Anybody work their debt with CCCS?


#1

DH’s job was spared…we don’t have to file bankruptcy? BUT, we still have a lot of debt.

We’ve been watching Suzy Orman a lot and she has advised folks with heavy debt (but can still make their payments) to call CCCS (now called CredAbility) in Atlanta.

They are not a debt settlement placed, but instead work with you AND your creditors to reduce or eliminate interest, lower payments, etc. We’ve tried and tried and tried to get interest lowered without any luck.

We are thinking of working with them to help get our debt paid down. does anybody here have experience with them, or any other place? we’ve done the ramsey debt snowball thing, and it works, but with 80k of credit cards, the interest is killing us and we’re not getting anywhere…


#2

[quote="twk001, post:1, topic:241578"]
DH's job was spared...we don't have to file bankruptcy? BUT, we still have a lot of debt.

We've been watching Suzy Orman a lot and she has advised folks with heavy debt (but can still make their payments) to call CCCS (now called CredAbility) in Atlanta.

They are not a debt settlement placed, but instead work with you AND your creditors to reduce or eliminate interest, lower payments, etc. We've tried and tried and tried to get interest lowered without any luck.

We are thinking of working with them to help get our debt paid down. does anybody here have experience with them, or any other place? we've done the ramsey debt snowball thing, and it works, but with 80k of credit cards, the interest is killing us and we're not getting anywhere...

[/quote]

Sounds like it's too good to be true to me. I've got commitments I'm trying to payoff but not having any luck. I've been working an extra job but work has slowed to nothing and now I'm having trouble getting an another extra job. I tried all kinds of options they all said I didn't have enough debt to help me. :shrug:


#3

[quote="twk001, post:1, topic:241578"]
We are thinking of working with them to help get our debt paid down. does anybody here have experience with them, or any other place? we've done the ramsey debt snowball thing, and it works, but with 80k of credit cards, the interest is killing us and we're not getting anywhere...

[/quote]

Yes, consumer credit counseling agencies affiliated with the NFCC (www.nfcc.org) are reputable and can help you. Obviously you must be willing to make changes and consistent payments. Not every creditor will give concessions, but most do and it can definitely make the difference in paying off a debt that high. The major creditors will reduce your interest rates considerably in most cases on a hardship plan through credit counseling agencies.

Some people confuse credit counseling with debt settlement or other types of services but, as you know they are not the same thing at all.

I suggest you look up agencies in your area through the NFCC website for a local agency. National agencies do counseling by phone, too, so that might be more convenient for you. Our diocese even does debt management plans through Catholic Charities.


#4

[quote="Luvz2travel, post:2, topic:241578"]
Sounds like it's too good to be true to me. I've got commitments I'm trying to payoff but not having any luck. I've been working an extra job but work has slowed to nothing and now I'm having trouble getting an another extra job. I tried all kinds of options they all said I didn't have enough debt to help me. :shrug:

[/quote]

It is not "too good to be true."

However, debt management isn't for everyone or every type of debt. For example, student loans have terms (in many cases set by the government) that cannot be negotiated or changed. Similarly, judgments and garnishments are typically beyond the scope of a debt management plans since they are set by the court, and other secured types of debts such as cars, mortgages, etc.

But, in general, unsecured debt like credit cards that haven't yet reached a court judgment stage, even if in collections, would be good candidates for debt management. Medical bills can also be negotiated, generally.


#5

Is there any advantage to finding a local counselor as opposed to one in Atlanta? I presume the Atlanta co is larger, so is there any advantage to working with the larger company?


#6

I used CCCS about 12 years ago, and it was an incredibly huge help! I set the whole thing up by phone, so I didn't have to go into the local branch office for anything. I gave them all of my creditors' info, my income and my other debts. They worked out a payment plan that was manageable for me and acceptable to my creditors. I did not complete their program, though, because I became employed full time and went back to paying my creditors myself. I made damn sure that I paid off all of them in a timely manner, too! Because I used CCCS for the time I did, and because I then made a concerted effort to pay my bills on time and above the minimum, my creditor score made the amazing leap from laughable to highly respectable in a pretty short time.

Edited to add:
Many creditors will only lower your payoff amount and interest rate if you are working through a credit counseling service. They aren't as willing to work with individuals as they are with the credit counseling services.They will give lowered rates, payment terms, and final payoff amounts to the credit counseling service because they recognize that the debtor is finally serious about paying off the debt and they know they are going to get a regular monthly payment from the counseling service.


