Money Management International is the largest credit counseling agency in the United States, and one of the highest rated on this website. It has been helping Americans free themselves from their debt since 1958 and since the very beginning it has been on a mission to offer high-quality services, to promote financial education to clients, and to make a dent in the growing debt problem that this country is now facing.
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
- In business for many decades
- Broad-spectrum of educational resources and tools
Great Customer Service
Money Management International is a hugely respected company that is able to provide a variety of high quality services. Their counseling and educational services are vast, much bigger than anything else offered in this industry. They also offer 24-hour access to a financial advisor, which is also rare in the industry.
In many ways, this makes them considerably more approachable than many of their competitors. What's more, they offer in-person appointments at any of their many offices, ideal for older clients who insist on face-to-face meetings and indeed for anyone who feels they could benefit more from this treatment. During the consultation, a representative will decide if credit counseling is the best option for you, and if it is then they will decide the best course of action going forward.
Those going through financial distress will be aided by one of their certified financial counselors who will provide professional guidance throughout the process. 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 and to get back into the black.
There are many interactive tools on the company’s website, like debt calculators, and these are easy to use and incredibly informative. The educational resources are fantastic and can help anyone learn about fiscal responsibility and the downfalls associated with credit and debt.
These resources can be utilized by anyone looking to improve their financial situation, and indeed anyone looking to learn more about debt, credit, and financial management. Additionally, there are several articles designed to help families live comfortably within their means during their debt payment plan and into the great unknown beyond that.
This is key. It's something we're always happy to applaud but something we don't see as often as we like. It's very easy to get into debt, even if you're already been there, done that, and got the tee-shirt. This is something that many debtors miss as they treat a new credit card and a clean slate like an addict would treat a high tolerance, good health, and a hit of their chosen fix. It's so easy to relapse, so it really is important that this information is provided, read, and understood.
- Lack of transparency
- No refund policy (from what we understand)
- Not a lot of info on their interest rates
A lot of debt consolidation companies, most of them in fact, avoid posting their fees and financial policies and keep customers in the dark. While Money Management International does post its upfront fees (up to $50), they do not publish their monthly fees, and this is disappointing. It would be very helpful if Money International could provide this information prior to engaging with them. It would make our job easier, but it would also provide prospective customers with the information they need to decide if this company is for them.
Although prices range from state to state, it is common to see a range of prices to give a general idea of the overall costs. We also would like to see the company do more to disclose the risks associated with debt management programs, such as interest rate spikes, late fees, and potential damage to credit scores. These are by no means exclusive to Money Management, but we feel that it is their duty to be upfront about this as customers aren't always as well informed as the companies like to pretend they are.
We like companies with accreditations; they show that the company abides by a high level of service and that they follow a strict code of conduct. 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 that provides consumers with a vast educational resource, and some of the best debt management programs around. They have more experience than most and they also have some of the most enticing rates and services. But they are not perfect. The company is lacking transparency in key areas and could use some improvements here and there.
It took a lot of digging to find out how many states they operate in (all of them), and we don't know what the monthly fees are or what the return policy is. This kind of information is vital for consumers and the fact that it does not exist puts a dampener on things. Still, they have done a lot to impress us in other areas and even though this review was initially quite low, we have since reevaluated, upgraded, and improved it to a 4/5.