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Is Money Management International a Legitimate Debt Consolidation Company? – Jim

“Dear Steve,

I have $70,000 in credit card debt, irregular income, paying for son’s college education, current with all my creditors so no calls to date

Is money management international legitimate? i have communicated with a few debt colsolidation companies, have read all sorts of complaints on various blogs of these firms, as they did not deliver what they stated. these folks sould legitimate, and i do not see consumer complaints. please tell me if these folks deliver.

Jim”

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The Answer

 

Dear Jim,

Money Management International is a long established and well run NFCC, Consumer Credit Counseling Service franchise office. When it comes to being able to process a standard debt management program solution they’ve got that down to a science. That’s not what concerns me.

What does concern me is your statement about irregular income.

So why is it you are searching out a credit counseling solution? Are you having problems making ends meet? Have you maybe been using credit to get by during times when the income was irregular? Can you easily afford the monthly minimum payments on your credit cards? What is your honest assessment of your income moving forward in the next five years, do you think it might drop?

If you can answer these questions for me by posting updates here in the comments section of your question I think I can steer you in the right direction.

Big Hug!

Is Money Management International a Legitimate Debt Consolidation Company?   Jim
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Wi

    I’m thinking of hiring Dinaldson Williams. I heard good things about them and someone I know used them and they got out of debt. I’m wondering how is it going for you Jim? Would you recommend them?
    Thanks

  • Sam

    Steve,

    Wow! Great information on your site. I’m in an eerily similar situation to Steve above (his post dated May 7) right down to the second house with a negative cash flow. My total unsecured debt is $78K and I called BofA yesterday to discuss some relief and they referred me to MMI. Their payment would be $1455/mo (vs. $1700 minimum payments) to pay off the debt in 5 years. For a variety of reasons, I expect a significant increase in income over the next 6 months. I’m having trouble making ends meet right now, but it should be a temporary situation and I can handle the $1455. I guess I’m just nervous because it seems too good to be true. MMI claims working with them doesn’t negatively affect your credit rating (but oddly, in their online contract, state that it can!?!). What am I missing? Thanks in advance, Sam

  • Kristin

    Do you offer any advice other then Bankruptcy? Seriously that’s not the only answer!

  • Charles

    Steve,

    I was researching MMI and debt management and came across a question about them in which you responded not to try debt management but contact you. So I am. What is your solution? I am $55K in unsecured debt with a good and steady income, but I am not getting anywhere with the interest I am having to pay. Further, I lost my job three years ago and found a job in 6 months but had to move and now own two homes. What is your solution?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      If you have not contacted MMI yet, you should, to see what they can offer you for help. Once you find out, come back and update me in the comments and let’s see if that is going to work for you and if not, why not.

      Are you able to continue to afford the two homes or is that taking you further into debt?

      Steve

      • Charles

        In answer to your question, I have contacted MMI and they can offer a $1250 payment per month for 42 months on $56,000. I was actually thinking of keeping one card of $7,500 out of the plan for a total of around $48,500. I have not used credit in two years, and will not unless an emergency arises. My payment history is good; however, my debt ratio is high and taking my FICO down in the 600s. Due to recent medical bills, that I am almost gettnig paid off, I am beginning to struggle with making this and all other payments and making payments on the taxes for one of the two homes. The home I am not living in is being leased, but not covering the taxes as mentioned above.

        Thoughts?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        You may not be able to leave out one card if you don’t have any others with the same bank.

        My concern is that you’ve said things are strained and tight and I doubt you have much leftover each month to save in an emergency fund.

        Before you make any decision you should meet with a local bankruptcy attorney to understand what bankruptcy would mean for you.

        Once you have researched your options you will be in a better position to make an informed decision.

        Let me know what the bankruptcy attorney says.

        Steve

  • http://Website Vivian

    Hi Steve:
    My mother has fallen far behind on credit card payments due to major medical issues that have taken most of her money (and I am, sadly, in poor shape to offer much help). She is 81 years old, has high balances on several credit cards, and is living on social security. Based on this info, do you think bankruptcy or a debt management plan would be more helpful? If there is a better alternative, I’d love to know about it.
    Thanks!
    Vivian

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Vivian

      Bankruptcy.

      Steve

  • jim

    i am presently hanging with donaldson williams, and am hopeful they can assist me in working out my large credit card debt. from conversations with that firm and others, they seemed by far more legitimate, less hype, not so quick to sign me up and get upfront money. for instance, only a small upfront retainer which is credited against what is ultimately owed, and the my fee is performance based on a percentage of what is saved. any thoughts? any knowledge of these folks?

    thanks

    jim

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Jim,

      Keep us posted on how it goes.

      Steve

    • Wi

      I’m thinking of hiring Dinaldson Williams. I heard good things about them and someone I know used them and they got out of debt. I’m wondering how is it going for you Jim? Would you recommend them?
      Thanks

  • Melissa

    My cards are through Chase, Citi, Discover, and Care Credit. I called them yesterday to see if they’d lower my interest rates and none of them would. If I roll all of this credit/debt into one payment, will it hurt my credit score?

