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Friday, May 24, 2024   

Always Check Into Debt Consolidation Organizations
by Christine DebtSmart Reader
Christine is the WINNER of the best credit story! The Contest was part of the 7/6/01 issue of the DebtSmart® Email Newsletter.
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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 home. 

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 organization. 

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 happy one. 

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 future credit. 

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 frauds. 

This is just a small piece of my continuing saga with credit.



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