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I was so naive! Debt management nightmare


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I got some really bad advice...

About 15 months ago, I sought to combine the monthly payments of several revolving accounts I owned into one monthly payment, mainly to streamline my payments. I wasn't really thrilled about the thought of getting an unsecured loan to accomplish it, nor was I in a position to transfer the balances to a different card. A friend of mine then suggested a consumer debt program would be able to do this for me without any impact on my credit report. You see, I wasn't looking to shirk my responsibilities to the debt, I was simply wanting to combine payments. My payment history on each of the accounts were SPOTLESS, although the balances and interest rates were high.

Now, as I'm preparing to buy my first home, I'm realizing that I didn't ask enough questions before I signed up for the management program. It has indeed impacted my credit report, and not in a good way. Most notably, it seems that mortgage lenders look apon debt management with disdain, actually treating it as a bankruptcy in waiting! And I was told that it does have a negative effect on my FICO as well.

So at this time I am looking to opt out of the program, and return my account to a normal status...but I have a couple of concerns before I do so. First of all, I'm afraid that my interest rate will rocket at that point, making it difficult to control my balance the way I'd like to; Secondly, I'd like to be certain that the notation on my credit tradelines referencing the debt management program would be removed.

Again, I had a perfect payment history before the program, and ever since as well. And the concessions that the service negotiated were minor; there was no request for a reduction in balance, and a minimal reduction of interest rate was attained. I never wanted to get out of paying what I owe.

Will simply cancelling the program provide the desired result? I know that my interest rates will go up, is there anything else I should be wary of?

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Posted by calawyer on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 @ 07:40 PM:

I have seen a number of posts recently about credit counseling scams and we have also seen some CC spamming here. The following article is an excellent report prepared by NCLC on the entire industry and the law relating to credit counseling. It may be more detailed than some of you want, but I think it is a very interesting read:


This is a pdf file, and covers quite a bit of the short comings of credit counseling.

You want to be sure to read you contract and know of any penalties which they may charge you for backing out. Sorry to hear of your situation - but I do believe creditors will work against you for trying to get out, they will most likely jack you negotiated interest rates back up.

Know when you usually use credit counseling; the creditors will have the condition added that the tradeline reflects counseling for the period of time it is in; and they require that the account be closed with them.

It is worth calling your creditors and asking them some questions 1st as to what you might expect & if they will work with you aside from going through the credit counseling company.

Really sorry to hear of this unfortunate mess you have unknowingly walked right into. I wish credit counseling could be banned, they really ruien peoples credit and never disclose this when first signing up.

[Edit by kb9tbq on [TIME]1056302413[/TIME]]

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