#7

[quote="Luvz2travel, post:2, topic:241578"]
Sounds like it's too good to be true to me. I've got commitments I'm trying to payoff but not having any luck. I've been working an extra job but work has slowed to nothing and now I'm having trouble getting an another extra job. I tried all kinds of options they all said I didn't have enough debt to help me. :shrug:

[/quote]

That depends on what you mean by not enough debt. If you mean that you didn't have enough unsecured debt (essentially, credit card debt), but had other kinds of debt (secured loans like guaranteed student loans) then they really can't help. They deal with creditors who have the option to modify the debt (government loans and other secured debt really can't be modified in that way).
If, on the other hand, they meant you don't have enough in monthly expenditures, then that's where you have to really dig into the pile of receipts to find out just how much you really are spending. When I had my first meeting with the CCCS counselor, she had me go over every single thing I spent money on in any given month. And I mean everything. Did I buy a bus pass to get to work? Yep-- it counted towards my expenses. Did I buy dog food? Yep-- another expense. Did I get my haircut? You got it-- another expense. She had me go through every single expenditure so that I could show that my expenditures each month exceeded my income (which was quite low since I was not employed full time at that time). I had student loans, which were not included in the debt management program, but were listed as expenditures.


#8

[quote="SonCatcher, post:5, topic:241578"]
Is there any advantage to finding a local counselor as opposed to one in Atlanta? I presume the Atlanta co is larger, so is there any advantage to working with the larger company?

[/quote]

There are a number of national companies. Check the NFCC website.

There are pros and cons to either. I know a lot of people think that going to a small agency or inperson is important. For others, their schedule doesn't allow a daytime appointment or phone call.

A larger agency can provide extended service and counseling hours, like nights and weekends, and may have more resources for consumers. They may offer more education, on their website or through workshops/webinars, etc, for example.


#9

[quote="juno24, post:7, topic:241578"]
That depends on what you mean by not enough debt. If you mean that you didn't have enough unsecured debt (essentially, credit card debt), but had other kinds of debt (secured loans like guaranteed student loans) then they really can't help. They deal with creditors who have the option to modify the debt (government loans and other secured debt really can't be modified in that way).
If, on the other hand, they meant you don't have enough in monthly expenditures, then that's where you have to really dig into the pile of receipts to find out just how much you really are spending. When I had my first meeting with the CCCS counselor, she had me go over every single thing I spent money on in any given month. And I mean everything. Did I buy a bus pass to get to work? Yep-- it counted towards my expenses. Did I buy dog food? Yep-- another expense. Did I get my haircut? You got it-- another expense. She had me go through every single expenditure so that I could show that my expenditures each month exceeded my income (which was quite low since I was not employed full time at that time). I had student loans, which were not included in the debt management program, but were listed as expenditures.

[/quote]

I've pretty much cut costs to the bare bones I'm already a frugal person and don't have cable or internet. I shop a mostly second hand stores I just make a limited amount and everytime I get any extra it's gone. Example I had to make a sudden and unexpected move last month, put out deposit money which had to borrow from family, pay a mover, then my extra job cut hours to almost nothing now I'm looking for another part time job but haven't had any luck. Not sure with all my bills how I'm going to make it through the summer. :rolleyes: Sorry this has been stressing me out. I would be happy just to know I could pay my bills and have food on the table at this point.


#10

[quote="Luvz2travel, post:9, topic:241578"]
I've pretty much cut costs to the bare bones I'm already a frugal person and don't have cable or internet. I shop a mostly second hand stores I just make a limited amount and everytime I get any extra it's gone. Example I had to make a sudden and unexpected move last month, put out deposit money which had to borrow from family, pay a mover, then my extra job cut hours to almost nothing now I'm looking for another part time job but haven't had any luck. Not sure with all my bills how I'm going to make it through the summer. :rolleyes: Sorry this has been stressing me out. I would be happy just to know I could pay my bills and have food on the table at this point.

[/quote]

I understand the stress. It sounds like you might benefit from calling CCCS and talking with one of their counselors. It was an immense relief for me when I saw my monthly credit card payments drop by several hundred dollars (plus fees, plus over-the-limit charges, etc) which I wasn't paying anyway because I just didn't have it, to a single payment to a single company without all the extra fees piling up. Just make sure you are prepared to give an accounting of all the money that is going out monthly (regardless of where it is going), so you give the most honest picture of your financial situation. The program really does work, and like I said, it helped my credit score tremendously. Best of luck to you.


#11

[quote="Luvz2travel, post:9, topic:241578"]
I've pretty much cut costs to the bare bones I'm already a frugal person and don't have cable or internet. I shop a mostly second hand stores I just make a limited amount and everytime I get any extra it's gone. Example I had to make a sudden and unexpected move last month, put out deposit money which had to borrow from family, pay a mover, then my extra job cut hours to almost nothing now I'm looking for another part time job but haven't had any luck. Not sure with all my bills how I'm going to make it through the summer. :rolleyes: Sorry this has been stressing me out. I would be happy just to know I could pay my bills and have food on the table at this point.

