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#17
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CESI

CESI has been in business for over 26 Years. Undisclosed up-front and monthly fees.

Our Score
3.9
User Score
3.1
Our Score
3.9
User Score
3.1
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Monthly Enrollment Fee

Undisclosed

Setup & Activation Fee

Undisclosed

Free Consultation

Yes

Credit Counseling

Yes

ISO Certified

No

Number of Reviews

14

This Review is maintained by Chase Sagum

Review Last Updated: June 26, 2019

Consumer Education Services, Inc, or CESI Solutions is a non-profit financial service and education provider. Founded in 1998 and based in Raleigh North Carolina, this organization helps people navigate important financial decisions.

Rank Chart
Monthly Price
Accreditations
Review

#1

Up to $79
FCAA & ISO

#2

$10-$40
AFCC & IAPDA

#3

Up to $49
ISO

#17
cesi_solutions

Undisclosed
FCAA

CESI’s credit counselors are certified within 6 months of employment by agencies such as Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA), the Association for Financial Counseling Planning and Education (AFCPE), the National Institute for Financial Education (NIFE), and the Center for Financial Certifications.

Pros

Money Back Guarantee

CESI offers a 100% money back guarantee, which is uncommon in the industry and can be very beneficial to customers if they are not satisfied with the non-profit’s services.

There is no penalty for canceling before the debt management program is complete. This program is not contract-based, and therefore does not hold the customer to any binding agreement. Upon entering into a debt management plan, the customers have six months to decide if CESI’s services are adequate. If they decide to terminate service, all paid service fees will be reimbursed.

Industry Accreditations

CESI has NFCC, FCAA, and AICCCA accreditations. This shows a willingness on the company’s part to address concerns, have books audited, and comply with sound business practices. CESI also provides clients with certified credit counselors.

Cons

Lack of Transparency

CESI doesn’t disclose the actual interest rates offered on consolidation loans and doesn’t disclose the up-front or monthly fees associated with using their services.

Lawsuits

CESI has been a part of two lawsuits, one of which has involvement with the IRS, alleging that the company was abusing its non-profit status and operating more like a for-profit institution. This is very troubling and should be considered before committing to using their services.

Poor Customer Service Reviews

Customers have often complained about poor communication with CESI’s customer service and slow speed. These include confused customer service staff and generally lackluster client care overall.

Our Recommendation

This non-profit organization has financial services that run the gamut between free learning services to actual debt relief and management programs for people struggling with credit card debt

Due to their lack of transparency and poor user reviews, we recommend another company for debt consolidation and counseling services such as Consolidated Credit.


About CESI

Financial Services

CESI Solutions only manages unsecured debt such as credit cards, medical bills, and past-due utility bills. Secured debts like your home or car cannot be included in the debt management plan. They offer…

  • Debt management plans
  • Bankruptcy counseling
  • Real estate counseling
  • Credit counseling
  • Student loan counseling
  • Financial education

In addition to debt management and consolidation, CESI Solutions also offers housing, credit, and bankruptcy counseling, as well as financial education resources. Assure Money Services is a suite of tools designed to help older adults with disabilities as well as their caregivers. Representative Payee services are available to SSA beneficiaries.

Lastly, WiseTrac is offered to employers who wish to offer financial education courses to their employees. This service can also be utilized by individual customers looking for a way to expertly track their income and thus gain financial control.

Free Consultation

A customer representative can provide a free preliminary financial consultation over the phone. In addition, the website has a “Debt Relief Calculator” tool that is useful for estimating your debt management plan before talking to a credit counselor.

Debt Education

The CESI website provides financial education resources to the public, including videos, articles, and webinars. Additionally, an online education course called the CESI University Curriculum can be accomplished from home free of charge.

