Money Management International is the largest credit counseling agency in the US and has been aiding consumers to free themselves from their debt since 1958. From the start, Money Management International has been on a mission to offer high-quality services and promote financial education to clients to help them stay on the right financial track.
About Money Management International
Money Management International is one of the biggest credit counseling companies that offer debt consolidation assistance. They do not provide you with a loan of any kind, but rather they act as your support team throughout the consolidation process and ensure you have professional help when needed. They operate the same as any other major debt consolidation company in this regard, but few can rival them in terms of experience, with only GreenPath Financial Wellness (read our review of them here) coming close.
They provide a certified credit counselor who creates a debt management plan and consolidates all of their debt into one affordable monthly payment with reduced interest rates. In addition to debt consolidation, they offer services for budget and debt counseling, foreclosure prevention, bankruptcy counseling, financial workshops, and pre-purchase housing counseling. Money Management International also provides other resources like free podcasts, videos, lesson plans, and webinars.
For our Money Management International review, skip ahead; to learn more about this company, keep reading.
- Address: 2401 W Peoria Ave Ste 120, Phoenix, AZ 85029-4790
- Web Address: http://www.moneymanagement.org/
- Date of Founding: 1/1/1958
- Contact Number:(800) 308-2227
- BBB Accredited? Yes, since 1994.
Money Management International is the biggest company in this sector, and by quite a long way. The average successful, nationally renowned company in this sector employs between 50 and 150 staff members and turns-over around $10 million. Some, such as Freedom Debt Relief, go one step further, but Money Management International eclipse everyone else in those stakes.
They employ several thousand employees (we can't get an exact number, but at last count it was around 1,200 in over 100 locations) and they turnover in excess of $60 million. Whether they are the best or not is disputable and it's something we'll cover a little later on with our Money Management International review, but they are without a doubt the biggest.
They are led by Mr. Ivan Hand, who is the CEO.
The main service offered by Money Management International is a debt management plan, which debtors can use to get out of all kinds of debt, including common household debts like credit cards and personal loans, as well mortgages and more. They also offer assistance with bankruptcy and student loans (see our guide to paying off your student loans quickly).
The following prices are for all services offered by Money Management International and are accurate as of late 2018:
- Debt Management Plan Startup Fee: Max $75; average $33
- Debt Management Plan Monthly Fee: Max $50; Average $24
- Bankruptcy Counseling: Pre-filing up to $50; pre-discharge up to $50*
- Student Loan Help: up to $199
- Housing Counseling: $0 to $150**
*This cost can vary depending on state of residence.
**Depends on the type of service offered.
Employees have mostly positive things to say about Money Management International, and that's both impressive and surprising for a company of this size in this sector (as discussed many times before, employees are expected to work as financial advisors on customer service wages, so they are rarely content). However, after listening to what a few former employees had to say there are a few areas of concern.
Many of these mentioned that they are incentivized into recommending the debt management plans as the only solution to the customer's issue, because these plans are how the company makes its money. It is to be expected, but at the same time you would expect a little more transparency and honesty from a non-profit company that prides itself on sound financial advice.
Of course, these are just allegations from a handful of customers. It may be that this has happened, but only in the past or only on a small scale. It may be that it's a rampant issue. It may be a complete fabrication or misunderstanding. We don't know and don't want to speculate in any case, but it's worth noting that this issue is likely very common across this industry.
There are a lot of good reviews out there for Money Management International and there is also a fair share of bad ones. But these are understandable. Big companies that hire lots of staff will always have the occasional issue with customer support, there will always be oversights and misunderstandings, and a lot of the bad reviews can be chalked-off to such issues.
There are complaints of false promises, including some who were seemingly promised interest-free rates on specific accounts, only to be told that those accounts could not be added when they signed-up, but Money Management International have been quick to resolve these issues. We get the impression that the issues were only resolved when (and because) the customer left a bad review, but it's still good to see them resolved.
If You Have a Complaint
It can feel like you're at a disadvantage if you have a complaint against a major company like this. There is no direct line to the person who runs the business, and you get the impression that no one can or will be held accountable. But that's not necessarily the case.
More often than not we find that the guys in charge are just as annoyed with poor customer service as you are, only they actually have the power to do something about it. So, if you have something to complain about, trying going through the traditional channels and if that fails try contacting the CEO, as he lists himself as the main contact on BBB, or the Chief Relationship Officer, John J Fisher. We don't want to post their details on this website, but you can find them on Money Management International.
If all of that fails, then and only then should you start leaving bad reviews and opening complaints against them.
Our Money Management International Review
Our reviewers have studied this company closely for some time now and have also spoken with former customers in order to get a better understanding of how they operate and to see if they are a company we would recommend. To see what we thought of them, read our Money Management International review below.
- NFCC and FCAA certified
- 59 years in business
- Broad-spectrum of educational resources and tools
Great Customer Service
Money Management International is a prodigious company that is able to provide a variety of services. For instance, their counseling and educational services are vast. They offer 24-hour access to a financial advisor, which is somewhat rare in the industry.
In many ways, this makes them a lore more approachable than many of their competitors. Moreover, they offer in-person appointments at any of their off-location offices for those who would like to meet in-person. During the consultation, a representative will decide if credit counseling is the best option for you.
Those going through financial distress will be aided by one of their certified financial counselors who will provide professional guidance to help the individual. During this session, a personal credit counselor will analyze the current financial situation and create a realistic budget enabling consumers to achieve their financial goals.
The interactive tools on the company’s website, like debt calculators, are easy to use and informative. The educational resources are fantastic to use and can help anyone learn about personal fiscal responsibility. These resources can be utilized by anyone including a financial advisor or just anybody looking to improve their financial intelligence. Additionally, there are several articles designed to help families live more within their means during their debt payment plan and beyond.
- Lack of transparency
- Potential no refund policy
- No average interest rates
For debt consolidation companies, it is normal for them to avoid posting their fees and financial policies. While Money Management International does post its upfront fees (up to $50), they do not publish their monthly fees. It would be very helpful if Money International could provide this information prior to engaging with them.
Although prices range from state to state, it is common to see a range of prices to give a general idea of what the costs will be to enroll in a program. We would like to see the company do more to disclose the risks associated with enrolling in a debt management program such as, interest rate spikes and tacked on late fees for those who wish to opt-out after enrollment.
We like companies with accreditations; they show that the company abides by a high level of quality in their services. Money Management International is lacking FCAA and ISO accreditations; which doesn’t make them a deal breaker but it sure does make a potential customer think twice about enrolling with them.
The Bottom Line
Money Management is a full-service counseling provider who provides consumers with a vast educational resource that can help dig them out of a financial hole. However, the company is lacking transparency which makes them difficult to recommend.
It took a lot of digging to find out how many states they operate in (all of them), and do we know what the monthly fees are or what the return policy is. This kind of information is vital for consumers to know. Therefore, we do not recommend working with them at this time.