College is a time where people better their education and better their understanding of living on their own. Unfortunately, college is also a time when people obtain large debts.
There are plenty of organizations out there that can help people get out of debt. Consumer Credit Counseling Service is a non-profit organization that helps people not only get out of debt, but also educate people on credit.
“Here at Consumer Credit Counseling Service, we provide debt management programs for people, negotiate with creditors, and get your minimum payment lowered,” said Marilyn Keech who is a credit counselor at CCCS.
CCCS helps people with financial problems work out a plan for paying their debts and offers educational programs that will improve their money management skills. CCCS can establish and administer a repayment plan called a Debt Management Program. The Debt Management Plan helps people repay their debts and helps creditors receive their money. On the Debt Management Plan, many national creditors will waive or reduce interest rates. A CCCS counselor creates a Debt Management Plan by enlisting the cooperation of the creditors so the client is able to maintain an affordable schedule of payments to repay creditors and avoid collections, judgments, and bankruptcy. Once creditors are repaid, CCCS will work with clients to help them reestablish credit.
According to Keech, during your first appointment, the counselor will analyze your income, expenses, and overall financial situation, discuss possible solutions, and make recommendations. The counselor will determine if you qualify for a Debt Management Program or if an education workshop would meet your needs. Not all clients qualify for a Debt Management Program. To qualify, clients must have enough money remaining [after paying monthly living expenses] to pay creditors in full within 48 months.
The Debt Management Program involves the negotiation of CCCS with a person’s creditors for special payment arrangements. The client pays CCCS a lump sum each month that is disbursed to the creditors.
“Clients pay a one time, $10 setup fee and a monthly fee not to exceed $10 to offset operating expenses,” said Keech.
Clients unable to pay the fee are never denied the services of CCCS. Most of the agency’s funding comes from voluntary contributions from creditors who participate in the Debt Management Plan. Since creditors have a financial interest in getting paid, most are willing to make a contribution to help fund the agency.
The CCCS staff works as a professional team to give people the knowledge necessary to resolve their financial difficulties so they don’t have to result to bankruptcy.
If you feel you are having problems with your credit, you can contact Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Inland Northwest at 327-3777.