    What company would you recommend that I go through to consolidate this debt?

    Thanks so much for the advice.

    ~Melissa

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Melissa,

      If you are looking for an unsecured fixed rate debt consolidation loan then you may want to look at LendingClub.com, a peer-to-peer lending network.

      Steve

  • Melissa

    Steve,

    My credit and school loan debt total to $39,577; my monthly minimum payments total to $990.

    I live in Northampton, MA and make around $3,500 a month. I am able to make my payments on time [never have skipped a payment] and tend to send a little more than the minimum payment every month per company. I would like to consolidate this debt into one payment — hopefully, saving some money every month in the end. I honestly want to pay this debt off as soon as I can. The cards are cut up and I haven’t used them in a long time. This is just debt that has been around and accumulated over ten years.

    What do you suggest I do and/or can you recommend a reputable agency that I can go to in western ma?

    Sincerely,
    Melissa

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Melissa,

      If you are specifically looking for a company based in Massachusetts you can click here for credit counseling information.

      Steve

      • Melissa

        Steve,

        Thanks! How do I consolidate all of my debt into one payment with a low interest rate? I’m almost paying $1,000 a month and am barely chipping away at this debt. I feel like it’ll take me another ten years to pay it off due to all the interest rates that I’m dealing with.

        ~Melissa

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Melissa,

        If you can afford the regular minimum payment on your debts then a credit counseling program may be able to reduce the interest rates you are being charged. It depends on who your creditors are. Additionally included cards will be closed and that will impact your credit score.

        Steve

  • jim

    i have a proposal from MMI where they get my interest rates down to more manageable rates than i presently have on 3 credit cards. but what i do not understand is whether or not i might want to go with one of the debt settlement companies who claim they can get settlements of somewhere between 25% and 35% of balances owed. what scares me is the many negative ratings, and negative commentaries that have been written about these companies. i have spoken with Credit Answers and Prestige, and both have multiple negative comments, such as non performance, lack of communication-no return calls, etc. i am scared and do not know what to do.

    in light of all the above, why is it that the creditors will not talk to me about hardship workouts, where i could settle with them directly, without having to pay a fee to a 3rd party? i am having no luck going this route.

    again, i am current on all bills at the moment, but may not be for much longer.

    please let me know your thoughts.

    thanks.

    jim

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Jim,

      Let me make this short and sweet for you. Stay away from debt settlement unless you have enough money on hand right now to pay 60% of your debt.

      If you are unable to make at least the minimum payment on your credit cards I am very concerned that a credit counseling program is going to work for you. In a credit counseling program the creditor might reduce the interest rate but the monthly payment will stay around the minimum you are paying now. And you’ve already said you don’t know how long you can make that payment.

      You need to read The Truth About The Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy.

      And you absolutely owe it to yourself to review all of your options in resolving this situation so you should click here to talk to a local bankruptcy attorney. There is no way you can be fully informed about your options unless you speak to a bankruptcy attorney about your situation. Then, and only then, will be have all the facts to make the best choice for you.

      Steve

  • Jody

    Dear Steve, I am in Jim’s position above. MMI got me on 5% fixed and pay it off in 4 years. What concerns me is ripoff reports saying their credit worse than before or payments not made by MMI. I used http://www.moneymanagement.org (based in TX)
    Do you think it might be they used to have internal problems with branch offices not being structured right before? And will it look bad on my report?
    They told me it would not ruin my credit in the least. I was also informed that I should immediately close my own acct., not have MMI do it so it does not say on report “closed by MMI” instead “closed by consumer”. It appears that MMI aka CCCS needs to make more things clear to get rid of these complaints such as making a window of 3 weeks THE CUSTOMER ARRANGES between the MMI due date and the creditor statement due date. So far, when I have called my credit card company and look online, MMI is following their part of the bargain. I just am concerned that it will not be a negative on my report in the future when they told me it would not be a negative.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Jody,

      The credit score issue is created not by enrolling with MMI but by having the accounts closed. It terminates the credit history that adds so much weight in calculating your credit score. Without any new lines of credit opened then your credit report becomes stale, further reducing your credit score. This is not an MMI created problem but one that is created when you close or the creditor closes your accounts.

      In a debt management program when the credit counseling agency contacts the creditor and notifies them you are in a DMP the creditor automatically closes the account anyway. Creditors are not going to keep accounts open for people that have just told them they are having problems and are using a credit counselor.

      Steve

  • jim

    thank you for your response steve. yes, i am having trouble making ends meet, but am meeting them, leaving very little left over. most of what i pay goes to interest, so principal is reduced by very little. yes, using credit lines to get by at promotional rates. i do make the monthly minimum payments.
    my income varies, and i do not have a crystal ball to project the next 5 years. i am 64 years old, still working, obviously.
    thank you.
    jim

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