A couple of articles today painted an interesting picture of the challenges credit counselors are facing and the declining demand for their services.
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the number of consumers seeking help has dropped twenty percent from 2009 to 2010.
This has NFCC scratching their head especially when the CARD Act required lenders to put the toll-free number on bank statements for people to call NFCC.
“Every month tens of millions of credit card statements are mailed to consumers as a result of the CARD Act and every statement is required to display a toll free number directing consumers to non profit credit counseling agencies for help managing their finances,” said the NFCC.
The result, said NFCC, has been that the NFCC toll-free line has been listed on 500 million statements since the implementation date of Feb. 22, 2010, but “only 150,000 people have reached out for help with their financial situation.” – Source
The government has cut HUD funding that flowed to credit counseling groups by $88 million and creditors are cutting back on funding for debt management services as well.
So the vicious circle spirals on and the question of why continues to puzzle. “It’s the nut we would like to crack,” says Gail Cunningham, NFCC’s vice president of public relations. Not just the rollback in institutional support for credit counseling, the fact that there are tangibly fewer consumers actually seeking help is likewise inexplicable.
Cunningham notes a similar decline in the number of debtors who reached out to credit counselors during the worst days following the sub-prime crisis. As to why, she surmises compellingly that “an awful malaise sets in among consumers who simply get tired of trying. Today, there is also the feeling among people that, after struggling so hard in the past few years, they are beyond help.” – Source
I must confess, I’m a bit chocked they can’t figure this out. It’s a topic we’ve been discussing here in detail with a clear explanation why the demand for all debt relief services is diminishing.
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