey's complete FPU course (Financial Peace University). If you don't have the money, try to find a kind sponsor. Here is a snap shot of Dave Ramsey's advice: Make a written monthly budget (your income and bills). After you met your basic needs (prioritize your bills: Housing, Utilities, Food, Transportation), establish a Pro Rata Debt list (in descending order) and send this list with a certified letter to all your creditors. Let them know, you are willing to pay, and how much you are able to pay, each month. Use the snowball system to pay off your debts (start with the smallest debt first). Get a cheaper car (until you can afford the better model). Stay away from new debts, especially credit card debt. Stick to the above and stop spending what you don’t need. Hang in there! Believe me: There is hope! I will pray for you and God bless.

D.D.

answers from Dallas on

These companies will not stop reposession or foreclosure. They will not "Save" your credit. Essentially they strike a deal with the credit companies (for a fee)to give you "slow credit" in apposed to "charge offs". Slow credit is just as bad as having bad credit or no credit. So why pay someone to do what you can already do for yourself. If you are really serious about this, I suggest seeking out Dave Ramsey. He has been there, done that, and back again. The man is amazing!

1)On the home- Call your mortgage company and see what you can do. They really do not want to reposess your home. That would mean they have to try and sell it and in this market there is no way they will get what they have loaned you on it.

2)On the car- talk to your finance company about rolling the payment into the loan and refinancing. Then try to sell the car and use the cash to buy a cheaper car with no payments. It is amazing how much you save when you have NO CAR PAYMENT.

When I was younger I went thur CCS(Consumer Credit Counseling). The WORST thing I ever did! Now I know that they only did what I could do myself. Not to mention that by doing it myself I learn how to manage my own money. CCS manages your money for you. They contact your creditors to arrange a payback plan (something you can do for yourself too). Sometimes the creditors will accept, sometimes they will not and your CCS will ruin your credit score with charge offs. Discover Card was one that did not accept a payment plan from CCS (when I did it). I ended up with a charge off and a collection agency on my back. That one still comes back to haunt me 13 yrs later. Even though it is now paid off ever time they sell those files it opens up again and I have to provide another company with proof of a paid debt.

Being in Debt IS NOT the american way. It is possible to live your life "like no one else" and have no debt.

D.
Married 12 yrs with 3 kids (19,18,5).

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I would declare Ch13 before I would go with a Debt Mediation company.

JME
S.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,

I haven't used it, but I would beware of it and avoid it if possible. Many of those agencies are a scam. If you must use one, contact Consumer Credit Counseling, not one of the agencies that advertise. They are well known to be reliable. They can help you if you're desperate. Few people know, however, that using a program like this has a horrible effect on your credit rating--it's as if you declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

I would highly recommend you listen to (and possibly call)Dave Ramsey from 1:00 - 4:00 pm on AM 571, KLIF on weekdays. He is a money guru who helps others. I like to think of him as a Christian Dr. Phil with money. People call in with their financial problems, and he walks them through the steps to solve them. He had been a millionaire 20 years ago, then lost it all and went hrough bankruptcy, then began a program to help others understand and overcome their financial issues. Because he has been there, he deals with people with warmth, grace, humor and encouragement

He has a huge ministry now, with a show every night on the Fox Business Network, and has written two wonderful bestsellers, "Financial Peace", and "The Total Money Makeover." If you can, get a hold of the latter--it's very specific about what steps to take to get out of a mess. His seminar series, "Financial Peace University" is held at churches all over the country once a week for 12 weeks. If you look on daveramsey.com you can find out where they're held near you--you'd be surprised how many there are! If you can't listen during the day, I think you may be able to listen to the show online, but I'm not sure of that.

He has a very common sense approach that actually works. Sorry to sound like an advertisment (I really don't work for them), but this program is huge and works. We went to see him in Reunion arena a few months ago, along with many thousands of others.

Hope this helps! I know how scary this stuff is--been there, done that. Hang in there--it can get better. I'll be praying for you.

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J.H.

answers from Dallas on

C.,
My husband and I used NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR DEBT MANAGMENT.
WWW.NFDM.ORG we didn't have over 10,000 in debt or own a house so no other company would help us unless we went to a bank and got some kind of consolidation loan. That is a form of bankruptcy and we would have lost the car that we were paying for.

At NFDM they treated us like people who needed help-not morons who couldn't handle our business. They were friendly and helpful, available by phone and internet 24/7. They were just the greatest company and helped us to get out of debt in 3years, paying the payments and fees to the company's directly would have taken us over 25 years.

