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FAQs

A: Our counseling session and budget consultation is free. Our counselors will provide you with a free analysis to help assess your financial situation and determine your best options.

A:  No. ACCC is not a lending institution. We work with creditors on your behalf to establish an affordable new payment arrangement, which may include benefits such as a reduced interest rate and no late or overlimit fees, allowing you to pay off your debt more quickly. We collect one monthly payment from you and disburse your payments to your respective creditors.

A: ACCC does not charge a fee for budget counseling. There is a one-time fee of $39 for enrollment into the debt management program. The enrollment fee may be waived or reduced depending on your state's regulations or financial hardship. There is also a monthly maintenance fee of $5 per account with a minimum of $5 and a maximum of $35. The monthly maintenance fee may be waived or reduced depending on your state's regulations or financial hardship. As a non-profit agency, the fees help to defray the cost of providing services to the many enrolled individuals. ACCC prides itself in having the lowest effective fee structure in the industry.

A:  Our Debt Management Program can help you with unsecured debts such as credit cards, department store cards, medical bills, signature loans, and many collection accounts.

A:  Our Debt Management Program is focused on assisting you in regaining control of your finances, creating a household budget, and consolidating your debt into one monthly payment. We work with creditors to arrange for the benefits that creditors offer through participation in a debt management plan. Most creditors will provide benefits, which may include lower interest rates, stopping late and overlimit fees, and reaging delinquent accounts to reflect a current status.

Program interest rates are pre-determined by the individual creditors that you have. For more specific information regarding the benefits a particular creditor offers, please speak to one of our credit counselors at (800) 769-3571, ext. 1910.

A:  Many creditors will lower the interest rate immediately upon acceptance of a Debt Management Proposal. Others may wait for three consecutive program payments to post on your account before lowering the interest rate.

A:  Once your debt management proposal is accepted by the creditor, and generally after making three consecutive payments, many creditors will reage a delinquent account to show as current on your credit report. Federal law prohibits creditors from reaging an account more than once in a five-year period.

A:  The fastest way to get started is to contact us at our toll free number, (800) 769-3571, ext. 1910. Counselors are available to assist you Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 11:30pm, Friday from 9:00am to 8:00pm, and Saturday from 10:00am to 6:00pm (Eastern Time). ACCC also offers a free budget evaluation form that allows you to complete the evaluation at your own pace, before speaking directly with a counselor.

A:  A Debt Management Program is designed to complete in approximately 4-5 years based on the minimum required program payments. However the length of the program will be determined by the total amount of your debt, your specific creditors, and whether you can send extra funds as you become more financially stable.

A:  Your total monthly payment will remain the same throughout the life of the program. As one account is paid off, the funds for that creditor plus the maintenance fee will automatically be reallocated in a way that is most beneficial to you, which is generally the account with the highest interest rate. On the last page of your budget, there is a breakdown showing your estimated program completion date, assuming no payments have been missed during the program. For more information, you may contact the Client Services Department at (800) 769-3571, ext. 1912.

A:  No. All accounts entered in the Debt Management Program will be closed. In order to get out of debt and regain financial stability, you must stop incurring new debt.

A: Yes. Most creditors will not accept a Debt Management Proposal without first having the client cancel credit card insurance. If a creditor agrees to a program, but is still charging a credit insurance fee, then it will take longer to pay off the account because a portion of your payment will be used to pay the charge instead of your balance. Please review your account statements and contact your creditor to cancel any insurance charges that appear.  

A: Yes. You will continue to receive monthly statements from your creditors, as usual. The statements will reflect payments made through the Debt Management Program. Please review your monthly statements to make sure you receive accurate benefits from your creditors, as indicated on your ACCC Payment Summary sheet. If you notice a problem, you must notify ACCC immediately. ACCC is not responsible for issues or errors that are not reported in a timely manner. If you are not receiving statements and your creditor refuses to send them, it is your responsibility to contact your creditor to check the status of your account. Specifically, check to see that payments are posting on time, that the program interest rate is in effect, that you are not getting unnecessary fees, and/or any past due amounts. If there are any issues, please contact our Client Services Department at (800) 769-3571, ext. 1912.

A:  No. It is recommended that once the program begins that all payments be made through the Debt Management Program. Payments made directly to the creditors could be viewed as a termination from our program by the creditor and may result in an increase in the interest rates. If you want to send additional funds, please contact the Disbursement Department at (800) 769-3571, ext. 1912. They will be happy to assist you with this as part of our service to you.

A: When entering the Debt Management Program, you will be advised to close all of your open lines of unsecured credit, so that you will not incur any new debt while trying to solve your current debt problems. Initially, this may cause a drop in your credit score. However, you can expect your credit score to improve on the debt management program if you follow the rules of the program, do not open any new debt, and commit to making on-time payments. The combination of on-time payment and a reduction in total debt should have a positive impact on your score.

While you are on the program, some creditors may place a notation on your credit report indicating that your account is being managed through credit counseling. This is a neutral notation that does not affect your credit score, which is what most lenders use to determine creditworthiness. The way this notation is viewed by individual creditors varies. Some creditors may view the "CC" notation as a negative, when making a decision to extend new credit; however, you are strongly advised against opening any new lines of credit while participating in the program, as your ultimate goal is to become debt-free.

The CC notation is usually removed by the creditors when you complete or terminate the program and, if it is not, you may contact the credit bureaus to have the inaccurate information removed. We recommend that you review your credit report approximately 60 days after completion/termination of the program, to ensure that all information is being accurately reported.

A: ACCC is not a credit repair company and has not represented that it will advise or assist you in the modification, improvement or correction of credit entries on your credit reports. No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. The law allows you to ask for an investigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. For more information on credit reports and scoring see the FTC’s website.

