We are struggling with credit card bills, car payments and college bills. I have resisted using ‘credit counseling’ services, as I understand that our credit score will suffer just as badly as if we declared bankruptcy. I came across Consumer Benefits Alliance LLC.
Do you have any information about these people….?
I have been talking with Matthew McLevich from this company, who says since I have kept up my payments pretty well in the past, his co. will help me pay them off at a lower rate and that it will not be hurtful to my fico score at all.
I have several online guides that can help you check out a debt relief company before you use them. They are full of things you can check and questions you can ask them before you commit to enrolling with them.
- The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
- 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Settlement Company for You
- How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off
Here is what I can tell you about Consumer Benefits Alliance.
The BBB reports the business is located at 2335 American River Dr, Suite 303, Sacramento, CA 95825. Their website is goconsumerdebt.com and the domain name was registered to Steven Zellers on January 2, 2012. Their telephone number is 916-514-4400. They also say the President is Steven Zellers and the Operations Manager is John Willis. They give them no rating. – Source
Just based on what you have heard from them I question what they promoting. The only solution that would potentially lower your interest rates without impacting your credit score would be a debt consolidation loan.
Their website home page is not much help to try and figure out what they are selling.
But I did locate their terms page which gives a bit more information.
On the terms page they are selling some monthly membership for between $19 to $49. It also says members will have access “to the CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE Rewards Program offered through a third-party benefits organization, and other benefits CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE may at its discretion add from time to time.” – Source
And just based on the public information about the program, appears to be what you get. If you decide to cancel the program in the first 30 days they will give you a $5 Starbucks Card. It also says, “Member acknowledges and agrees that while Member is a CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE member, and for a 12-month period after cancellation or termination of CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE membership, CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE may telephone, FAX, e-mail, and/or send prerecorded messages that are distributed by an automatic dialing service device or predictive dialer. These contacts will be limited to matters involving membership in CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE or to receive information of offers related to new services or products.” So it appears you will be potentially heavily marketed to even if you do cancel.
But then we get to the part where it appears Consumer Benefits Alliance will refer you out and forward your personal financial information:
“Member authorizes CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE to refer Member to Professional Services Organizations (“PSOs”). Member agrees that as part of such referrals CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE may forward to such PSOs the personal financial information Member provided to CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE in Member’s CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE Membership Application. Member understands that there are many such PSOs and that Member is free to choose any such entity to serve Member. Any fees charged by CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE are not shared with any such entity. Member also understands that where allowed by law, such PSOs may charge a fee, whether hourly, monthly, or otherwise, that is separate from any fees paid to CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE.”
But the real question is if you are considering hiring Consumer Benefits Alliance to help you with your debt, but they actually say, “CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE does not provide investment advice, debt management/credit counseling, mortgage brokerage, legal or insurance services.” So they say they don’t provide debt help.
They go on to say:
- CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE is not a licensed financial institution, credit repair or lending agency; CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE does not assist Members in obtaining credit, a loan, or improving Members’ credit ratings.
- CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE does not negotiate with Members’ creditors to compromise or work out a payment structure for existing obligations, and CONSUMER BENEFITS ALLIANCE does not accept payments from Members for creditors.
Understanding all of that, then what are you buying from them, some third-party benefits?
I don’t know what your financial situation is so let’s start with the very basic stuff and go back to square one.
I’d suggest you first read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth, How Do I Get Out of Debt Quickly? Change Your Mindset, and The Truth About The Success Rates, Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.
Then use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.
Once you’ve identified a company you want to work with, then follow my step-by-step guide on what you should look for and expect from a good debt relief company.
When it comes to Consumer Benefits Alliance the question you really have to ask them is what are they really selling you and what you you buying.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.