Consumer Credit Counseling Service Provides Debt Assistance and Financial Counseling



Get Help Now—Before You Spend Your Tax Return!

Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) encourages local residents to take advantage of its financial counseling and debt management services. Issues arise because many people have poor credit—or no credit.  CCCS can help folks with a variety of financial situations through their one on one financial counseling programs. As Tax Season unfolds, it presents a great opportunity to make a commitment to improving financial affairs.

Recent information reveals that a majority of Americans live in precarious financial situations. 

According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED)’s Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, announcing that 51% of consumers don’t have prime credit, meaning if they can take out a loan, they are forced to do so at sometimes exorbitant rates.

According to the CFED, “being unable to borrow from a mainstream lender can have devastating consequences on household family finances. One option is to not borrow at all, leaving these households disconnected from opportunities to get ahead. The other option is to turn to payday lenders and check-cashing services. Although families sometimes feel like these alternative financial services are their only option, relying on them means relying on a predatory industry that strips hard-earned money from millions of working families each year. Of course, individual consumers aren’t predatory lenders’ only prey—owners of small businesses often get trapped in the cycle of debt perpetuated by unscrupulous lenders.”

The report states that 26 million people in the United States are “credit invisible,” meaning they don’t have enough of a borrowing history to generate a credit report, and another 19 million adults have credit records that are considered “unscorable,” meaning that they have some credit history, but it is insufficient to assess their creditworthiness. In other words, 45 million people in the US are unable to borrow money from a mainstream lender to finance a business, buy a home, pay for college, cover medical expenses or even buy a car to get them to their job.  (2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard)

CCCS is the only local organization that can help build, maintain and restore credit. Unfortunately, many for profit businesses prey upon those with credit issues, claiming that they can magically fix poor credit. Almost always, these companies charge thousands of dollars and never solve the underlying problems.

Comprehensive financial counseling is the best route for those struggling; actually the best route for anyone who wants a stable financial future. At CCCS, nationally certified financial counselors provide various programs based upon each individual’s current situation. In a typical session, counselors will:
·         Review income and monthly expenses
·         Review Credit Report and Score
·   Analyze unsecured debts (credit cards, retail cards, finance company loans, collection agencies, judgments and medical bills) and review appropriate debt repayment options
·        Provide a written overview of each client’s financial situation and action steps to take
·         Supply resources to achieve financial goals and address financial concerns

CCCS counselors may recommend a Debt Management Plan (DMP)—a method to systematically pay down outstanding debt through monthly deposits to CCCS, which are then distributed to creditors.
Advantages of a CRP:
·         Lower monthly payments
·         Reduced interest rates
·         Waived late/over limit fees
·         Elimination of collection calls
·         Having only one monthly payment
·         Becoming debt free in 5 years or less

Student Loan Counseling is another key service offered at CCCS, created to help the rapidly growing epidemic of student loan burden. CCCS also offers Budgeting Sessions, Credit Report Reviews, Pre-Purchase Home Counseling, and Mortgage Delinquency Counseling. Ultimately, those experiencing any financial issues—and/or those aiming for a stable financial future—should contact CCCS to schedule an appointment today. CCCS has several locations and is very flexible with scheduling, even offering online counseling sessions. Call 712-2060 or go to www.consumercreditbuffalo.org for more information.

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