Remember those old 60's mags True Confessions, where readers would write in about things that they would never tell the neighbors? Well, I have skimmed thru several blogs lately where intelligent advisors have told people NOT to go thru a credit counseling service, they are not a good bargain. We dealt with a credit counseling service for several years, and they SAVED MY LIFE. Our youngest child spent almost 6 months in the hospital after she was born, and we were almost $100,000 in debt. We actually ended up at the credit counselors thru the hospital mediation service. There was NO WAY that we could make even the most minimum payment on a bill that large, so we went to mediation with the hospital. The final deal that we ended up with was that we would meet with the credit counseling service, they would set up a budget with us, and recommend to the mediator how much we could reasonably afford to pay. The bonus was that they also took charge of all of our other bills at the time, and that helped hugely by stopping any shutoffs or penalties for the first years that I had to stay home with an ill child. We stayed with them for 14 years, but after the first 2 or 3, I took back paying most things, all of our utilities, and the credit counseling service dealt with the hospital and the one credit card we had. I could have handled the credit card, but as long as they did it, the interest rate stayed at 0%. The fee was based on your income, for a long time it was $25 month, then the last few years it was $50 monthly, but I am sure that we saved that many times over. Our income flucuated monthly because of the work that my Hubby was doing, they renegotiated every month if necessary, and I didn't have to do a thing. I never felt that the payments we made were unreasonable. We actually ended up paying less than 1/4 of the total balance, and in the end the hospital was sold to another corporation, and forgave a lot of old outstanding debts,"as a service to the community" Any action that they took that would have showed on our credit report (they closed the cc acct)was done right at first, so by the time the 7 years were up, our credit report was clean and shiny, and those payments just showed up as billing payed on time. So, I can tell you from firsthand knowledge that I would recommend a reputable credit counseling service to anyone, THEY WORK.
My True (Credit) Confession
October 20th, 2009 at 04:44 am