Debt FAQ - Debt Consolidation: Frequently Asked Questions
If you are in debt, it is understandable that you may have lots of questions about your different options. Whether you are seeking debt consolidation, or just need some additional financial management information, Debt Counseling Corporation is here to help and to put your mind at ease.
What does speaking with a Certified Credit Counselor typically involve?
The Certified Credit Counselor will discuss your financial situation with you in a respectful and professional way. Your information will be kept strictly confidential. The Counselor will help you develop a workable budget tailored to your needs and situation. Possible solutions to your current debt management issues will be reviewed. You will learn about different types of debt and the best way for you to pay down your debts. If appropriate, the Counselor will discuss our debt consolidation Debt Management Program with you.
What is the Debt Consolidation Debt Management Program?
Debt Consolidation is a Debt Management Program which allows your creditors to significantly lower or eliminate your interest rates. Lower interest rates translate into more of your monthly payment going towards your principal balance instead of finance charges. This means that you will be out of debt much more quickly. The DCC Program consolidates your bills into one convenient monthly payment, which is disbursed to all of your creditors. Debt Consolidation is an alternative to bankruptcy. In almost every single case, enrolling in our DMP will end harassing phone calls from creditors and collection agencies, usually within the first three months. In addition to the lowered interest rates and the convenience of one monthly payment, you will also receive ongoing education and support as you move along on your journey to financial freedom.
Is Debt Consolidation a Loan?
No. Debt Consolidation is not a loan; it is a debt repayment program, which is better than a loan. Because it is not a loan, you are not adding to your debt. Instead, you are paying off your debt, but much more quickly than you otherwise could. Note: You do not need to own a home in order to qualify.
Can the DCC program affect my Credit Rating?
DCC does not report information to any credit agencies. If you are current with all of your bills and you have a satisfactory credit score, your rating should remain virtually unchanged. As long as you make your monthly payments to the Program on time, your payments to your creditors are considered to be on time as well. If your credit rating has been poor, once you join the Program, make timely monthly payments and reduce your debt more quickly, your credit worthiness will soon improve. Please refer to the website www.myfico.com for further information about how credit counseling programs are not considered when credit scores are calculated.
Can My Credit Rating Be Repaired by Enrolling in the Debt Consolidation Program?
No. No one can remove or wipe out your previous credit history. But by staying on our Program, you effectively restructure your debt. Your credit rating may actually improve because you will be establishing a positive payment history. You will demonstrate that you are closer to achieving financial stability.
What kind of debt can I consolidate?
Most forms of unsecured debt can be included in our Program.
What is unsecured debt?
Unsecured debt is money owed that has no property or collateral attached to it. Examples include credit card debt, department store debt, medical bills, and personal loans.
Secured debt is money owed that does have collateral attached to it which protects the lender in case of default. Examples of secured debt include mortgages and car loans.
How do I qualify for the Program?
Any Consumer who is having difficulty paying their bills on time, juggling bills, struggling to make the minimum payments due, charging routine living expenses on credit cards, or seeking to get relief from their financial burdens can be considered for our Program.
You do not have to be a Home-owner. You do not have to be delinquent with your payments.
Once I enroll in the Debt Management Program, will creditors still call me looking for payment?
Within three months of making three consecutive, on-time payments on our Program, most accounts will "re-age" and will be brought current. This puts an end to those stressful phone calls. In the meantime, if your creditors should call you, you should simply state that you are enrolled in our Program, and direct the caller to our Customer Care Department.
Why are the creditors willing to lower my interest rates?
Creditors know that when a Consumer enrolls in a debt consolidation program, they could also be considering bankruptcy. Simply put, creditors want to be paid, and so they would rather lower your interest rates. They may also feel confident knowing that you are receiving education and advice while on the Debt Management Program which will help you avoid continued excessive debting.
How is the Debt Consolidation Debt Management Program different than bankruptcy?
When you declare bankruptcy, you do not pay your bills and your credit rating gets ruined. By contrast, with the debt consolidation Debt Management Program, you DO pay your debts and your debtors are satisfied.
How do you calculate my monthly payment?
Different creditors have different minimum payment requirements for acceptance onto a debt management program. The payment is calculated based on your individual combination of creditors and each of your balances. Initially, your Certified Credit Counselor will not require your account numbers, but the names of your specific creditors and balances are required.
Will I be able to send in more money than the minimum payment if I want to?
Definitely. You are always free to make higher payments than the minimum amounts required, and there is never a penalty for early repayment. In fact, we encourage you to do so whenever it is comfortably possible. The higher payments will help you get out of debt more quickly, and that is our shared goal for you.
Why is DCC's non-profit status important?
Many companies provide debt consolidation. Only nonprofit companies are regulated by the Internal Revenue Service. Other companies are "for-profit," and are not regulated. Since for-profits do not receive funding from creditors, they charge YOU, the Consumer, higher monthly fees and start-up charges. The majority of creditors will not work with for-profit companies or give the same benefits. For-profit companies usually do not provide the consumer with any education about debt management and how to avoid incurring future debt.
What kind of educational information do you provide?
At Debt Counseling Corporation, our mission is to provide education and counseling in order to assist all consumers to become debt-free while maintaining a dignified lifestyle. We provide counseling and education to all consumers, whether or not they enroll in the Debt Management Program. Counseling is done by ongoing in-person meetings when possible, and/or ongoing telephone conversations, seminars, pre-tests, budget planning, written educational packets, website information, and quarterly newsletters. At Debt Counseling Corporation, our mission is to provide education and counseling in order to assist all consumers to become debt-free, while maintaining a dignified lifestyle.
How can I find out more?
If you want to find out how much money you can save every month and learn new ways to manage your debt, click here for a Free Information Request Form.
If you have other questions that have not been addressed in this Debt FAQ, please call our toll-free number today at 1.888.354.6332. One of our Certified Credit Counselors will be happy to answer your questions and put you on the right path towards financial freedom.