|Christine is the WINNER of the best credit story! The Contest was part of the
of the DebtSmart® Email Newsletter.
My story begins like most of the people in this country. My
husband and I had a lot of credit card debt that was getting out of
control. We made some foolish decisions at a young age and were at
this point suffering the consequences.
No matter how hard we tried, the debt just seemed to never go
away. One day we decided to do some research on Consumer Credit
Counseling Services. At the time, they were the only organization
that was recommended for debt consolidation.
This seemed like our only hope because we wanted to purchase a
house in the future. After doing our research, we decided to speak
with one of the counselors and sign up for their program. Everything
sounded wonderful. They actually advised us that creditors would
review our credit report in a more positive fashion since we were
now affiliated with CCCS.
Unfortunately that was not the case. Every month we made our
scheduled payment on time and our debt was beginning to diminish.
About 18 months later we decided to look into purchasing a
When we applied for the mortgage, to our surprise the mortgage
company advised us the being member of CCCS was a step above
bankruptcy. This was just like receiving a kick in the head. What
happened to the positive aspects of being members of CCCS.
We were no where near bankruptcy. This was just a stepping stone
to help us get out of debt. We weren't receiving harassing phone
calls or collection notices. Now we were being marked as a bad risk.
This was devastating.
I immediately contacted CCCS and to my surprise found out that
our counselor was no longer affiliated with that office. We
immediately spoke with another counselor and explained to them what
was told to us. They were not helpful in any way. At that point I
decided to take matters into my own hands. I wrote a very harsh
letter to CCCS discontinuing our association with their
Then my husband and I sat down and calculated what needed to be
paid off and in how long a period of time. We then started examining
our credit reports to see what negative information was on there and
how we could repair them.
After a year we were able to pay off our debt (on our own) repair
some of the negative information on our reports and purchase our
first home. So we were able to turn a horrible situation into a
If it wasn't for that customer service representative at the
mortgage company, we would have never know what a terrible impact
CCCS could have done for our future credit history.
A word to the wise, always check into debt consolidation
organizations very carefully and inquire with the credit report
agencies what effect a debt consolidation agency may have on your
If it is your only hope, then become involved with a debt
consolidation organization. But be aware that if they make promises to
change your credit history from negative to positive, then they are
This is just a small piece of my continuing saga with credit.