Mobile-Friendly Site

CESI’s website is mobile-friendly. Although there isn’t an official mobile app, the website looks great. It functions sufficiently on mobile devices while offering a smooth and comfortable user experience.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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14 CESI Reviews

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  1. User Score
    0
    August 27th, 2019 Seguin, TX
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Was using to pay off Military Star Card, they missed a payment. Not sure why, but Military Star put the debt into collections, even after it was promptly resolved. This company did not fight the issue and rolled over. If I’ve been using a company for almost 2 years, and they have an error on their part like this, they better go to bat for me and get the issue fixed.
    Read More
  2. User Score
    1
    May 6th, 2019
    0 people found this review helpful!
    I was a customer for one month and had to cancel my consolidation from the enormous amounts of stress I went through. I was denied to see my dentist because they sent my check to a random hospital not even close to where I live. Now I have to pay tons of money to get my accounts caught up. Plus wait 7-10 business days for a refund check for the payment they sent to the wrong place.

    This has been the worse experience for me in one of the hardest times of my life. So disappointed

    Read More
  3. User Score
    10
    April 17th, 2019 Atlanta, GA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    Cesi has helped me pay off my debt that I could not handle on my own. I have nothing but good feedback for Cesi. Customer service has been great for me. As I cards are paid off, I can call and update the balances and they handle these changes right away. This is my last month is the program and I am very thankful for all they helped me accomplish.
    Read More
  4. User Score
    10
    April 13th, 2019
    2 people found this review helpful!
    I’m not sure where or who the bad reviews are dealing with, but I’ve been in the CESI program for 3.5 years with one more to go to get our debts paid off. I have been nothing but pleased. From the get go we knew what the negotiated rates were with each credit company. we also knew there was a$30 per month fee. Every time we have been on the phone with their staff, we have had superb folks who were respectful and helpful.
    I’m thinking the bad reviews must be confused with a diff company. If not, just because you queued your debt up to begin with is no fault of theirs.
    I LOVE CESI! I recommend it highly!
    Read More
  5. User Score
    1
    January 14th, 2019 Mount Shasta, CA
    1 people found this review helpful!
    They reached out to me and made it sound like a completely different kind of program. When I called to cancel, the rep on the phone got very defensive and threatened to send a recording of our conversation to his supervisor. Who is who I asked to talk to in the first place. Very unprofessional, and put me on hold without even telling me. DONT SIGN UP FOR THIS PROGRAM!
    Read More
  6. User Score
    0
    October 25th, 2018 Fresno, CA
    2 people found this review helpful!
    DO NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE YOUR BANK INFORMATION!!!!!! I was double billed my first month in this program and they refused to fix their error. Their representative told me that it was my bank’s responsibility to fix CESI’s errors and refused to refund my money or transfer me to a supervisor. Extremely shady and predatory conduct AVOID.
    Read More
  7. User Score
    0
    September 19th, 2018
    2 people found this review helpful!
    A very scary encounter to say the least. I spoke with a person who I thought was a representative of this company only to realize after a long 45 minute conversation of exchanging my information to this so called cesi employee that she was not an employee of there’s at all. Now I have fears of identity theft ! I’ve spoken to at least 4 more representatives of this company and have come to no resolution. Iwill get to the bottom of this I think they’ve forgotten one thing I can find out who has pulled my credit and I’m hoping they back there word with the fact she was not there employee.
    Read More
  8. User Score
    0
    May 9th, 2018
    0 people found this review helpful!
    Poor customer service and an unwillingness to address and rectify concerns.
    Read More
  9. User Score
    10
    May 3rd, 2018 Hollywood, FL
    1 people found this review helpful!
    This is a great program for people that really need help with debt. They also share a lot of content to help you during and after.
    Read More
  10. User Score
    0
    April 23rd, 2018
    3 people found this review helpful!
    Not taking responsability for their mistake and following up on what they told you.still looking forward to talk to a supervisor of a manager and not happening so far.still asking for recorded conversation to be sent to my email to show that they’ve done the mistake and messed up my credit score and still no response.
