In this video I go over when to use the equity in your home to refinance and pay off your credit card debt
Are Not-For-Profit Credit Counselling Agencies Now Just Debt Collectors? – Debt Free In 30 – A Personal Finance Podcast. A debt collector does just what the name suggests: they collect on unpaid debt. They won’t review all your debt relief options with you or give you a plan that makes debt repayment realistic and affordable. Their only goal is to recover as much debt for the creditor as possible. That’s how their business makes money.
You might be shocked to learn that not-for-profit credit counselling agencies are now operating the same way. In fact, they are formally registered with the Ontario government as debt collection agencies. Credit counselling agencies have changed. Most are no longer registered charities. Credit counselling agencies don’t do a lot of budgeting or actual counselling anymore either. Credit counselling organizations in Canada today are big, national call centers. Now when you call a credit counsellor, you’re sold a debt management plan (DMP), where you repay 100% of the debts you owe, but with a lowered interest rate. Credit counselling companies sell this regardless of whether that’s the right course of action for you because they are sponsored by financial institutions to do so.
We take a deep look at why not-for-profit credit counselling agencies have become nothing more than debt collectors. We also examine the implications for you as a debtor in need of help.
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Credit counselling is a way to impart proper guidance and support on consumer credit, money and debt management. Know more
Transcription: Agencies like Cambridge speak to thousands of people every month, and one of the most common questions we hear is, “Will credit counseling hurt my credit score?” The short answer is no, but that comes with an explanation. “Credit counseling” is the process by which a certified credit counselor will help you create a workable financial plan that reflects your income, expenses, and goals. Your counselor will review your finances with you, give you personalized advice to help you develop a budget, provide valuable resources you can use in that process, and recommend alternative strategies to manage your situation. This type of free consultation has no impact whatsoever on your credit standing. Now, one of the options a counselor may offer is enrollment in a debt management program, or DMP. A debt management program will impact your credit, but probably not in the way you may be thinking.
Your credit scores, or “FICO scores,” are calculated from the data in your credit report at any given moment. That’s why they often change from month to month, as your creditors report your activity. The data is grouped into five categories: Payment History, which represents 35% of your score; Amounts Owed, which is 30% of your score; Length of Credit History – 15%, New Credit, 10%; and Types of Credit Used, which also accounts for 10% of your FICO score. The importance of any one factor depends on the total amount of information in your credit report at that moment. This means that what impacts your score may not impact another person’s score as heavily. Now, on to the good news.
Fair Isaac and Company, developers of the FICO scoring model, considers debt management enrollment as a neutral mark – neither good nor bad, and it carries no weight when calculating your score. This wasn’t always true. In 1989 debt management was considered a negative notation; however, the formula changed in 1998 because people were enrolling in DMPs as a proactive step. Instead of looking for help after they fell behind on their bills, people were reaching out to credit counseling agencies before things got out of hand. So if the creditors you include on your program note that your account is being repaid through a reduced payment and interest program, you won’t lose any points as a result of that notation. However, each of your prospective lenders has its own policies. One may view debt management as a non-issue, while others may interpret it negatively. There’s simply no way to predict that reaction.
Although participation in a debt management program isn’t a factor in FICO’s formula, the process of enrollment will affect your score. In a DMP, your credit counseling agency pays your bills once each month, and many creditors drastically reduce their interest rates and waive their late and overlimit fees. In return for those benefits, they require that the accounts you include in your plan be closed. That’s reasonable. Now, closing those accounts lowers your score because the amount of available credit is reduced, and that’s a part of the Amounts Owed category. The number of points you lose depends on the other information in your credit profile at that time. If you have a good credit history, with a lot of accounts in good standing, you may lose just a few points. If you only have a few accounts, the impact may be greater.
