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Debt Management
Case Studies

Meagan is from Burbank, California and in October 2008 she owed $69,061 from 6 different credit cards and other unsecure debts, with interest rates from 13% to 30%. Her monthly minimum credit debt payment was $2,097, and she was on track to take 19 years to pay off her debt. Her FICO? score was 498.

After providing Meagan with free credit counseling, a debt management plan was proposed with a new monthly consolidated payment of $1,673, at an average interest rate of 16%. Total time to pay off her debts: five years. 13 months after enrolling in the plan, her credit score had risen to 572.

Meagan benefited from concessions offered by her creditors which lowered her interest rates to an average of 16% and her monthly payment by $424. More importantly, this new consolidated lower monthly payment will enable her to pay off the entire $69,061 in 5 years. In addition, Meagan?s credit score increased 74 points in just one year now that she is current on all of her debts and made all her payments on time each month.

Note: This is an actual Springboard DMP client. The client?s name and possibly location has been changed to protect their privacy. Read More Debt Management Case Studies >>

Credit counselors

Learn about the various types of debt consultants & specialists certified to provide credit counseling to consumers

Credit counselors from a certified non-profit agency are typically certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). The non-profit debt analysis and consultation is a free service offered by phone and in person; so you should not have to wait to obtain debt help. If the credit counseling agency is accredited by the COA and HUD, then all of the counseling provided is subjected to regular, rigorous audits to ensure quality of service.

What is the difference between certified nonprofit credit counselors and other "credit counselors"?

Many organizations that claim to offer debt relief use the word "counseling," but certified, nonprofit credit counselors have certain things in common:
  • 3rd party certification: it's not enough for an agency to certify its own counselors. Check into the agencies certifications and accreditations ? look for endorsements from the NFCC, HUD, COA and their BBB rating.
  • Nonprofit organization: At a non-profit organization, your debt counselor truly offers counseling. Be wary of representatives at debt relief companies and settlement firms that aren't counselors, but rather salespeople.
  • No large up-front charges: Non-profit credit counseling is free to anyone who needs it. A credit analysis is performed, a budget is created and money-saving advice is proposed to you in a comprehensive action plan. If you qualify and decide to enroll in a DMP, expect to pay only modest fees.
  • Nationwide counseling: Free credit counseling services are offered to clients nationwide. Although, if you are interested in a DMP you will have to check and see if your agency?s DMP services are available in your state.
  • Working for you: Some debt relief providers will tell you to stop making your debt payments for one reason or another. Be wary of advice that makes your debt situation worse. Nonprofit debt counselors have your best interests at heart.
  • Advice tailored to you: Non-profit debt counselors help you find the right option to resolve your situation. That includes identifying ways to reduce expenses, receiving personalized budgeting advice, and other financial resources including a debt management plan, if that option is right for you. The point is, there is no pre-determined solution ready before you walk in the door. Just be aware that some for-profit debt relief salespeople may try to shoe-horn every client into a settlement, whether that?s a good choice for their situation or not.
  • No restrictions on counseling: Some debt settlement firms won?t deal with you unless you have a certain amount of debt, say 10 or 20 thousand dollars or more. Non-profit credit counseling is a community service organization where clients are not viewed as an opportunity to charge huge up-front fees.

How can a credit counselor help you?

Look for a counseling agency with experience. They've helped people in all kinds of situations, and they'll offer that experience to help you make sense of your personal finances. Because non-profit counseling is free, there is no risk to you; if you're confused about your options or just need some quick advice, your credit counselor can help. In addition to a comprehensive and personal review of your budget, a credit counselor can offer you educational resources to help you learn better money management skills. You can also learn about your credit report, identity theft, and more.

How to get a consultation with a credit counselor

You can pick up the phone and Call (800) 294-3896 at any time to reach a credit counselor at Springboard, a certified non-profit agency with over 35 years of experience. You can also Schedule A Priority Appointment right here on this web site. If you need immediate credit and debt help, you can get started right away.

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