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10 Frequently Asked Questions About Consumer Credit Counseling Service

1. What exactly is Consumer Credit Counseling Service?

Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) is a nonprofit community service agency. CCCS agencies provide free or low cost, confidential budget counseling, education programs in money management, debt management programs for consumers who are overextended and comprehensive housing counseling. These services are available to all consumers.

2. How is CCCS funded?

The majority of funding for CCCS agencies comes from voluntary contributions from creditors who participate in debt repayment programs established on behalf of their clients. Since creditors have a financial interest in getting paid, most are willing to make a contribution to help fund our agencies. These contributions are usually calculated as a percentage of the payments clients make through debt repayment programs - up to 15% of each payment received. However, clients' accounts with their creditors are always credited with 100% of the amount paid through CCCS and we will attempt to work with your creditors regardless of whether they contribute to our agencies.

3. How do I know if my situation is severe enough to contact CCCS?

If you are falling behind in your payments to creditors, you need to consult with a counselor before things get out of control. Your confidential counseling appointment can be scheduled at your local CCCS office.

4. How can CCCS help me repay the debt I owe?

CCCS offices offer a debt management program to assist consumers in repaying creditors. Clients make one monthly deposit to CCCS and we pay creditors directly. To find out if you are suited for the debt management program, schedule an appointment with your local CCCS office for a confidential, budget counseling session with a qualified counselor.

5. What if a creditor won't accept the CCCS debt management program?

The majority of creditors are agreeable to working with CCCS. Very seldom does a creditor refuse payment through us.

6. Will participation in the debt management program affect my credit record?

CCCS does not report information to a credit bureau. Many creditors will bring your account up to date so that it will not continue to post as a delinquent account.

7. Will I continue to receive bills each month?

You will continue to receive bills directly from most of your creditors so that you can monitor your progress and review your statements for accuracy.

8. Can you stop legal action and phone calls?

In the majority of cases we are able to work with creditors towards a positive solution that will satisfy everyone, and hopefully prevent any legal action. The majority of phone calls from collectors cease as long as the client maintains their payment arrangements through us. Please remember that CCCS does not provide legal advice and that clients are responsible for engaging personal legal services.

9. Will you stop interest being charged on my accounts?

The majority of creditors do not stop interest while you are on a Debt Management Program. However, there are a few creditors that do agree to drop or reduce interest charges.

10. Will I ever be able to get a credit card again?

If you successfully complete the CCCS debt management program to repay your creditors, we can assist you to re-establish your credit. Many major creditors will consider your application for a card if you are a CCCS "graduate."

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