Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo is Now Parachute Credit Counseling

Parachute Credit Counseling provides services to help clients “dare to be debt free”

BUFFALO, NY (December 7, 2022) – Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo announced it has changed its name to Parachute Credit Counseling to illustrate the agency’s commitment toward being a guide on their client’s journey to “dare to be debt free.”  Clients will still get the same quality service they have relied on for more than 50 years, but now with a new look.

“We wanted to change our name and logo to reflect our mission of making our clients feel empowered and not embarrassed about their debt,” said Parachute President & CEO Noelle Carter. “It takes courage to make that leap and we are here to be a parachute – a guide – on the journey to financial stability and becoming debt free.” 

Parachute Credit Counseling mission is to be the most trusted guide on an individual’s journey to becoming debt free. With the right tools and a strategically mapped out plan, clients can make a smooth soft landing on the other side of debt.

Parachute Credit Counseling is a nonprofit agency offering financial counseling, debt management, student loan counseling, financial coaching, credit report review, reverse mortgage counseling, pre-purchase homebuyer counseling, delinquency housing counseling, and small business credit counseling. The agency offers services in 18 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about upcoming workshops and the services Parachute offers, visit the website at (insert new website here) or call 716-712-2060 to set up an appointment at any of the locations.

ABOUT PARACHUTE Parachute Credit Counseling, formerly, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc. is a nonprofit agency established in 1965 to provide the best strategies to help people master their credit. Parachute is a member of the of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau. It is also a certified HUD counseling agency, licensed budget planner through the NYS Department of Financial Services, Executive Office of the U.S. Trustees approved for certified bankruptcy counseling sessions and accredited by Council on Accreditation of Services for Families & Children (COA), Inc. Parachute is based in Buffalo, NY, but offers services in Arkansas, Alaska, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington, & Wyoming.

Should I Get a Credit Card?

Opting for a new credit card is a decision that will impact your financial health in one way or another, so it should come with a careful analysis of your personal financial spending habits and goals.  Credit cards can be useful when they are used responsibly, but they can also be harmful if proper care is not taken to use them only when it would make sense to do so.

When does getting a credit card make sense?

  • If you want to build or rebuild credit history.  Without sufficient credit history, lenders will likely see you as a higher risk.  If you have limited or no credit, consider a secured card.  To build or rebuild credit with a credit card, it’s important to make 100% of your payments on time 100% of the time, and to keep your credit utilization ratio low.  The general recommendation is under around 30%, but people with high credit scores tend to keep it closer to around 10%.
  • If you need help financing a purchase or paying off debt.  Some credit cards offer introductory periods of 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers.  If you are able to pay the debt or major purchase during the promotional period, you will have essentially gotten an interest-free loan.
  • If you want to reward your spending.  Using a cash back or travel rewards card responsibly can help you save money by being rewarded for the things you purchase the most (think: gas or groceries).
  • If you want added payment security.  Credit card issuers typically offer a zero liability policy on fraudulent credit card charges, whereas if you use a debit card attached to your checking account, there aren’t as many protections.  Banks or credit unions may require written confirmation of the error and investigations can take much longer, which means your own funds may be tied up for a longer period of time.
When may getting a credit card NOT make sense?
  • If you want to increase funds available to you.  Generally speaking, applying for more credit to get out of debt or to make additional purchases is not ideal.  If you’re using credit cards for things that you aren’t able to pay off right away, you may end up paying a significant amount of interest on those balances.
  • If you’ve recently applied for a major line of credit.  If you’ve recently applied for credit for something significant (mortgage, auto loan, etc.), a credit card application will add an additional hard inquiry on your credit report.  This may also raise some red flags to lenders, who may suspect that you may need additional credit in order to keep up with payments on the major line of credit.
The bottom line is that you should carefully analyze your personal situation and weigh your options.  Opening a credit card account could be a great step toward reaching your financial goals, but keep in mind that managing it requires diligence and responsibility.
To speak with a Certified Financial Counselor and receive guidance and recommendations on appropriate steps to take to improve your credit situation, please give us a call at (716) 712-2060.  We would be happy to help!

*ACTION REQUIRED* Free Credit Monitoring from Equifax Data Breach Settlement

 

In September 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people.  A settlement has now been reached and finalized, which will include up to $425 million to help affected individuals to receive free credit monitoring services, help recovering from identity theft that may have occurred, and even cash reimbursements for certain situations.