I'm sure they would be able to help you, and last time I checked they covered any kind of debt, credit card, medical, or house or vehicles.

Good luck
J.

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P.F.

answers from Dallas on

Wow, I think you waited a little long to get help but it's never too late. You have to have a roof over your head and a way to make money so you shouldn't lose either your home or car - they have to be your first priority, and let me add that even mortgage holders will renegotiate your loans, I once had them add a couple months onto the life of the loan in order to get caught up. Sometimes auto loans will do that also. I would highly recommend negotiating with your creditors yourself, those so-called "debt fixers" just get paid to do what you can do yourself! I speak from experience here, years ago my husband at the time decided to go that route and while they did "take care of the creditors" as in they no longer called us day and night - it destroyed our credit! They only made agreements to stop the calls, not the fees. It took us a long time to figure out what was happening and it almost killed us financially, we actually had to file bankruptcy.....long time ago and the laws have changed but it was a nightmare and affected us for years!
Most creditors will work with you themselves, you need to write a sincere letter to each, explaining your circumstances - even if it's just that you overextended yourself into debt - it happens! and ask them to agree to stop adding to it by adding extra charges for overlimit fees and sometimes they even will agree to cancel your account for additional charges, in essence freezing them and allowing you to make payments solely on the balance owed. This is tough to type out but I would suggest you research online about renegotiating your debt with the original creditors first. good luck to you, there IS a light at the end of this tunnel!

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D.K.

answers from Chicago on

Try contacting Insitute for Consumer Credit Education. They are the real deal, not another predatory scam.

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D.T.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

CCCS of North Central Texas is a non-profit organization that can help. These Certified Credit Counselors will look at your situation with you and help you come up with an action plan. There is a small fee ($35 for 90 minute session) which depending on your situation may be waived. This organization also provides foreclosure prevention assistance. Their McKinney number is ###-###-#### or 800-856-0257.

D. T.

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J.C.

answers from Boston on

Hi C.!!I would stay clear from any credit counseling companys,my husband and I met with an attorney last month (we are in the sane situation,we got sucked into an interest only mortgage and now are suffering terribly from it,we now owe more than what our house is worth and cant get out!)We also have credit cards up the but...so we have decided to claim chapter 11 and 13,yes we will loose our house(eventually)BUT-we have also saved up ALOT of money and are still living in our house.I guess what I am saying is definatly meet w/an attorney they can help you (if you want to email me personaly i can tell you some more info)I live in Ma or I would give you his name,hes unbelievable at what he does!!Please at least call around and get some answers(some attorneys have free consults over the phone or in the office)Its actually not that expensive to file!Anyway good luck and feel free to write to me

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H.C.

answers from Dallas on

We used David Ramsey.....i think...he pretty much teaches you how to pay down debt with the snow ball approach. Where you pay off one bill and the money you were using to pay that off you pull that into the next bill. I am not sure but i do know that you can look him up on line...might be under Dave Ramsey. Good Luck to you and God Bless..H.

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A.E.

answers from Amarillo on

Carrie,
I am a mediator in the Oklahoma Panhandle. See if you can get a conference between a mediator and your creditor to work out a plan. I would stay away from debt consolidation agencies.

Try your state supreme court to find mediation or alternative dispute resolution. Also check your phone book. Also look for Consumer Credit Counseling.

Best luck to you.

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R.B.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with most of the responders: Don't go to a for-profit credit counseling business. If you decide to go with a credit counseling service, go with a non-profit like CCCS (now as one responder said is www.moneymanagement.org). My husband and I did so 17 years ago when we had $45,000.00 combined debt when we married. Some companies stopped the accruing interest, which greatly helped. We paid the debt off in 3 years. It was on our credit report for many years, but it never seemed to seriously damage our credit. We have excellent credit now and all along we have been able to secure loans if needed, buy cars, etc.

I really like what many said about taking the Dave Ramsey course, although I was not personally aware of him. Sounds like he has a sound program. Use your caller ID, stop answering calls, and if any are calling your work, you can ask them to remove that number from they records. If they don't; you can report them to the appropriate agency.

Another good source if you plan to do it on your own is "Pay It Down! From Debt to Wealth on $10 a Day" by Jean Chatzky.

