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Who is the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Management Company? – Lee

By on January 12, 2010
Who is the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Management Company? – Lee

“Dear Steve,

Can you give me your honest, most expert opinion as to whom is the best out there for Credit Counseling and/or Debt Management?

Lee”

Dear Lee,

Believe it or not, that’s a really hard question to answer. The problem is that a technically adept provider does not mean best overall for the consumer.

I’ve seen some well respected credit counseling groups spend more time turning people away from bankruptcy and plopping them in a debt management plan so they make money. So even though they might be best in one regard, technically competent, they lack in balanced and fair solutions that address the consumers situation.

I don’t think there is one “best” group. It’s really a crapshoot and it depends on a number of factors from the mood of the credit counselor that day, marching orders from the head people at the credit counseling agency, market demands, pressure from creditors, etc.

And since all non-profit credit counseling groups get the same set of instructions from the creditors, nothing is negotiated, they are on fairly similar ground as far as interest rate reductions, payment calculation, etc.

At the end of the day I think the best any consumer can do is to shop for a credit counseling group just like they would the best doctor or dentist.

I prefer for consumers in a perfect world to talk to both a couple of credit counseling and/or debt management companies and also to meet with a bankruptcy attorney face-to-face to get the facts from two different solution providers if they are unsure which way to go. That way, each individual can make a decision about which path seems to make the best sense for them and which solution provider treats them with kindness, compassion, and professionalism.

I hope that helps. It’s the “best” I can do.

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About 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.

3 Comments

  1. Lee Beatty

    January 13, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Good morning.

    Here is the website I looked at yesterday, with the most recent complaint coming in September 2009. But, your advice is very well taken. I will do all the homework I can before choosing. Thank you.

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/debt_counsel/consol.html

  2. Lee Beatty

    January 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    That is excellent, honest advice. I appreciate you time and response, as well as your knowledge. I will certainly “do my homework” before considering anyone out there.

    By the way, one that caught my attention was Consolidated Credit Counseling Service of Florida. According to the Better Business Bureau, they have an A+ rating. However, there are also a slew of complaints out there against them. Would I be wise to ignore the complaints and believe the BBB, or should I assume that where there is smoke, they is (probably) fire? Again, I appreciate your time and response.

    • Steve Rhode

      January 12, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      Lee,

      I did a quick Google search and did not see a “slew” of complaints out there for Consolidated Credit Counseling Service? Where did you find those?

      Complaints should never be “ignored” but you would need to put them into context. For example, how old are they, do they create a pattern, is there a common thread that extends throughout the complaints or is it an isolated disgruntled customer?

      In the interest of disclosure, I do know the guy that started Consolidated Credit Counseling Service, Howard Dvorkin. He does make me laugh because we are the polar opposite of each other but have lived in the consumer debt world since the early 1990s. On my first and only visit to Consolidated Credit Counseling Service last year I did get a chance to meet Gary Herman, the then president at Consolidated, and found him to be a really nice guy. I think he is still the president there.

      Outside of all of that, my advice still stands, shop around, and trust your gut.

      Steve

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