Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Credit Counseling Sent Me to Money Management International But I Need More Help. – Jennifer

“Dear Steve,

I have a problem with debt– My husband and I both work– and have decent incomes– we own a house– are up to date with our bills– but our past credit cards will never go away– they keep growing– the interest rates are too high (23%, 21%,etc) we keep paying the minimum–(that’s all that we can afford) we don’t even use them anymore– I have called Walmart– but they will not help at all- Sears credit card will not help at all, JCPenney will not help either– Chase has lowered their interest rate- and entered me into their payment plan for credit that I had with them.

My husband is in the NAVY and their website- informed me about Money Management International– I contacted them- gave them all my information-the payment that they told me that I would be paying would be too much a month.

I have so much credit card debt– what can I do to make it go away- within a couple of years? I want to close store credit card accounts and pay off the amount– but the customer service depts are not helping.. I want to get rid of all of my credit card debts– HOW??

My husband is in the military– MMI said they will set up an account- but the amount to pay them is too much a month– will I be paying too much to financial– and get more into debt- owing ANOTHER creditor?


Dear Jennifer,

There is no doubt that military members should earn more and it sounds like over the years you’ve helped make necessary ends meet with credit which has led to growing balances. That credit sounds like it has built up to a level that leaves you just treading water each month.

While you are not yet behind, you are not able to get ahead either. One statement I’ve heard is that is the sweet spot where creditors want you most. Making only the minimum payment leaves you in debt over the longest period of time and earns the creditor the biggest return.

READ  My Creditor Said I Should Go With Money Management International. - Stephen

To dig yourself out you are either going to have to increase income, reduce expenses, or a combination of the both.

Money management International offers a debt management plan as a solution to get out of debt. The problem with this approach is that while it will probably reduce your interest rates on the cards you include, it will potentially not lower your monthly payment dramatically.

Apparently this is exactly what you’ve discovered since you say the MMI monthly payment is still too much.

I think you also alluded to the fact if you make that high payment you will get further into debt because you will need credit to make ends meet.

A fundamental problem with the modern credit counseling debt management plan is that while it reduces the interest rates it does not give much reduction or breathing room on the monthly payment. And when people get into a jam it does not give them the breathing room they need.

It’s a bit like someone in a tank of blue water up to their ears and just changing the color of the water. That doesn’t eliminate the drowning hazard.

I’m thinking that what you are looking for is a solution that allows you to again live within your income and make ends meet.

But before we move ahead, the most pressing issue is if you could live within your current household income even without your current debt. Some people can’t. Can you?

Please post your reply in the comments section below.


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About the author

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.


  • Thanks for replying to my question– I was so happy to find this informative website!  There are so many stories on debt– and how to handle it–  My mortgage is low- we have equity in our house–  and am very comfortable in the lifestyle we live– and without debt– it would be so much — EASIER to breathe– I am a nurse– and the paychecks that I receive are decent–  we don’t run out and buy any new gadgets–  we live with what we have.  Would snowballing our debts- ourselves be a better choice?

  • I thought for a minute it was my story, but we are not in the military.  My husband was in the hospital this year, so now we make the minimum.  We cut out everything we can, but are still at minimums.  Trying to find a second job, but with 5 kids that is hard.  How willing are credit card companies to turn down the volume on those interest rates?

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