Ask Terry Questions credit card balances

credit card balances

By Terry Savage on August 10, 2015 | Credit/Debt

Where can I find a trusted financial institution sanctioned by the government in order to consolidate credit card balances.
There are so many companies advertising but they are definitely “for profit” outfits and I have heard horror stories about them. You had mentioned a site at least approved by the government on an interview you did on WGN radio with Bob and Maryann.
Could you please forward the webaddress or any other info. My debt is out of control.

Terry Says:  You’re correct that most of the advertisments you see/hear offering to help you lower your debt are ripoffs — many suggesting that you stop paying, set aside money to help them negotiate  — and you wind up in bigger trouble~

The ONLY number I give out is the National Foundation for Credit Counseling –800-388-2227.  That will automatically connect you to the nearest local member agency.  You can trust them.  Some people just need counseling, which does not go on your credit report.  Others go into a debt repayment program, in which the agency contacts all your creditors and they agree to take a lower monthly amount, and lower their interest rates.  Then you send one monthly check to the agency and they distribute the appropriate amount to the creditors.

Typically this does NOT lower your outstanding balance — but does make the payments more tolerable.  They have returned hundreds of millions of dollars to creditors in this manner, and helped countless debtors.  But this does go on your credit report.  However, it does look better than filing bankruptcy, which stays on your credit report for ten years.  If bankruptcy is the only obvious solution, they will refer you to a good local attorney.  So get started with them.  And do write back and let me know what happens.

Recent Credit/Debt Questions

money

ASK TERRY

a personal
finance question