Advantage Credit Counseling Services is a non-profit credit counseling organization. Incorporated in 1968, Advantage CCS has more than 45 years of experience in credit counseling and debt management. They also offer additional services, including: bankruptcy counseling, bankruptcy education classes, and home ownership counseling for both pre-purchase and foreclosure.
Advantage Credit Counseling Services has 45 years of experience dealing with debt management and counseling and are a large, experienced organization. They help thousands of clients each year. The initial counseling session is free, and if customers qualify for debt management, the cost is only $5 per creditor, with a promise to never charge more than $50 per month.
Advantage CCS offers what is called a Debt Management Program. They work with the creditors to reduce monthly payments, interest rates, and repayment time. The creditors all do different things on the program as far as interest rates go, but clients can expect to see interest rates drop down to 15 percent and as low as zero percent when enrolled in their debt management program.
Consumers are encouraged to begin an online session by filling in a form with a few pieces of personal information. This is the beginning of the no-risk, no-obligation free consultation. They will follow up with a brief phone session to go over everything with a counselor and decide if consumers are interested in moving forward.
The benefits to enrolling in their debt management program are abundant and clients can expect see:
- Reduced interest rates
- Eliminate late and over-draft fees
- Reduce harassing creditor calls
- Reduce monthly payments
The company provides free fully designed credit counseling sessions where counselors educate each client about their financial situation, methods to repaying debts, and how to create an overall better budget to manage their finances. Each session is customized to meet a particular set of unique client situations. Each session runs about one hour in length and clients are encouraged to be fully open and honest about their situation to receive the best program solution for them.
We appreciate Advantage CCS in taking a personalized approach providing only one client counselor for each counseling session. Once the counseling session is complete, consumers have the option to take part in their debt management program, housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and many others.
Advantage has gone to great lengths to provide consumers and clients with educational resources to help them attain the financial literacy to get and stay out of debt. They offer updated blog posts on various topics, including finances and the holidays, which is always a hot topic for consumers. Also among their educational offering is an abundance of tools such as financial calculators, online budget advisors, newsletters, education library, and video guides to help consumers navigate on the path to financial freedom.
They are accessible through a range of options including live chat, phone calls, and email.
In addition to their BBB accreditation, they are an accredited business by the Council on Accreditation (COA), a certified comprehensive housing counseling agency by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, members of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), and approved by the Executive Office of the United States Trustees to provide the required pre-filing counseling and pre-discharge bankruptcy education class, as well as issue bankruptcy certificates for both services.
Advantage Credit Counseling Services provides consolidation highlight which include:
- A+ BBB rating
- 45 years of experience
- Free credit counseling services
We like several aspects of Advantage CCS but one aspect we would liked to see outlined on their company webpage is an offering of a money back guarantee. This many help consumer rest assured that they will be getting the best service this company has to offer.
Consumers do not enter into any contract and may cancel at any point in the process. If a customer does opt out of the service, by law, debt management companies must inform the creditor which will likely restore interest rates and payment expectations to their previous levels.
An additional concern is their lack of Certified Personal Financial Counseling (CPFC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditations.
Debt management services cost about $5 per creditor, and never more than $50. The average cost is around $25.
This amount varies by state, but is guaranteed to never exceed $49.
Yes. Online Credit Counseling is accessible 24/7, counselors are available over the phone or in person during business hours.
Time In Business
47 years. They incorporated in 1968.
Advantage Credit Counseling Services is ranked an A+ with the BBB, has been accredited for over 20 years.
In addition to free counseling, they provide a useful blog, loads of information regarding financial topics related to debt and credit management, FAQ, an active social media presence across multiple channels including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+, and free online goal tracking tools.
Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
Advantage CCS has no contracts, so customers may cancel at any time. No money back guarantee is provided.
Unsecured vs. Secured Loans
They assist customers with Unsecured debt, however, they provide useful education materials with information regarding secured debts.
Their site is mobile friendly.
2403 Sidney Street
Pittsburgh, PA, 15203
Business hours include 8 am – 8 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am – 2 pm Saturday. Online credit counseling is available 24/7.
Types of Services Available
Advantage CCS offers a range of services including free credit counseling that’s available online, in-person and over the phone, debt management services, bankruptcy counseling, bankruptcy education classes, and home ownership counseling for both pre-purchase and foreclosures. In Pennsylvania they offer help with reverse mortgages and credit report review services in person.
Minimum Debt Accepted
Once customers are on a debt management program, they are given access to the online dashboard. The online portal allows customers to monitor their account and access card balances and information.
All of ACCS’ credit counselors are certified through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). To become certified, their credit counselors are required to pass six NFCC certification exams that measure experience and tests counselors’ knowledge of credit and financial counseling.
ACCS is not ISO certified. They are accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).
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