[/quote]

So do you have debt, or are you really just dealing with the fact that you have more expenses than you have income? That, of course, can lead to debt if you don't deal with it. Create a budget and lay out all the expenses you have, including periodic ones like car tags and such. See if there are any other things you can cut, or ways to budget your money more effectively.

When your expenses exceed your income, there are really on three ways to solve that:

[LIST]
*]increase income
*]decrease expenses
*]a combination of both
[/LIST]

You state you've decreased expenses to the bare minimum, so perhaps it's time to look at increasing income-- take in a boarder or roommate or change jobs. Or, move home to save money. These are just ideas, I don't know your situation.


#12

[quote="1ke, post:11, topic:241578"]
So do you have debt, or are you really just dealing with the fact that you have more expenses than you have income? That, of course, can lead to debt if you don't deal with it. Create a budget and lay out all the expenses you have, including periodic ones like car tags and such. See if there are any other things you can cut, or ways to budget your money more effectively.

When your expenses exceed your income, there are really on three ways to solve that:

[LIST]
*]increase income
*]decrease expenses
*]a combination of both
[/LIST]

You state you've decreased expenses to the bare minimum, so perhaps it's time to look at increasing income-- take in a boarder or roommate or change jobs. Or, move home to save money. These are just ideas, I don't know your situation.

[/quote]

Increasing income....more easily said then done. I already have an extra part time job but they've cut hours to almost nothing. I've been looking for a different part time job to get my income up enough to pay off debt and maybe even save something but no one will hire me so far. All I've been able to get are phone jobs and those aren't stable enough work is usually sporatic. I'm still looking though. I need steady income for a while with no major expenses to get out of debt but something always happens when I get close to being in a good position. It's very frustrating. Oh there is nowhere to cut expenses unless I stop eating. I'm waiting for the end of my cell phone contract in Oct. to get a cheaper plan and my car insurance may go down in Oct if I'm lucky. I tried the credit programs I'm not in enough debt for them to help me but I'm in just enough debt that I can't ever pay it off. :eek::rolleyes:


#13

I agree with 1ke's posts.

I've used CCCS. Best decision I ever made. They are helpful and good advocates. Our interest rates were lowered drastically. No commitment. You can just go and talk to them and see what they can do for you.

Good luck. :)

P.S. I used CCCS before I ever heard of Suzy Orman (I'm not into those informercial time shows). I did research first to find a trust worthy company and found CCCS.


#14

bumping this up because we have decided to likely go ahead. we accrued some unexpected debt over the summer and pretty much have maxed out.

at this point we see very little progress on repaying our debt by ourselves because of our balances and interest rates.

we continue to watch suzy orman's show every saturday night on MSN and it seems that she has suggested this pathway to others too. our debt repayment plan with cccs will free up just enough every month that we won't have to panic over our daycare bill or such...we are living pretty darm cheap at this point but we have a baby coming so we will need a little more than what we have...

would still love any input from anybody who's used cccs. thanks in advance!!!!!!


#15

Good luck with cccs. We have less than a year to pay them off and there were no catches. We will be debt free in the exact amount of months that they told us we would be.


#16

bumping this up again to see if anybody else has anything to offer? we have paid off, on our own, about 50% of our original debt, but we still have about half of it left, and now it looks like DH will be losing his job.

so it’s time to get really serious and decide what we’re going to do…would love any other input. we’ve talked about it and it looks like if he DOES become displaced, he’s going to try and get some ‘displaced worker’ help to take some classes, substitute teach, and we’re going to sign up for cccs services.

thanks to all for input or prayers!!


#17

You are in my prayers. I paid off my CCCS a few months ago. It definately helped a lot, but it's even better to have that extra money back rather than paying it to CCCS. I had no problems with them.


#18

We had two businesses close due to the poor economy and have a ton of debt. We will be calling CCCS as well. I have done some research and they seem reputable. We need to do something quickly.:(


#19

Well 2012 has been a bit kinder to me. I still have more commitments due to sick cat, car repairs and health issues. I’m amazed I made it through last year but had to sell a lot of stuff to do it. Got a few bills down and work has been more steady. I never could find a better paying part time job. I can’t risk steady income to go look for a better paying full time job either (I’ve been at my current one 11 years). I’m might still look for a third job so I can save something…but no one ever wants to hire someone with one or two jobs already so I’m not holding out hope there. Prayers you find a better year ahead. Strangely enough I may be buying a house to lower my housing costs as they are cheaper in some cases then renting.


#20

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