Finding resources for free credit help are easy to find, but who do you trust?
In the United States the free Consumer Credit Counseling agencies have been under investigation and the Internal Revenue Service has uncovered that the vast majority of them are essentially non-profit debt collectors. The IRS has been revoking the charitable status of these agencies.
Consumer Credit Counseling offices are paid a percentage of the money they collect from consumers and return to creditors. While many people believe that these credit counseling offices negotiate on their behalf with the creditors in order to develop a fair and equitable repayment plan, nothing could be further from the truth.
Consumer Credit Counseling offices in the US are told by the creditors how to calculate the monthly payment the creditors will accept. Rather than pick up the phone to negotiate, a credit counselor will enter the details about your credit card debts in their computer system and out will pop the approved creditor payment. These days those repayment arrangements are transmitted electronically from the credit counselor to the creditor without any human intervention at all.
Consumer Credit Counseling offices also tend to not include debts from creditors that do not pay them a collection percentage. They also offer no programs or assistance for those people that can’t afford the creditors payment when in a Consumer Credit Counseling program.
People often go to Consumer Credit Counseling offices in the US because they believe that the service is free. These days you will be expected to pay a monthly fee for the credit counseling help but the hidden cost of this service is huge. Since the Consumer Credit Counselors are essentially working on behalf of the creditors to collect money from consumers they are not really acting in your best behalf nor putting your needs first.
What you wind up paying is years of debt repayments that might have been unreasonable or placement in a debt management plan that is not appropriate for you. So you have to ask yourself what is the cost of seeking representation from essentially a collection agent of your creditors?
There is a lot of free information and advice available on the Internet for those that want to find information on how to get out of debt. The Myvesta Foundation provides an almost unlimited amount of free publications, on-line calculators and information to get out of debt. You can also chat anonymously with one of their people on-line for advice. If you live in the US, you can ask Myvesta US for help and resources or in the UK, contact Myvesta UK for free help, articles and videos to get out of debt.
Getting out of debt in the United Kingdom and other countries is different. In each country there are different rules available so you should not judge what help and resources are available just by what you read about in the United States if you live in a different country. In some countries unfair credit agreements can be canceled, complaints filed against creditors to local governments, debts reduced to afford repayment, etc.
Ironically the United States is one of the more backwards countries in the world when it comes to offering people help to get out of debt but one of the more advanced in the extension of credit to consumers.