I’m Worried About Cambridge Credit Counseling. – Jon

“Dear Steve,

I’ve been reading your articles now for a couple of weeks and I’m seeking advice about DMP’s. I contacted Cambridge Credit Counseling Service and told the counseler about my situation and CCCS came up with a DMP that I am now considering.

My concern has to do with the numerous complaints about Cambridge that are found on the consumeraffairs.com website. I’m not sure how legitimate these complaints are but there seem to what I would consider an excessive amount. I’ve read about their past issues and how those have been resolved. The BBB shows 1 complaint that was resolved.

I’m becoming somewhat skeptical about Cambridge and other sompanies but you seem to recommend them so I’m wondering if my concerns are legitimate?

Thanks,

Jon”

Dear Jon,

You have every right to be totally confused about Cambridge Credit Counseling. Cambridge was started by a couple of guys, John Puccio and Richard Puccio. These guys had friends like Andris Pukke and all of them landed in massive trouble. As one person said to me, “They were all grifters.”

But Cambridge Credit Counseling, with legal intervention, dumped the Puccio’s and worked hard to clean things up. I think they’ve had more scrutiny by regulators and states to make things right, probably more than any other organization. And they responded aggressively to complaints that arose as a result of the actions of the Puccio boys.

The current people running the group seem to take all issues concerning consumers very seriously and the compliance monitor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts felt that way as well. Click here to read the report.

If you have any issue when working with Cambridge, I would be grateful if you would bring it to my attention so I can investigate it.

Bottom line, never work with anyone you are not comfortable with. Exercise the same care finding a credit counseling group to work with as you would a doctor or dentist.

See also  Debt Settlement: Telling the Good Guys from the Bad Guys

Debt management plans are not a perfect solution to get out of debt. If you are considering a DMP then I would suggest you speak with a local bankruptcy attorney as well. After reviewing both solutions you can then make a better and more informed decision.

Sincerly,


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.
Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

Steve Rhode

9 thoughts on “I’m Worried About Cambridge Credit Counseling. – Jon”

  1. Dear Steve,

    I just want to comment on Cambridge after just over 1 year on their program and we’re very pleased. Their customer service has been excellent and they’ve answered all our questions promptly and offered suggestions concerning our debt. They’ve done periodical followups to make sure we’re on track and to offer suggestions. Their website Goodpayer offers some excellent financial education articles that we find most helpful.

    The best part is the progress that has been made on our debt. After 1 year we’ve decreased our debt by about 25%. It’s such a relief to actually see the CC debt decrease!

    I’d highly recommend Cambridge to anyone seeking help for their debt.

    Thanks,

    Jon

    Reply
  2. Dear Steve,

    I just want to comment on Cambridge after just over 1 year on their program and we’re very pleased. Their customer service has been excellent and they’ve answered all our questions promptly and offered suggestions concerning our debt. They’ve done periodical followups to make sure we’re on track and to offer suggestions. Their website Goodpayer offers some excellent financial education articles that we find most helpful.

    The best part is the progress that has been made on our debt. After 1 year we’ve decreased our debt by about 25%. It’s such a relief to actually see the CC debt decrease!

    I’d highly recommend Cambridge to anyone seeking help for their debt.

    Thanks,

    Jon

    Reply
  3. Hello,

    I occasionally read the advice on here and appreciate it. Several years ago, my husband and I entered a DMP with a local non-profit credit counseling Agency in Illinois (CCCS of Chicago). I was VERY careful about choosing a company because this was when there were a lot of terrible things happening with Cambridge and others. To make a long story short, we paid $13,000.00 in credit card debt over a period of about 3.5 years with reduced interest rates. It was VERY difficult and our credit was terrible anyway. They had very good customer service, and were very understanding when I broke out in tears a few times on the phone! In the meantime, the organization made us cut up and close out our accounts. We lived with NO credit cards for the entire time, and for quite a while after we were finished. There is something to be said about the lesson these plans teach you. It took about a year and a half after we were finished for my credit score to become acceptable enough to obtain a credit card without a “denial” in our records. They had an on-line class to help with budgeting and money management in general. We were pretty miserable while we were paying it, but, I am soooo glad we did it, rather than file for bankruptcy. As soon as you are finished with the payments, any evidence that you are in credit counseling in your credit report disappears, at least that was the case with us. I should mention that we had a couple of major car repairs happen while we were on this plan. We had to borrow money from a relative to get them repaired, and we eventually paid that back, also. If I remember correctly, the fee was only around $5.00/month. They are mostly subsidized by the credit card companies, who would rather have debts paid then have to go out and collect them. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    Reply
  4. Hello. I am an avid reader of Steve’s blog, and the Community Outreach Director for Cambridge. I want to thank Steve for making two important points. First, the new direction of Cambridge has helped tens of thousands of people regain control of their lives. While the organization’s past is storied, our new president and energetic Board have made significant strides in putting the Puccio regime behind us. Second, you should always work with those you are comfortable with. There are many non-profit agencies, such as ours, that are capable of assisting you. If we do not seem like a fit, do not forgo the assistance a DMP can provide you. Call around to a few others and see what they have to say. We are all here to help.

    As to David’s comment, depending on when you used our service, you may have encountered a completely different staff. I can say that our current Client Services staff is comprised of passionate individuals who strive to help with any and all inquiries. Cambridge has gone through additional steps to ensure client satisfaction by certifying all of our representatives through the AFCPE Credit Counselor program. This has helped to provide additional support to clients in the economic downturn and has resulted in a 98% overall client satisfaction based upon our most recent data.

    Thomas Fox
    Community Outreach Director
    Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp.

    Reply
    • I am in the process of working with one of your counselors. He has been very polite and helpful. Of course I’m a little cautious but it seems to be working. I can’t get all of the addresses he has asked for so what do I do now. One company’s number is disconnected. I want something done immediately.

      Reply
      • Hello Trudi,

        It is alway great to hear our counselors are doing their best to assist. I am sorry to hear that you are having some difficulties finding the addresses the counselor needs to get the program initiated. One of the best places to locate these addresses is your credit report. If you do not have a copy handy, please feel free to give me a call and I will work with your counselor to see what we can do to help out. Have a great day and thank you for contacting Cambridge for assistance.

        Thomas Fox
        413-241-2362
        [email protected]
        Community Outreach Director
        Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp.

        Reply
  5. Steve,

    After some consideration we went with Cambridge. I’ll admit there is some trepidation but some of it has to do with what we’re facing and the life-style changes that are required to make it work. Having said that I’ve read so much about DMP’s and various companies over the past 2 weeks that I’ve suffered from information overload.
    As you said they’ve been under so much scrutiny recently and they’ve shown a williness to make things right. The counselor I’m with has been courteous and professional at all times.

    Another issue concerning DMP’s is the abundance of misinformation on the subject. All of this combined with the with the emotions can make a decision difficult to make.

    But we’re committed to end this burden once and for all and at this point we’re greatly relieved.

    Thank you for the information you provide and your response.

    Reply
  6. I was concerned about them thru-out the process.. and they had pretty lousy customer service… but.. it did clear up my deb.t I may have been able to do it by myself.. there may even be better companies.. but..I can say its not a scam…
    It got the job done…

    Reply
    • David,

      Thank you for responding to my earlier post.

      Were the issues with their customer service department or with your counselor specifically?

      Thanks

      Reply

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