Credit.org is a Debt Consolidation company new on the market. They are a subsidiary of Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Management, Inc., a conglomerate of many well known and respected credit repair agencies. With Credit.org being backed by Springboard, consumers can feel confident in the products and services provided. With over 40 years of industry specific experience, Credit.org, through Springboard, can provide it’s clients with a myriad of useful services geared toward getting the average American in good financial shape.
Every individual that has gotten into debt usually has the same goal. Get out! But how? It seems as though the specific steps to becoming financially sound are a mystery. Credit.org can help consumers decode these secrets.
The company does well to promote a free consultation with a Certified Personal Financial Counselor. Each and every debt counselor has successfully completed a course of education to become certified. In the consultation phone call consumers will be asked a slew of personal questions. This is an attempt to gather all the required information to help decide which programs or services (if any) would be best for their unique circumstance. By analyzing each and every creditor account opened, the counselor will advise each consumer with the best approach to getting out of debt. This plan may not go any further than the free credit counseling services. In some instances, a CPFC will advise consumers to enroll in a Debt Management Plan (DMP) to consolidate unsecured debt into one payment.
If the CPFC determines the financial situation qualifies for a (DMP), clients will be walked through every step of the process. The DMP is the actual consolidation plan and, once structured, will be a long and short-term strategy to help clients stay focused along the way.
Fees assessed with the DMP are one-time enrollment fee of $69 with a monthly service charge up to $49. Fees vary by state and by individual circumstance. Some clients won’t pay a dime toward monthly maintenance fees, while others may pay the full $49, and not to exceed that amount in compliance with state regulations.
If that’s not enough to put your mind at ease, these benefits should also be considered:
- Accreditations including NFCC, AICCA to name a few
- Tons of free financial resources available on the website
- 40 years worth of happy customers
- BBB rating of A+ including
Even though Credit.org does has reams of useful strategies for financial freedom, it’s not without some flaws. This can be a time consuming process. A 30-45 minute phone call may not sound terrible but adding in the time it will take you to gather all your financial documents and you have a real time commitment on your hands. If you and your spouse both have income, you own your house and/or cars and have more than one credit card account, it will take you quite some time to find or print out the necessary documents in order to be helped by Credit.org’s counselors.
The debt consolidation program also has an “enrollment fee” based on the amount of debt you need consolidated. There is a small monthly fee to use the Debt Management (consolidation) program and you will need to make this payment automatically from your bank account to Credit.org. Your counselor and the company will then divide your payment and send out funds to your creditors without your involvement. This can be a scary proposition for people who are used to being in control. When working closely with a consolidation counselor there is a small chance that you may not see eye-to-eye. If, say, you’ve read elsewhere that paying off your highest interest rate accounts first is the way to go, and your counselor disagrees for instance. The way this business model is set up, your counselor decides the appropriation of funds, not you.
In order to make the best financial decisions and to be an informed consumer consider the following:
- Automatic payments mean direct access to your primary bank account
- Credit.org on it’s own has been operating for less than 3 years
- No ISO audit has ever taken place
- An “enrollment fee” is due up-front
- A consolidation plan is not available for everyone
- A monthly fee will be applied to all payments
- You can’t pay off one debt at a time, each creditor receives a portion of your payment based on the counselor’s discretion
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