American Consumer Credit Counseling, also known simply as Consumer Credit, has been in the credit and debt consolidation industry for more than 26 years now. Consumer Credit is a non-profit organization that provides credit counseling and debt management programs to millions of debtors nationwide. They are available nationwide and they do not require a minimum debt requirement. Consumer Credit offers a free consultation with a certified counselor. Additionally, they are accredited with the NFC and AICCCA.
About Consumer Credit
American Consumer Credit Counseling is a non-profit credit counseling agency that provides customers with a credit counselor to create a debt management plan. This plan helps customers consolidate their debt into one monthly payment with lower interest rates.
Consumer Credit disperses this monthly payment to all of the creditors accordingly. Credit Counselors also offers different financial counseling services like credit, bankruptcy, housing, and student loans.
For more information about the company, their prices and their practices, see below:
- Address: 130 Rumford Ave, Ste 202, Auburndale, MA 02466-1370
- Web Address: http://www.consumercredit.com/
- Date of Founding: 01/01/1992
- Contact Number: (800) 769-3571
- Opening Hours: 9:00am to 11:30pm
- BBB Accredited? Yes, since 2009.
American Consumer Credit Counseling have around 150 employees, they turnover upwards of $10 million a year, and they are one of the biggest companies in this sector.
However, their former and current employees do not have a lot of great things to say about them. Good reviews certainly exist, and they detail very rewarding experiences, but the web is peppered with bad reviews from disgruntled employees and neutral reviews from ones who struggled through their time there.
The complaints range from low pay to lack of training and acknowledgement. It is worth noting, however, that good reviews do exist as well and the aforementioned complaints are not rare in this industry. Employees in this sector are tasked with a role similar to that of a financial advisor and counselor, yet the pay more closely resembles the work of a customer service rep.
On the one hand, they don't get paid nearly enough as they should. On the other hand, they get training and are not required to have a lot of experience or qualifications. This process also helps to keep the cost down for the consumer.
The Services and Cost
American Consumer Credit Counseling are a credit counseling agency that also provide a wealth of educational resources, helping debtors to get back on their feet. They provide assistance with many aspects of debt, including:
- Student Loans: $149 for a full counseling and evaluation process.
- Bankruptcy Counseling: Between $39 and $49 depending on position.
- Credit Card/Loan Debt: Maximum $39 to start and a further $5 per account (capped at $35) per month.
As mentioned in our American Consumer Credit Counseling review below, the initial consultation for debt management is completely free.
American Consumer Credit Counseling Review
Now that you know who American Consumer Credit Counseling are, it's time to look at the reasons you should (and should not) take advantage of their services with our American Consumer Credit Counseling review.
- Free consultation with certified counselors
- Accredited with NFC and AICCCA
- No minimum debt requirement
American Consumer Credit Counseling provide all prospective clients with a professionally trained and certified counselor to meet their individual needs and to help them get a grip on their unsecured debt. This is a great way to sample their services and to get some sound advice from an expert counselor. It's advice that can be useful even if you don't end up taking advantage of their services.
These counseling sessions are offered free of charge and are customized to each individual in the same way that a paid counseling session would be. The certified counselor will help the customer get to grips with their current financial state by reviewing income, assets, expenses, and more. Their goal is to help the client create a budget and to manage their finances with greater ease going forward.
Consumer Credit is accredited by the AICCCA and NFC, which means they follow some of the best practices in the industry. These accreditations guarantee a level of quality and professionalism that all customers can count on. All of the counselors that work for American Consumer Credit Counseling, and provide assistance during their free consultations, are also 100% certified.
In other words, they are not sales staff that will simply try and sell you a service. They are not pushy and they are not there to harass you. They know what they are doing, and their goal is to use their experience and their knowledge to help you.
- No ISO certification
- Lack of transparency
- Could be more open with regards to the risks
No ISO Certification
With no ISO 9001 certification, we cannot confirm whether or not Credit Counseling undergoes independent audits. These are undertaken by companies in this sector to verify that they are operating legitimately as a non-profit organization, but the lack of the aforementioned certification means we can't be sure that they do this, and if we had to guess we would say that they didn't.
This is not a deal breaker, but it would provide an extra level of security if they did and it would give customers some peace of mind when dealing with them.
Lack of Transparency
American Consumer Credit Counseling doesn’t disclose what their average interest rates are on their debt consolidation programs. This is essential information that prospective customers need to know if they are going to signup with this company. The lack of information here makes it impossible for customers to compare them with the competition.
There is also a lack of information about upfront and monthly fees, which makes it even harder for customers to compare American Consumer Credit Counseling to their rivals.
They do not Detail the Risks
There are some risks involved with debt consolidation. It's one of the better options for Americans struggling with debt, but it's not risk free and American Consumer Credit Counseling should outline the risks that are involved with this service to ensure customers are well informed.
Customers do have an option to cancel services at any time, and there is no direct penalty for this if they do. However, they might still incur penalties with creditors, including interest rate spikes, late fees, and more.
The Bottom Line
Consumer Credit is well accredited, available nationwide, and provides certified counselors to guide the customer every step of the way. Nonetheless, we are put off by the lack of transparency in their interest rates and fees. This is why we do not recommend working with Consumer Credit.
If you have also been deterred by this, take a look at these alternatives, all of which are based in the same state and provide similar services. A click on the links below will take you to our review pages where you can learn more.
- Upstart: A company that had some of the same issues, but may provide a viable alternative nonetheless.
- National Debt Relief: One of the biggest debt relief agencies in the United States, and one that we have covered several times on DebtReviews.
- Credit.org: One of the better nationally accredited agencies out there and one we would recommend wherever you are in the United States.