How Can We Get a Monthly Payment Lower Than Cambridge Credit Counseling? – Nicole

“Dear Steve,

My husband and Ihave $52,000 in credit card debt. Mostly due to lay offs, and taking a reduced pay. I have been talking with a credit counselor at Cambridge Credit counseling and they have put together a package for five years at $991 per month. This program will get us out of debt sooner but does not help us on a monthly basis.

Is there any other programs out there that would be better? We hesitate to do a debt settlement because of the risk of the credit card companies suing us but the programs seem to have a lower monthly payment which would help us out more.


Dear Nicole,

The folks at Cambridge Credit Counseling probably put together a nice traditional debt management plan for you. The payment sounds about right for that.

In a credit counseling approach the monthly payment remains about the same as the minimum monthly payment on the cards but the interest rates are reduced. For people who could easily make the monthly payment that can be a really good thing. If the problem was the affordability of the monthly minimum credit card payment then any credit counseling program may not be able to give you the breathing room you need.

The reason most debt settlement programs claim to offer affordable payments is because they make up the payment number and shoot for something you’d bite on.

A debt settlement sales person would say something like “So you’re paying almost $1,000 a month with the credit counseling group. How does half of that each month sound?”

Well of course it sounds great but to do that you’d stop paying your creditors, send the settlement company the money instead, fall delinquent on your account, trash your credit, wind up in collections, face getting sued and possibly getting your wages garnished.

If the credit counseling approach seems unmanageable then I think you should click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk to them. Educate yourself what bankruptcy would mean for you and then you can make an educate decision.

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Steve Rhode

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