A: Yes. ACCC’s privacy policy pledges that client information will be strictly safeguarded and stored in a safe manner at our office. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard your nonpublic personal information and will not disclose information to anyone except those persons authorized by you. To read ACCC's complete privacy policy, click here.

A:  ACCC is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). As an accredited member, we are required to be certified through an independent third part auditor to the standards of ISO 9001:2008 (International Standard Organization) and a Code of Practice specific to the credit counseling industry. This guarantees the highest standards of fiscal integrity, quality service delivery, and client database security.

A:  ACCC has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. To view ACCC's Reliability Report directly, you may click on the following link:  www.betterbusinessbureau.org or click on the BBB logo at the bottom of our web page at  www.consumercredit.com .

A: ACCC receives financial support through voluntary Fair Share and Grant contributions from creditors who participate in our Debt Management Program. However, we work with all creditors who are willing to accept our payments and offer benefits to our clients, regardless of whether or not the creditor provides financial support to ACCC.

A:  No. Bankruptcy is a negative remark that stays on a consumer’s credit report for 7-10 years and negatively affects creditworthiness, whereas a neutral Credit Counseling notation is removed once someone completes the program. Through a Debt Management Plan, many creditors will report your account as current once your proposal is accepted and there is a consistent payment history, thus improving your credit rating. For more information regarding the differences between Debt Management and Bankruptcy, please consult with a credit counselor at (800) 769-3571, ext. 1910 .

A: To add an account to your existing program, you may call us at the number listed below or send your request by fax, mail or email (email statements in PDF format only).  Please make sure that your request includes all of the following information:

Most recent statement, collections letter or current information (not older than 60 days)

Client ID number or SSN

Name of the account owner(s)
(Note: Was the account opened in the name of the client, co-client, or is it a joint account?)

FULL account number
(Note: not all e-statements show the full account number)

Current balance

Monthly payment owed

Current interest rate 

Date to begin paying the account (first payment due date/eft draw date)
(Note: Please allow approximately one week for the add account process.)

Please see the following information regarding sending in add account information. CALL (800) 769-3571 x1912 and have above information available, or have any questions; FAX: (617) 564-9301, ATTN: Add Accounts; EMAIL: Clients can also send scanned statements to:  addaccounts@consumercredit.com; MAIL: ACCC, Attn: Add Accounts, 130 Rumford Ave, Suite 202, Auburndale, MA 02466

A: Many creditors will send a letter informing you of the acceptance of a debt management proposal. Another way is to check your credit card statements. Lower interest rates and suspension of late fees indicate the creditors’ acceptance of the debt management proposal. You may also check the status of your accounts on our website (www.consumercredit.com) or call Client Services at (800) 769-3571, ext. 1912.

A:  If a creditor sells your account to another company, they must notify you in writing. Should you receive notification of this, you must contact our Client Services Department immediately. Client Services will then make the necessary changes to ensure the new creditor is informed of your participation in our Debt Management Program and that your payment is being sent to the correct place.

A:  Unfortunately it is the decision of a creditor whether or not to accept a debt management proposal. If the creditor will not accept a proposal, they may accept the full standard monthly payment through our program, but offer no benefits. If a creditor refuses to accept your payments through a debt management company, then that individual account must be removed. You will then need to send your regular monthly payments directly to the creditor.

A:  ACCC will send debt management proposals to your creditors, just prior to sending your first payment. The proposal stands as official notification to your creditors that you have sought the assistance of ACCC.

A:  In order to assess your current financial situation and determine the best course of action, please contact our Recounseling Department at 800-769-3571, extension 1923.

A: For first time users, a temporary username and password have been emailed to you. Please use this temporary information to access your account. This temporary information will expire in 72 hours. You will then be prompted to change your username and password. Please visit us at Consumercredit.com, and click on “Client Login.”

A:  There could be several reasons why a creditor is still charging fees. If you see a fee on your current credit card statement, please contact our Client Services Department immediately at (800) 769-3571, ext. 1912, so that the issue can be addressed with your creditor. Please note that any fees that were accrued BEFORE your proposals have been accepted and you have started the program continue to be your responsibility.

A:  Adding or removing someone from an account is a simple process. Please contact the Client Services Department to review the necessary steps, at (800) 769-3571, ext. 1912.

A:  You can access all of your payment information online via our website at www.consumercredit.com. If you require additional assistance you may contact the Disbursements Department at (800) 769-3571, ext. 1912.

A:  Making the difference payment to a creditor helps to keep your account current until the proposal is accepted. The difference payment to a creditor is to ensure that the creditor is receiving their full payment so you do not fall behind. If a creditor requires a minimum payment of $80, but ACCC is proposing $70, it is important that you, the client, pay the difference of $10 directly to the creditor, while ACCC sends $70 so in total the creditor is still receiving full payment. It is important that you, the client, continue to make these difference payments until you have received notification that the creditor has accepted the account on the program. If you have any questions regarding what your difference payments are, please contact our Client Service Department at (800) 769-3571 Ext. 1912.

A:  Please make your check or money order payable to American Consumer Credit Counseling or ACCC, and send to ACCC, 130 Rumford Avenue, Suite. 202, Auburndale, MA 02466-1371. Please be sure to include your ACCC Client Number or social security number.

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling agency offering services such as debt advice, debt consolidation programs, and consumer bankruptcy counseling. We have provided thousands of families with financial counseling and helped them with consolidating bills and paying off credit cards. For consumers in need of bankruptcy counseling, ACCC is approved by the Department of Justice to provide both pre bankruptcy credit counseling and post-bankruptcy debtor education.

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