Why should I work with Consumer Credit of Des Moines instead of another credit counseling agency?
Consumer Credit of Des Moines is Iowa's largest credit counseling agency with over 25 years of experience. We are large enough to provide the efficiencies that come with volume, but yet small enough to give you the one on one quality customer service you need for a program such as this.
What will this cost me?
Consumer Credit of Des Moines is supported primarily by creditors' contributions. We do not charge for initial counseling. If a debt management program is set up, a very nominal fee is asked for, usually an average of $25.00 per month. Since we are non-profit, creditors assume most of the burden of costs for our service.
Is your service and the information I provide you kept confidential?
Your security concerns are taken very seriously. All information submitted electronically is protected by a secured website. No outside party has access to your information and it is not released or sold to any outside company. Only the creditors involved in your program will be contacted on your behalf.
How long does a first appointment last?
You should allow about an hour for your first appointment. Bring the budget information we ask you to provide, along with your current month's debt statements to your session. If your session will be conducted over the telephone, have the information available.
What happens in a counseling session?
Working together, we will examine your situation and help you determine the best way to repay your debts. In some cases, a budget for you to follow may be the solution. If a debt management plan is your best option and decided upon, an agreement is prepared listing the debts to be paid, the schedule of payments, and the terms to which both parties agree. It is at this time that we can answer specific questions regarding your repayment program such as interest rates or other creditor concessions, as well as any other personal financial questions.
What debts are included in your debt repayment programs?
Generally, only your unsecured debts such as credit cards, unsecured bank or finance company loans, medical bills, bills with collection agencies or various other unsecured past due accounts are included in the debt management program. We can advise you on any difficulties you may be having with your mortgage, auto loans, utilities, etc.; however, you will continue paying these on your own and within the budget we will help you develop.
Do all creditors reduce or stop interest?
Not all creditors stop or reduce interest as each company has their own policy. However, most major national credit granters will reduce interest, and many stop the interest all together. Your counselor will advise you as to their individual policies.
Can you stop legal action and phone calls?
We are able to successfully work with creditors in the majority of cases; however, there is no guarantee that impending legal action can be stopped. Many creditors will halt this action upon the implementation of your program, and collection calls normally cease within 90 days.
How will this affect my credit report?
Consumer Credit does not report any of your information to the credit bureaus. This is a responsibility of your creditors, and most companies have favorable credit reporting policies. If you are currently behind on your payments, you have probably already been reported as late. Once on a repayment program, many companies will re-age your account within 90 days, meaning they will report your account as current on your credit report. Many companies will also report your participation in a debt management program. Our goal is to help you solve your debt troubles, and unfortunately, there is no quick fix regarding your credit report.
How do I know what is being paid to my creditors?
You should still continue to receive monthly statements from each of your creditors. Consumer Credit will also send you a statement each month showing the receipt of your payments, as well as a break down of how much we sent each company on your behalf.