    It is a very dysfunctional company.
    DON’T DO IT.
    I’M LOOKING INTO LEGAL HELP.
    Read More
  11. User Score
    1
    February 8th, 2018
    2 people found this review helpful!
    I was told numerous times that this consolidation would not affect my credit. I was on time with all my payments when I signed up for cesi. I consolidated only because I was told that they would reduce my payments and it would never affect my credit score. I have several recordings proving the so-called promise. Documents were never sent on time and I had to do everything. I would not recommend this company.
    Read More
  12. User Score
    8
    January 24th, 2018 Alamogordo, NM
    1 people found this review helpful!
    \ere over $10K in debt after Bush stk mkt meltdown, lost job, sold home in IN as a short sell when we joined CESI in 2010> Knocked cr.cd debt down by reducing interest to 10% or less We’ve saved over $17K in interest alone thks to Sen.Elizabeth Warren setting up CFPA
    Only complaint is original cost was $25/mo but last year it jumped to $75 but I credit them for listening to me when I negotiated a reduction to $50/mo for less impact on our debt relief pan When we paid off a bill, just a phone call switched pay’ts to another bill &/or added a cr.cd but now U have to wait 90days to add a cr.cd> Still its worth a B+ rating so I gave ’em an 8 as after 10 years am almost outa’ debt (owe $4K) mostly auto loan tho for grandson’s HS grad gift
    Read More
  13. User Score
    0
    September 24th, 2015 Lafayette, LA
    6 people found this review helpful!
    Because of how slow they work, my credit has gone from bad to worst, im making calls to creditor and once i tell them what a creditor wants them to do, they still dont do it. things has been pending for 3 months, ok so how long do you wait before getting back with a creditor. Don’t know how to get out of this mess, without messing up the the few they did get accepted into the program. submitted paperwork to them over 2 weeks ago and my acct is still not updated.
    Read More
  14. User Score
    3
    July 26th, 2014 Tucson, AZ
    13 people found this review helpful!
    I have rated CESI, below Average, as I have been experiencing some “confused”, employees, who can’t seem to get the paperwork right. I have been having trouble with SS with DD, and it’s been more frustrated for me, as I try to sort out my current bills and payments. I hardly ever hear from CESI, whether, I am doing good, bad, or indifferent to paying off some existing accounts to which CESI, has payment control. I think I can do as good a job on my own, and save me $43 per month, which I don’t understand this fee, or any one that charges a fee for this alleged “non-profit” business. Then there is the question of whether or not CESI, is available 24/7, as “advertised”. So, I may drop CESI, and go it alone, on the existing “creditors”, and take the “challenge”. Thanks.
    Read More
  • Takes your existing debt and try to settle with your creditors for a lower amount. If you pay off the settled amount, your debt will be considered paid in full.
  • Negotiates with your creditors on your behalf.
  • Fee based on a percentage of your total starting debt or a percentage of the debt they save you.
  • Most settlement companies have you create a separate "escrow" account where you will make monthly contributions over a certain amount of time to contribute to your settlement. Once there is a substantial amount of funds to show your creditors, the settlement company will try to negotiate a lower amount of debt.
  • Combines all your debts and creditors into one monthly payment.
  • Allows you to pay one monthly payment to the consolidation company, instead of multiple payments to different creditors.
  • You no longer owe your original creditors; instead you pay one monthly payment to your consolidation company.
  • Consolidation companies can help negotiate lower interest rates on your debts and help lower your total debt payment in the long run. A lower interest rate will lower the amount you owe in the end.
  • Allows you to consolidate all your different debts into one personal loan that can be paid off over time.
  • Can offer borrowers a lower interest rate with a longer payback term (compared to high-interest credit cards or medical bills). This will lower the amount of money required to pay off the loan over time.
  • Personal loan debt consolidation can be an effective way to raise your credit score quickly (within 3-6 months).
  • Borrowers can receive funds from their loan within only a few days.

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Our Score
3.9
User Score
3.1
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Monthly Enrollment Fee

Undisclosed

Setup & Activation Fee

Undisclosed

Free Consultation

Yes

Credit Counseling

Yes

ISO Certified

No

Number of Reviews

14
Our Score
9.1
User Score
9.4
Rank this Company

Ratings Breakdown

Monthly Enrollment Fee

Up to $79

Setup & Activation Fee

$0-$49

Free Consultation

Yes

Credit Counseling

Yes

ISO Certified

Yes

Number of Reviews

430