At the time you enroll, the agency will let your creditors know when your payment will be disbursed; however, as you transition into the program, you could experience a late or missed payment. That would impact your score, but the length of the program, generally 3 to 5 years, gives you more than enough time to make up for that initial event. It’s also important to remember that even though participation in a DMP is a neutral mark, it doesn’t “protect” you from incurring a negative notation, either. Just like when you’re managing your bills on your own, if you miss a payment on one of your accounts, your history will be affected. That’s one of the things you’ll learn while you’re working with an agency. You’re not just a number to us – we want to show you how to earn lower interest rates by developing good credit habits. Making payments on time is one of them.
If you pull your own credit report or review your score through a free website like CreditKarma.com, which I highly recommend, you may discover that you have too much debt. For example, if all of the credit limits on your accounts added up to $10,000, and all of the balances on those accounts added up to $5,000, you’d be using 50% of your available credit. On creditkarma.com, you’d see a note like “proportion of balances to credit limits is too high on revolving bank accounts,” which means that your score has already been impacted negatively.
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More info at http://www.debtcounsellinghelp.co.za or
call us at: 076 514 3756 (in South Africa)
We will notify the National Credit Regulator and all your creditors that you have applied for Debt Counselling as soon as we receive your completed form 17 application form via fax or email.
The NCR will then notify all credit bureaus that you are in debt counselling. When someone does a credit check on your profile, they will see that you are in debt counselling. Under ‘notes’ on your credit file is will state ‘under debt review’.
Creditors may not give you credit when they see this note on your credit file.
When you completed your debt counselling, the note will be removed from your credit file. We will notify the NCR and credit agencies that you are debt free and they will remove the note from your file.
You are now free to apply for credit again.
Ding dong the witch is dead! Which old witch? The credit debt witch! Here’s how I killed the wicked old witch of debt and eliminated twenty two thousand of credit card debt in just three years.
Credit counseling service I used: https://twitter.com/ClearPoint
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Using credit counseling to consolidate your bills into one lower monthly payment may be a great way to manage falling behind on finances for some, but others may not qualify or have a steady income to support the payment. Who is CCCS the perfect fit for?
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How Does Credit Consolidation Work
If you are asking yourself how does credit consolidation work, then it just means that you are in a debt situation. It may be that you are having a hard time tracking all the payments or you have trouble making the payments altogether. Regardless of the particular scenario in your financial life, too much debt only means one thing: you need a debt relief program.
Credit consolidation simply refers to any program that will combine your multiple debts into one easy and convenient payment plan. There are many reasons why you want to do this.
First of all, you want to keep yourself from missing out on your monthly payments. Bottom line is, it simplifies your payments. Instead of monitoring different creditors and sending payments at different times throughout the month, you make only one payment. This is very important because a lot of things will happen if you start being late on your due date. Your credit score could go down, harassing collection calls will start to take place and your debt amount can increase. You definitely want to keep your record clean by paying on time.
Another thing that credit consolidation can do is lower your monthly payments. There are two ways for this to happen and it depends on the specific debt relief program that you will pursue. With a debt consolidation loan and debt management, you get the lower payment by stretching your balance over a longer schedule. You can also lower your interest rate – although this is not a guarantee for debt management.
The other way that you can lower your monthly payments is through debt settlement. The purpose of this debt relief program is to reduce your balance by convincing your creditor that you are in a financial crisis. You want them to allow you to pay only a portion of your debt and have the rest forgiven.
Any of these options will help you pay down your debts. You only have to choose one based on your payment capabilities. Since debt settlement can give you debt reduction, this can be an option for people with low paying jobs or unstable ones. With a debt consolidation loan and debt management, you will need a more steady and stable paying job. That is because you will still end up paying for the whole debt that you owe. It will only seem lower because it is distributed over a longer payment period.
Although the debt reduction option of credit consolidation may sound like a good idea, you need to consider your options carefully. Debt settlement can ruin your credit score in ways that a debt consolidation loan and debt management cannot. But if you are really having a hard time raising the funds for your payments, then you need to let your credit score be damaged and just negotiate to settle your debts.
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