Debt Management FAQs – Part 2

What types of debts can be included in a Debt Management Plan (DMP)?

You would be able to include any credit cards, personal loans, medical bills, or collection accounts.

What types of debts CANNOT be included in a DMP?

You would not be able to include student loans, mortgage, auto loans, or personal loans that are secured by collateral.

What are the costs associated with a DMP?

There is a monthly service charge of $35* (included in your monthly payment to us), and a one time initial set-up fee of $55* (payable with your first month’s payment only).  Unlike a debt settlement or debt relief agency, we do not charge fees based on a percentage of your debt, and the fees are nominal to cover administrative costs only, as we are a non-profit.  There are no “hidden” fees.  The only other fee you would ever see from CCCS is if your payment was returned (bounced check or returned ACH), and the amount of that fee is $25.

*The amount of the monthly service charge and set-up fee may vary depending on state requirements; however, the maximum amounts are $35 and $55, respectively.

Can I use my credit cards while enrolled in a DMP?

Any account that goes on your plan will be automatically closed out by your creditors, and you will just be paying down the balance.  Creditors reduce your interest rates and your minimum payments, so the “trade off” is that the account will be closed for future purchases.  The overall objective of a DMP is to be free from all unsecured debt, so the continued use of credit cards while on the program would be counterproductive.  If you did need to leave an account off the plan for any reason (needed for emergencies, medical expenses, home maintenance, etc.), please speak with your counselor and they will be able to help you determine what your best course of action would be for your situation.

How long does a DMP last?

DMPs are designed to be paid off with regular monthly payments over the course of approximately 3 to 5 years (60 months, or 5 years, being the maximum allowed by the NFCC National Foundation for Credit Counseling).

Is a DMP a legal contract?

No.  There is no commitment, as a DMP agreement is open-ended.  You can stop your DMP at any time, and your creditors would just go back to your initial terms.  There is no penalty from CCCS to terminate a DMP.

How can I get started?

Give us a call at (716) 712-2060 to schedule a Financial Counseling Session.  You and your counselor will review your financial situation and determine what debt repayment option will make the most sense for you and your situation, and go over the details of what a DMP will look like for you.  Alternatively, you can complete our online application (click here!) and a counselor will review your situation and put together an assessment that you will be emailed within 3-5 business days.  You can then work with your counselor directly to go over your assessment and get enrolled in a DMP.  Ultimately we have YOUR best interest in mind and are here to help you!  So contact CCCS of Buffalo, Your Money Mentors, today and take that first step toward financial freedom!