- Quick and easy program setup. The counselors work with your credit card companies in a timely manner so you don't have to worry about making another monthly payment.
- Friendly counselors. My counselor managed to make me laugh in light of the desparaging situation.
- Online account access. MMI transactions are pretty transparent, so you can sign in to your account and see exactly where your money is going, and how much your balances have decreased. It also shows how long it will take to pay off your debt.
- MMI is a non-profit credit counseling service.
- Communication with one specific person. My initial counselor either moved to another department or no longer worked there, so I was transferred to someone else. Then she moved as well. I'm on my 3rd counselor.
I have only been on a Debt Management Program (DMP) with Money Management International for 6 months. This a review of the intial setup process and my thoughts about the program so far.
Six months ago I was deep in credit card debt, and barely saw the amount diminishing after making my minimum monthly payments. Just like the majority of Americans who are suffering during The Great Recession, I needed to figure out a way to make my payments, decrease my balance, and avoid any negative credit reporting.
When I contacted my credit card companies and asked for lower rates, they barely budged. They were ver resistent on helping me out considering I had a positive credit history. Of course a company would not make any arrangements for me if they were receiving their money each month, on time, and in full. Little did they know, this was killing my budget each month.
I did research on other DMP programs and although some looked promising, they required credit card debt of over $10,000, which I did not have. Other programs offered to counsel you on how to create a budget and follow it, but I had been financially responsible for quite some time and already followed my own budget to a tee.
I stumbled across Money Management International through a random website. I did my own reviews of them through Yelp and the internet. They came back generally positive. I went to their website and signed up for a credit counselor to contact me. Within a 24 hour period, I was on the phone with a counselor going over my income, debts, and financial responsibilities. The counselor was positive and friendly, she even helped me apply for their "no-fee program" in which I don't pay any fees for having MMI as my counseling service. Normally a percentage of the money withdrawn each month goes to the counseling program. With this service, 100% of the money withdrawn from my account goes toward paying off my credit card debt.
The counselor calculated a reasonable amount to be paid each month, which I agreed to. She sent me the necessary paperwork through email and told me she would notify me within 5 business days if my credit card companies had accepted their offers.
Within a week I received notice that the credit card companies had agreed to me using the program. I set up the automatic payment and chose a withdrawal date. My first amount came out the following month and although it has only been 6 months, I have seen more of a decrease on my balances in the past 6 months than I have in the past year. It has been great.
I received final notices from each credit card company showing the new interest rates to which I was paying. Some dropped to as low as 1%! I was thrilled that I could manage to pay off my debt, while maintaining my budget, and keeping a good credit score.
Being on a DMP does not show up on your credit report. It is definitely an option for some people to look into, but with anything, do your research! I have had a generally positive experience with Money Management International, and I couldn't be happier with them.