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CESI

7.6

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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.

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 resolution 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 Resolution 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.

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