Is CCCS Right for Us or is There a Better Alternative? – Shawn


“Dear Steve,

I have about $100k of unsecured consumer credit card debt spread out amongst several (about 15) cards. My wife and I are both in very stable jobs, and combined we make about $110k a year (about $6000-$6500/mo take-home after tax, health insurance, etc). We “own” our house, in other words, we pay $2k a month mortgage on it. We had initially planned to consolidate our revolving debt into a home equity line, and right about that time banks tightened up big time.

We were able to manage our credit card payments, and are still current, but creditors are jacking up the interest rates…and thus our minimum payment. Our minimum monthly credit card payment is now $2,000-$2,200/mo, which is beginning to push us to the brink of not being able to make our payments. I never imagined we would be making 6 figures and living paycheck-to-paycheck.

We’re strongly considering a debt management plan with CCCS or another company called ClearPoint. I’ve heard mixed reviews on DMPs, about 80% very positive but 20% very negative. Basically we’re just looking for more reasonable interest rates and consolidation…so we don’t miss that due date by a day thus incurring late fees and higher interest rates which equal higher minimum payments.

We don’t want to declare bankruptcy because we love our house and don’t want to lose it in a settlement. Since housing values have dropped, we have very little equity in the house…but it has a lot of sentimental value to us.

Is a Debt Management Plan such as CCCS right for us? Or is there a better alternative (aside from bankruptcy)?


Dear Shawn,

While a credit counseling program might be able to get you some lower interest rates, your monthly minimum payment will remain about the same as it is right now.

I think the primary reason you are worried about bankruptcy is because you don’t want to lose the house. But the truth is that you’d be able to keep the house.

I am not convinced that a credit counseling program with CCCS or anyone else is a smart move for you right now. And before you decide to commit yourself to a credit counseling or debt management program I think you owe it to yourself to go and meet with a local bankruptcy attorney and get the facts. You can click here to get a free bankruptcy consultation.

Rather than make a very important life decision about which path to follow to get out of this mess, based on assumptions, I think you need to gather all the facts by meeting with the bankruptcy attorney.

If you are living month-to-month and enroll with CCCS or a credit counseling program and a year from now you find it impossible to keep up with the payments, then all you’ve done is tossed a year worth of payments down the drain without accomplishing anything.


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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.
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1 thought on “Is CCCS Right for Us or is There a Better Alternative? – Shawn”

  1. I have about Five thousand in unsecured credit card debt. I am self employed and have lost 40% of my income due to the changing economy. I am in the process of continued work training to bring in more business. But I have gotten behind in my bills and am over my limit on most of my cards and feel like I will never get these paid off.
    What do you think about Money Management International. My payments do not change to much, but they say they can lower my interest rate considerably.



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