Since 1987, Take Charge America has helped over 1.6 million people pay back over $5 billion in debt through their debt management and consolidation plans. The company has a considerable amount of experience, but high monthly fees and unknown interest rates raise questions as to how affordable it really is.
Take Charge America brings over 29 years of experience to the table. On top of this, TCA carries ISO certification, FCAA accreditation, and is an NFCC member. This is an impressive list of certifications and accreditations that not many other companies have.
TCA offers free consultations with certified debt counselors and a money back guarantee to help people feel more comfortable with giving it a shot. In accordance with state regulation, TCA charges a one-time enrollment fee no more than $49, and some consumers may have this fee partially or entirely waived under extreme economic hardship.
Credit Counseling is an option consumers have and can participate in completely free of charge. During the 45 to 90 minute session, consumers can expect to receive a financial assessment and help create the best plan of action to get them on the right track to financial freedom. Counselors are available to get those sometimes difficult budgets back on target, provide solutions to meet personal expense needs, as well as offering consumers educational tools and resources to help them remain debt free.
TCA claims a 99% customer satisfaction rate and boasts an A+ rating with the BBB, which are both indicators of how pleased customers are with its service, although we would take both of these factors with a grain of salt.
- Free consultation
- Low up front fees – up to $49
- Money back guarantee
- Certified credit counselors
- ISO certified
- FCAA and NFCC accredited
- 29 years in business
- A+ rating with the BBB
Potentially High Costs
On the flip side, TCA does charge potentially more on its monthly fees than most companies on our list, up to $69 per month, which is almost $20 more than the industry average.
Undisclosed Interest Rates
Another thing we were unhappy with is that this company does not disclose average interest rates offered on its debt management plans, making it impossible to perform an apples-to-apples comparison of costs with other companies in the space.
Another issue for concern is that Take Charge America was forced to settle a lawsuit in 2012 with the IRS in a dispute over its “non-profit organization” status. The IRS had concluded that this company was abusing its non profit status to financially benefit the founder’s family.
- High monthly fees – up to $69
- Unknown interest rates
- Lawsuit with the IRS
The fee that you are charged every month is different from state to state. However, it will not exceed $69 no matter what state you are in. Please keep in mind that this amount could be different depending on the state you live in.
Just like other consolidation companies the up-front or set-up fees vary by state. However, it will not be more than $49 no matter which state you reside in. .
Time in Business
They have been in business for 28 years. The business was started in Arizona in 1987.
Yes. An extensive consultation is given for free to determine exactly which program is best for you, as well as what it would cost you for whatever program is best.
Take Charge America has been accredited since January 20, 1994. They currently have an A+ rating. They have had minimal complaints within the last three years.
They offer different kinds of financial education, as well as financial calculators, teaching resources, a blog, Q&A, as well as consumer resources. The consumer resources they offer include general consumer information, employment, food, housing, medical, and mental health. In the debt education section of their web site, there is a handy search tool for you to search anything you might need in their library.
If you have any issues with your program and would like to cancel, simply call the office and they will work with you to either fix why you are unsatisfied, or work with you to end any program you are in. Keep in mind that if you were to cancel a debt management program, your creditors are then not held to the agreements that they made in terms of your fees, or interest rates. Once you leave the program, beware that your financial state may suffer once again.
Yes, they offer a dashboard on their website. Clients are able to receive messages and send messages to Take Charge America, as well as keeping track of personal information, and viewing any activity going on with their debt consolidation program, or other programs.
Secured and Unsecured Loans
They assist with unsecured loans.
Unknown. They are AFCPE certified.
Yes, this company is ISO certified.
20620 N 19th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027
They offer credit counseling, debt management, do it yourself tips, bankruptcy, and debt settlement solutions. We were told that a very thorough consultation is given for free to all potential customers to determine the correct program for their needs. They do not want you to get into a program that will not be beneficial to you in the long run.
Minimum Debt Accepted
There are no minimum debt limits.
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