Debt Management Plan
A settlement is when you arrange to pay less than the full balance of your debt that is due. When this occurs, the creditor will report that you settled on the debt and this will be reflected on your credit report for seven to ten years. Also, when you settle debt, there may be possible tax ramifications. With a Debt Management Program, the overall balance is not reduced (just the minimum payment due and interest rate), there are no tax implications and the creditors will not report that the debt was settled.
We assist our clients with reducing the interest rates to help make their payments more affordable and to pay off the debt in a more timely manner. However, we do not reduce the overall balance as this would be a considered a debt settlement.
When you are initially enrolled into the program, the creditors can close the accounts. This can cause a slight decline. However, as you make consistent on time Debt Management Plan payments, each creditor on the plan will update the credit report each month. This can cause a positive effect over the course of the program as you pay down the debt.
This is a great question! The debt management program is a structured plan designed to help pay off your debt in an efficient and timely manner. Many of our clients are struggling to make minimum monthly payments which can cause them to fall behind and to receive late fees which add to balances and can negate the payments you are making. Once your Debt Management Plan has been established, you begin making consistent on time payments to your creditors therefore helping to improve your credit score. Experian says: “The impact on your scores may be minimal, depending on how the payments are managed and if you have other positive accounts. The most important thing is that you must make sure that the company will immediately take over the payments so that you never miss a payment in the transition to their service. As long as all your payments are made on time, it won’t matter who paid them and there is no scoring issue from that aspect.” Typically, our clients notice improvement in their score within the first year they are on the program and by the time they make that last payment, they experience relief and pride in seeing what they’ve accomplished to help improve their credit and ultimately their future.
You should/will continue receiving monthly statements from your creditors. If you are not receiving statements from your creditors, you should contact them to ensure they have your most recent contact information. These statements provide you with valuable information regarding your account with them. Key information located on your statement that should be monitored monthly:
Additional activity such as credits or other balance adjustments
It’s important to monitor your monthly statements to ensure that you’re being charged the correct interest rate, your balance is decreasing with payment activity and that there is no unusual activity or additional fees being applied to your account. If you have any questions about your statement or notice incorrect information, please contact our Client Support Department for additional assistance. The statement will provide us with important information so please have it available at the time of your call. If necessary, we will contact your creditor to resolve the issue. CCCS of Chattanooga will also send you a statement on a monthly basis. Our statements provide estimated account balances, anticipated interest rates of each account as well as payment activity for your Debt Management Plan. In addition to reviewing your creditor statements for accuracy, we request that you compare our statement to that of your creditor and notify us of any discrepancies. Our staff members work in partnership with you to ensure your account information is accurate and that your Debt Management Plan is successful.
When a client enters into the Debt Management Plan with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Chattanooga, they agree not to acquire any additional debt. However, exceptions are made for necessities. For example, this could include but is not limited to car loans, mortgages, and/or refinancing a mortgage. CCCS, like any debt management agency, does not decide whether or not a client is able to qualify for a mortgage or car loan. The fact is CCCS has had many clients successfully obtain car loans, purchase new homes, and secure home repair loans. Many times, CCCS has even assisted clients in obtaining these types of loans by providing letters or documentation for our clients to then provide to their lending institutions.
When you first enroll in the Debt Management Plan, our Client Support team will reach out to you 30 days, 90 days and at the 1 year mark. Each year after that, and during the anniversary month of your Debt Management Program start date, we will call you to discuss your progress and answer any questions you may have. This is your opportunity to let us know how the program is working for you, give us your feedback and to ask any questions. We understand how busy our clients are and you may not always be available when we call. In the event that we are unable to reach you by phone, we will send you a letter inviting you to call us at a time that is convenient for you. You also don’t have to wait for an anniversary to speak with us. Our Customer Support Department is open M-F from 9am to 5pm. If email is more your style, you can email us at cccsinfo@cccsofchattorg. You can also access your account information on line 24 hours a day. Please visit our website at www.cccsofchattanooga.org to log in.
A Debt Management Program is a payment plan between you, CCCS of Chattanooga, and your unsecured creditors. In this plan, creditors agree to offer special concessions to help you get out of debt. These concessions may include reducing your interest rates and stopping late and over-limit fees. This plan can reduce the months or years of repayment.
The short answer is "yes"
We would have you complete another appointment with the credit counselor to review your accounts again.
Call 423-490-5620, and choose "schedule appointment" option.
CCCS of Chattanooga
We offer a free 1 hour consultation with one of our credit counselors to determine the best course of action. If we set up a repayment program for the customer (a Debt Management Plan) the cost is $25.00 one-time set up fee, and monthly fee of $40.00 (max). If customer is only paying 1 credit card, or has low balances we can charge a lower monthly fee.
A program could start in a few weeks. It depends on the due dates of the accounts that will be on the plan.
I hope this information is helpful. Please call 423-490-5620 if you have additional questions.
CCCS of Chattanooga