If you are receiving unsolicited phone calls from an entity pretending to be ACCC (a trusted non-profit credit counseling agency), please be assured that ACCC’s policy is NEVER to contact you unless you’ve explicitly requested us to call you. Also be cautious of emails from an unusual or unfamiliar domain. ACCC’s domain extension is @consumercredit.com, and any emails using a different extension should be treated with suspicion.


ACCC’s Client Login allows current clients to access their program information, including the due date, program benefits, and other documents.

Select a Client Login below based on the service that you are currently enrolled in:

Debt Management Program

Client Login

Not yet a client, but looking to get started?

ACCC offers debt relief options to individuals and families that are suffering from stress related to credit card debt by providing effective credit counseling, helping to consolidate debt, and advising on debt management.

Get Started


You are now leaving the Consumer Credit website and are going to a website that is not operated by ACCC. We are not responsible for the content or availability of linked sites.

Are you sure you want to leave?

No, return me to the previous page.


How to Budget & Reduce Heating Costs

It’s starting to get quite cold in many parts of the country. If you are feeling winter coming, you may also be remembering the cost of heating your home or apartment. While this is a definite expense, for most people, it changes each month. Budgeting for this can be tricky. Here are some budgeting tips as well as ways to reduce heating costs this winter.

Use ACCC's tips to reduce heating costs.

Use ACCC’s tips to reduce heating costs.

How to Budget for Increasing Heating Costs

Basically, no matter how you heat your home, costs will be increasing as winter moves forward. The colder it gets, the more money it takes to maintain a livable or comfortable temperature. This can make budgeting tough, especially if you are trying to make progress on debt management too. However, there are a few ways to manage this changing expense.

  1. Build up a buffer. Put aside extra money each month prior to the winter. This way, you can budget a reasonable amount and have extra money earmarked for the increases.
  2. Budget based on past years. A common practice is to look at the previous year’s billings and budget the same amount for each corresponding month. Money will probably be shifted from discretionary budget categories to cover the extra costs.
  3. Work with the utility company. Some utility companies have programs that help families pay the same amount of money each month rather than dealing with variable costs. Additionally, there are usually ways to get a free home energy audit, rebates or other green incentives to reduce heating costs. Talk with your landlord to see if they will invest a bit in the property or arrange for the free services. These improvements increase the value and function of the rental unit.

The worst thing to do is ignore the rising costs. The money won’t materialize out of nowhere. You have to take a few steps towards balancing the budget before it can get out of hand.

Ways to Reduce Heating Costs

There are many DIY home projects to get more efficiency out of your home. First, do whatever you can to keep warm air from escaping and cold air from getting in.

  • Seal Openings – Replace old weather stripping and adjust thresholds around doors so they seal shut completely. Caulk exterior windows and fill cracks or openings around pipes or cables with foam insulation.
  • Weatherize Windows From the Inside – Locking windows shut is a good start, but using plastic film to cover the opening completely will ensure the hot air doesn’t get out. This film is cheap and easy to remove in the spring.
  • Seal Air Ducts – AC and heating systems can form leaks over time. Use duct tape for it’s intended purpose by sealing cracks or gaps found in the seams or corners of duct work in your attic and basement.

Next, do what you can to limit turning on the heat so you’ll have more money left for paying off debt.

  • Bundle Up – The easiest way to save on heating costs is to insulate yourself. Put on an extra sweater, some slippers, and your cozy pants. Leave the heat off and snuggle up to your family members with blankets instead.
  • Close Doors and Vents – Limit the space you heat to just the necessary rooms. Close doors and vents in unused rooms that don’t need to be kept warm.
  • Space Heaters – Using a space heater when you’re going to be in one spot for a while is more efficient than heating the whole house. Be careful not to leave them plugged in unattended when you leave the house.

A combination of weatherizing your home and conserving heat when possible could save hundreds on your energy or gas bills over the winter. Plus, getting cozy with your loved ones is a lot more fun than attending financial counseling because you went over budget on home heating costs!

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with ACCC today


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

View all author posts →


Your Ultimate Money Management App

Meet CreditU, the ultimate one-stop debt and financial management app! See your full financial overview, including debts, income, expenses, and savings.

CreditU Apple App Store
Dev Tool:

Request: blog/how-to-budget-reduce-heating-costs
Matched Rewrite Rule: blog/([^/]+)/?$
Matched Rewrite Query: post_type=post&name=how-to-budget-reduce-heating-costs
Loaded Template: single.php