Is a “Debt Management Plan” really nothing that a consumer can’t do on their own?
To explain: I have three credit cards with moderately high balances but extraordinarily high interest rates. On several occasions in the past, I have contacted the credit card companies and tried to get them to lower my interest rates, but they have always – ALWAYS – refused. Their explanation is always that 1) I have been late on payments in the past (and by late, I mean one day or maybe two at most) so they can’t do anything for me, 2) I’m considered a high risk (my FICO score is in the 600’s) and 3) Due to “recent changes in credit card legislation,” the industry is not lowering interest rates and are in fact raising them. I don’t have any leverage to use against the credit card companies to try and strong-arm them, either.
Yet just this past week I talked to a Credit Counseling Firm who recommended I enroll in a debt management plan to get my CC debt under control, and this firm is able to get my interest rates reduced to far less than half of what my credit card companies were charging me.
Obivously, the debt management firm has tactics and advantages that I myself do not when it comes to dealing with the creditors, so this is NOT something I could have achieved on my own. Yet people continue to state that these firms don’t do anything that a consumer can’t do on his own.
***I think I either need to clarify a bit, or people just aren’t reading the complete text of my question.
What I’m asking is, how is it possible that a credit counseling company could get my credit card companies to drop my interest rates AND accept smaller payments each month….when I myself have TRIED on my own repeatedly to get my credit card companies to do the same thing – but they will NOT do it for me?
That’s what I’m trying to understand. What is the credit counseling company doing that I’m not?