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Should I Get Apprisen to Consolidate My Debt or is it a Mistake?

Question:

Dear Steve,

Should I use a company like Apprisen to enter a debt consolidation program? It would help me lower my interest rate and get back on my feet. But, it almost seems too good to be true. Is it?

Louise

Answer:

Dear Louise,

The only answer I can give you from the information you provided is maybe.

Using a company like Apprisen gets you access to a nonprofit credit counseling Debt Management Plan (DMP). A DMP can lower your interest rates, but you may find the monthly payment is not reduced significantly. That is not a big help if cash flow is tight or you cannot save for emergencies or retirement.

Apprisen is organized as Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Midwest, Inc. As a nonprofit organization; its financial returns are public information.

The last 990 tax return is from 2020 and was filed in June of 2021. It shows the vast revenue received from the programs they offer was DMP fees.

Should I Get Apprisen to Consolidate My Debt or is it a Mistake?

One logical interpretation of that data might be that Apprisen might have an internal bias towards directing people towards a DMP solution.

I was surprised by the amounts of income they spend on lobbying.

Should I Get Apprisen to Consolidate My Debt or is it a Mistake?

Steering Consumers Towards a DMP is Not the Big Issue

From my point of view, I hope that consumers receive a comprehensive evaluation of their financial situation and look at all of the major options to deal with debt.

debt calculator

Apprisen might be the best people to sell you a DMP, but is that really what you need? That is the most crucial question.

They do not appear to offer any debt settlement solution and can’t help you with filing bankruptcy. After talking to them, only you can determine if you felt steered or if they might have a bias.

Their website seems to have language on it to dissuade people from bankruptcy, but you should read this.

A DMP that reduces your interest rates might seem like a great choice at face value. But at what cost? Repaying your debt can cost you millions in lost retirement. See my online calculator and see what you could be tossing away.

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Ultimately the right tool to deal with your debt makes your financial future better since we can’t change the past.

The best option might be bankruptcy or even debt settlement, given your individual situation. However, you won’t know unless you also talk with a debt settlement provider and a bankruptcy attorney to complete your self-education.

Another option is to talk to an independent debt coach that can coach and guide you to the best tool given your situation. I think Damon Day is the best, but you are welcome to find your own independent advisor.

After a comprehensive review of your overall financial situation, you might decide that Apprisen is the right solution. As it stands right now, it feels as if you are picking a solution without really understanding your options. That is backward and the wrong way to do it.

Please come back and post an update in the comments to let me know what you decide to do.

Sincerely,


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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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.
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