Good luck to you. We have been there and empathize with you. Bless you for reaching out for a plan to get to a much better place.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Carrie~ I have had success with Consumer Credit Counseling Services. I found myself in over my head and they were able to assist me with getting out of debt and changing the way that I managed my money. FYI: This is not a place to obtain a loan. There is little relief in obtaining debt to pay off debt- trust me. Website is : https://www.moneymanagement.org/

Best of luck to you- there is a light at the end of your tunnel, hang in there.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

A lot of those places may help, but will ruin your credit. Go with Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) It was the 2nd best thing we have ever done. The first best thing is folling Dave Ramsey's advice. There is a course you can take called "Financial Peace University". A lot of churches offer it for free, you just have to pay for the material.

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H.F.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with the advice of using a well known company like Consumer Credit Counseling (CCC). It takes a couple months to get the program set up. That is the time frame that hurt our credit. When the creditors call you to pay them, send them something, even if you can not send the minimum; then the creditors know that they are not going to have to write you off as a loss, and may work with you better. The CCC may say that is not necessary, but hindsight told us otherwise. Fortunately, Our credit was really good (we just owed everyone money:( ) before using the program, so the start up time did not hurt us too seriously.

Listening to Dave Ramsey is excellent advice!!

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

Credit Counseling ( and the like ) will ruin your credit.... If you are able, go on www.daveramsey.com . He has really practical advise in how to get your financial feet back under you. He also has a show that you can listen to online or on the AM station in Dallas ( 570 AM ) that plays Monday through Friday 1 pm to 4 pm and is on Fox Business TV most nights.

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A.R.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with the staying away from the consolidation. If you are able to make the payments every month, then everything is great. BUT if anything happens it's too bad so sad. I was with New Horizons for 2 years and my husband lost his job and it was either pay the house payment of the consolidation loan. I call NH and they could have cared less about the situation. So I paid the house and was kicked off of the program. Yes the credit card companies started calling again, but due to the situation I had nothing to send them. Once my husband found another job, the credit card companies were at the point they just wanted something. One company came down $250 if I could pay the rest upfront with no penalties, and the other two has dropped the interest rate and finance charges to zero. We are finally getting back on track with rebuilding our credit. The most important thing to remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Keep your chin up and remember things happen for a reason. One more store and I will stop. For 3 years we were a one car family. I thought I had everything worked out with the creditor and had made a payment on the car. Two weeks later they came and took our only form transportation. I told our 6 year old son, that the car was sick and it had to go back. Some wonderful friends helped us out with a used car by the next day. A month and half later we were able to trade that in for two cars with car payment only fifty dollars more than what we paid for the one. That was a year and a half ago. Now instead of it being a tragedy I realize it was a wakeup call to my family and me. I hope this helps some and worrying only makes things worse. Take a deep breath and it will work out, maybe not like we would like or had planned, but it will work out

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

What you want to be sure of is that you go with a true non-profit organization like Consumer Credit Counseling. Some of the others take your money and don't do a thing for you. CCC has been around for years and years and they don't take your money. I would be sure to carefully check out any company before taking this step but you are on the right track. I wish you the best in this tough situation.

D.H.

answers from Dallas on

C.,
I didn't get to read all of your responses but I second Dave Ramsey. We've been on his plan for 2 years and he has changed our lives!
D.

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M.T.

answers from Dallas on

CCC is probably the best one for credit counseling.

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L.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Carrie,
Be VERY CAREFUL and READ EVERYTHING! I went thru a company called EDA out of Dallas and ended uphaving to file bankruptcy. After a year they had not made any settlements and we were been "served" with court papers from B of A. If they would have settled, we would have received a 1099 tax form for the difference between what they settled for and amount owed. ie 10,000 card balance, settled for 4,500 IRS considers the 5,500 as non-taxed income that has to be reported on your taxes. It sounds like you are beyond this and need to seek a lawyer, we used Mark Rubin ###-###-####)and his paralegal Robin was very good.

Good luck and hope everything turns out.
LP

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V.C.

answers from Lubbock on

My husband and I went with Credit Foundation of America about 3 years ago now, they were able to lower our monthly payments and the interest rate as well. We will be debt free within the year. Good luck

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B.S.

answers from Dallas on

We went through CCCS which then became Money Management (www.moneymanagement.org). We have one year left and we will have our debt minus cars and house paid off! For us it did not lower the monthly payment, but for some it does. What did happen is the interest was lowered and we were able to get all our debt paid off in less than 5 years where at the rate we were going it would have been 45 years. This really helped us and your monthly statements are still sent to you so you can track the payments and make sure everything is being done correctly! It also hasn't hurt us on our credit report in fact our scores have been raised while doing this. Plus, we moved and totaled a car so we qualified for a new house and car with no trouble!

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