Our goal is to remove the mystery about these programs, answer your questions and help you find the right debt relief for your personal financial situation. To that end, here is a listing of commonly used terms to help you understand more about consolidating debts.
he Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies is a national membership organization, established to promote quality and consistent delivery of credit counseling services, including:
- Fee standards requiring the lowest fees possible;
- Timely creditor payment requirements;
- Offer services regardless of race, religion, age, or financial status;
- Maintain non-profit, licensing, bonding, and other legal requirements;
- Counselors must be trained, qualified, and certified;
- Agency must be accredited and recertified annually;
- Financial records and client accounts are audited annually;
- Provide educational opportunities for clients including money management, budgeting, credit counseling and debt management.
Debt Consolidation Programs Glossary
Consumer Credit Counseling Service, CCCS, credit counseling, debt management program, debt consolidation companies, and debt counseling are all terms synonymous with debt consolidation. Here are some definitions of the terms you commonly see:
Consumer Credit Counseling Service, also known as CCCS
A nonprofit nationwide organization. Specializing in debt management programs and subsidized by major creditors. CCCS was the first organization offering debt management services.
Credit Counseling and Debt Counseling
Refers to consultations regarding debt management, budgeting and personal finances to learn money management skills.
Get free credit counseling advice to help you overcome your debt. Know All Your Options.
Debt Management Program
The actual program of consolidating debts into one monthly payment, usually with payment to the administrator of the program, and the administrator paying the debt payments directly to the creditors.
Debt Consolidation Companies
Are independent companies, some nonprofit, that undertake the responsibility of administering a debt management program similar to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service.
Debt Consolidation Service
The blanket term used to describe the services offered by the Consumer Credit Counseling Service as well as Debt Consolidation Companies.
Debt Management Agreement
The contract between you and the debt consolidation service you have chosen to represent your interests in a debt management program.
Consumer Credit Counseling Terminology
Terms you will also see often on debt counseling web sites are “accreditation” or “accredited.” It means that agency adheres to strict guidelines and must pass independent accreditation reviews on a regular basis. These sites usually display a seal.
“Certified counselors” will also appear often. In this instance it means the credit counselors have passed examinations to become certified in debt management and credit counseling.
If you have a hard time making the minimum payments, you need to take action before your credit file is trashed, and you have creditors calling daily.
We recommend debt consolidation through a reputable Consumer Credit Counseling Service to get your finances under control. They can help you with managing your money, as well as deal with your creditors for you.