Reputable Debt/credit Counselor??

Updated on December 12, 2011
E.L. asks from Lyons, IL
5 answers

Hey mamas (and daddys) I'm trying to find someone honest & reputable to help us curb our debt. We have a couple of credit cards and our debt is not as bad as it could be, but the interest is KILLING us! I've been a mostly SAHM for 2 1/2 yrs. & we've trimmed about as much fat off of our budget as we can it's been tough but we've made it ok. Two weeks ago, the credit card we switched to to get a lower rate ended it's intro & our payment doubled! We're going to try to get another low rate on yet another card but that just gets us so we can maintain the minimum, in a year we'll be back in the same boat. Every time we think we can make a dent or, dare I say get ahead....a car breaks down, I suffered a miscarriage (even WITH insurance I can't afford the medical bills!), the house needs a repair....we're both just exhausted & starting to take it out on each other.......every time we have an episode like this, I feel blamed for staying home even though as I said, I do work part time & free lance nothing I ever did or could do full time would pay for day care at this point. Not to mention (and this is the selfish point on my part) I was MISERABLE in my day job!!! I've been making slow but significant strides in my chosen profession (music, classical voice) if I get saddled into another full time job, it will never happen and that's not the life I want to show my dd. It's what my mother did & still bemoans in every conversation!!

I work very hard for this home/family & don't get me wrong, I don't mind work but we just need to get a handle on this or it will keep creeping back!

Thanks for taking the time to read my question/rant....

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answers from Boston on

I did it myself. I tried working with an agency and found it to be a complete waste of money. If you want to pick my brain about what I did you can message me. I would be happy to share what I did.



answers from Minneapolis on

I read/listen to a ton of money books/show, Dave Ramsey being my favorite. In your situation I believe he would tell you stay far, far away from those credit counselors. He would tell you to call the credit card company and tell them that there is no way you can make those payments with that interst and ask them to either lower your interest rate or settle with you on a lower balance. If your interest rate is 20%, ask for 5-8%. If you owe $10,000, ask if they will take $3000 right now (if you have that right now to offer them). Thankfully, I haven't been in this situation, but I believe you can work your way through this debt. Check out Dave Ramsey's podcasts (free) or give him a call. Good luck to you!

BTW.....get everything in writing. If they accept a lower balance from you, get it in writing and save it for the rest of your life! That way they can't ever come after you and say that you really owe them more than they verbally said on the phone.



answers from Chicago on

I know a great local financial planner. She is really invested in helping, and truly cares about her clients. She will listen wholeheartedly, and help you and your hubby figure out what you need to do to change things around.

Here is her info:
Portia Carmichael CFP
[email protected]



answers from Chicago on

Really the only person is Dave Ramsey. I haven't used his stuff, because that would mean dealing with my debt and right at the moment I prefer to live in denial. soon, however.........

I digress.....

People swear by him.

It's kind of like the difference between yo-yo dieting (like right now you've switched to the cabbage diet and soon you want to do the south beach diet) and making a lifestyle change. Which, we all know with dieting that the yo-yo only gets you so far. To really make a difference you have to change your lifestyle. Dave Ramsey will help you do that.

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

About 3 years ago I was where you are. My husband and I were fighting about money and I felt really helpless. Then I found Dave Ramsey on my local am station, 1220 frm 1-4 pm. We got his book and in 8 months paid off all our debt. No counselors, no debt reducing scams, just us and his plan. Get his book The Total Money Makeover, it has totally changed our lives.
From what I understand most of those debt things charge huge fees and most people get no where.
Good luck!

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