 

If you were affected by the breach, you are eligible for at least 4 years of FREE credit monitoring from all three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – and up to 6 more years from Equifax, for a total of 10 years.  The settlement administrator recently began sending emails and letters to people who filed a valid claim requesting these monitoring services.

 

*ACTION IS REQUIRED!*

 

  • Eligible claimants will get free membership in Experian IdentityWorks℠ for four years.
  • This service is free for you. You do not need to provide any payment information to enroll, and you do not need to cancel the service when it ends.
  • To enroll, visit the Experian IdentityWorks website: www.experianidworks.com/equifaxsettlement, and enter the Activation Code from the email or letter you received.  You can also call 1-877-251-5822.
  • You must use the Activation Code by June 27, 2022. Your activation code will not work after this date.
  • Legitimate emails about this settlement will come from Equifax Breach Settlement Administrator info@equifaxbreachsettlement.com.  The administrator will NOT call you about the settlement, but you can reach the administrator by phone at 1-833-759-2982.

 

Unsure if you were affected, or if you are eligible for the free credit monitoring provided by the Equifax Data Breach Settlement?

 

 

CCCS of Buffalo offers Credit Report Review sessions, where you would speak one on one with one of our certified counselors who will pull all three of your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, review everything that appears on your reports with you, go over ways to build on and improve your credit, and show you how to dispute anything if necessary.  Please call us at (716) 712-2060 to schedule an appointment!

Free Weekly Credit Reports

During the past year, many of us have been facing unprecedented challenges and financial uncertainty. It is important, for some now more than ever, to ensure that you are in good financial health and that the information on your credit reports is accurate.

Many people are familiar with www.annualcreditreport.com which is the only authorized site to get a completely free copy of each of your three credit reports once per year. The site is authorized by Federal Law. Because of these unprecedented times, everyone can now get free weekly credit reports through www.annualcreditreport.com

There are three different credit bureaus that report our credit history: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. It is important to check all three for accuracy, as some lenders may only report to one or two credit bureaus.

This is a wonderful way to be able to stay on top of your credit reports, and gives you more opportunities to check in, especially if you are working to pay things down, or take care of older collections accounts.

If you are unable to request your reports online, you may call 1-877-322-8228 to go through an automated system to verify your identity and request your free credit reports be mailed to you.

Here at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, we encourage everyone to take advantage of the increased availability of our credit reports. If you or someone you know needs help with accessing or understanding their credit report or needs help to figure out a plan to manage debt, please contact us at www.consumercreditbuffalo.org or call us at 716-712-2060. We specialize in providing financial education and counseling to help with your credit!

Consumer Credit Counseling Service Announces FREE Weekly Credit Reports: Encourages all to Check their Credit!

The financial impact of the pandemic continues to cause suffering throughout the nation. This time there is a different reason.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) is now fearing people may suffer from impacts to credit scores due to credit reporting errors—through no fault of their own. At the beginning of the pandemic, lenders and credit reporting systems were inundated with requests for extensions, forbearances etc. The uniqueness of the situation along with its urgency, high emotions and lack of established guidelines may result in inaccuracies recorded on many credit reports.
The current situation is that thousands in our region may have substantial errors on their credit reports—and the onus is on consumers to make sure that their credit reports are accurate.  When credit reports show negative information, even if it is a mistake, the consequences can be very detrimental and long lasting. Having negative entries on your credit report can easily make your life miserable whether it is your fault of not.
At this time, CCCS strongly encourages all WNY residents to check their credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com www.annualcreditreport.com, the only official website that allows free credit reports. Up until now, consumers could receive one free credit report per year. Now, free credit reports are available on a weekly basis until April 2021.
CCCS further encourages people to set up an appointment with us so we can help you go through your credit report. We can educate you on how to fix inaccuracies and address myriad issues: we can create budgets, tackle debt, work on restoring credit, set up payment plans and put people on the path to financial stability. We will also provide some much needed, ongoing encouragement.
CCCS is still offering free financial checkups—in person, by phone and through workshops. For those interested, call 712-2060. A Certified Financial Counselor will help address your financial concerns and can assist with credit report review or several other areas.  CCCS urges all consumers to take some positive action to quell anxiety and alleviate fears.
About CCCS
CCCS is a non-profit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and credit repayment assistance to consumers since 1965.  CCCS of Buffalo helps consumers trim expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts.  Counseling is available at our Main Office in West Seneca, in one of our Satellite Offices, by telephone and via Internet.  Visit us online for more information.