Debt is easy to acquire but repaying debt can be a challenge. Despite their best intentions, many families find themselves falling behind as they struggle to even make minimal monthly payments. No matter what caused the problem, taking out more credit cards and additional loans to catch up past due accounts will only make matters worse.
Fortunately there is an answer: a Debt Management Program (DMP) through Financial Pathways of the Piedmint (formerly Consumer Credit Counseling Service). Our Certified Credit Counselors can conduct a financial analysis to determine your debt repayment capability and your options for getting out of debt. We have more than 40 years of experience in setting up these plans through negotiation with your creditors to establish a cooperative plan to eliminate your debt. Among the benefits of the Debt Management Program are:
• Reduced monthly payments. Creditors accept payments you can afford.
• Reduced interest charges. Many creditors grant significant interest rate relief.
• Reduced number of late fees. An established DMP and regular monthly payments can reduce or eliminate late fees.
• A more positive credit history. Payment of your creditors and avoidance of bankruptcy is the best way to reduce the damage to your credit report.
Our Certified Credit Counselors will examine your income and basic living expenses, working with you to create a budget that provides for the needs of your family and still allows you to make acceptable payments to your creditors. A proposal will be sent to your creditors asking them to accept a reduced amount each month. Creditors understand that this represents your best effort to pay your debts and that other creditors are asked to accept similar reductions. This is not a loan; it is a voluntary cooperative plan between you, your creditors, and Consumer Credit Counseling Service.
Creditors are also asked to reduce your interest charges so that you can make progress in paying off your accounts, not just continue making monthly payments that never actually reduce your debt. Creditor policies vary but a large number of creditors reduce interest rates for families with a FPP Debt Repayment Plan. These new interest rates will usually remain in effect as long as you are a client of FPP and make your new monthly payments on time each month.
Late fees are another problem for families who have fallen behind on their payments. Many times these late fees are larger than the interest charges. Combine the two and the balance on an account can go up each month even when the family makes a payment. Creditors who accept the payment arrangements proposed by FPP will usually waive further late fees after receiving 3 monthly payments on time. After that, late fees are only imposed if the family fails to keep to the new payment schedule and the agreed upon new payment.
Even though most families struggling to get out of debt swear they never want to see another charge card, the reality is that credit is a necessity. Families usually have no choice but to apply for a loan when the time comes to make a major purchase such as an automobile or a home, even when the family credit history is less than perfect. The Debt Management Program won't erase past credit history and we cannot guarantee that creditors will favorably report a participating family's payments to the credit bureaus. We can say that repaying creditors will always result in a higher credit score than ignoring legal debts. FPP will act as a credit reference and an advocate for families who successfully repay their creditors through the DMP. There are also a number of national creditors who will offer our paid-in-full clients the opportunity to apply for new lines of credit. They believe that our participating families deserve a "second chance" and so do we.
Unfortunately, sometimes a family lacks the means to repay their debts or they have no option but to seek a legal solution to their financial crisis. When a Debt Management Program isn't possible, Financail Pathways of the Piedmont is approved by the North Carolina Bankruptcy Administrators of all three state districts to provide families with pre-filing bankruptcy counseling, either face-to-face or by telephone; and pre-discharge Debtor Education. For additional information, please follow the link to the Bankruptcy Counseling and Debtor Education pages. For answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about the FPP Debt Management Plan, please follow this link.