Seeking Pro Help With My Messed Up Money Flow

Reader CosmosHuman is overwhelmed by her bills. She’s current on all of them but needs help managing her money flow in a more sane fashion. She’s afraid that a CCCS (Consumer Credit Counseling Service) will “mess” with her credit report. “I really don’t want my credit reports stating I am a failure,” she writes. It’s a shame, because a non-profit, free, legit, CCCS is a really good option.

“I am willing to be a crash test dummy,” writes CosmosHuman. “I don’t know where to turn but I am drowning fast. I posted last week about managing my finances. I don’t want to go to CCCS as they mess with your credit reports and I really don’t want my credit reports stating I am a failure. I don’t know where to turn in my area. You guys are most brave and wise and know boatloads of resources where I can turn…any suggestions? I live about 35 miles east of Cleveland.”

First off, if you call up a CCCS, just talking to them and getting advice is both free and not going to show up on your credit report at all. How could it? It’s only if you go on a “debt management plan” that it might have bearing on your credit report.

For instance, on the website for CredAbility, formerly CCCS Atlanta, their FAQ says, “Even if you enter a CredAbility Debt Management Plan (DMP), we do not report your participation to credit bureaus. However, each creditor deals with CredAbility clients differently. Some may report that your account is included on a DMP. Some creditors may report your account as current when they receive our proposal, while others wait until they have received three consecutive payments through CredAbility. They appreciate that you are honoring your debts rather than filing bankruptcy.”

CCCS’s are a good option. You may find just talking to someone who is an informed listener is in and of itself quite helpful.