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Is credit counseling good for you?

Credit counseling

TEXT OF STORY

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Last week, we talked about credit counseling the pros, the cons. And we asked you to weigh in if you've used a credit counseling service.

So we heard from Joy
from Rochester Minnesota.

Joy: By the time I was 24 years old, I had six credit cards and nearly $30,000 in credit card debt. My initial thought about going to credit counseling was that it was going to be a humbling experience and laid down all my bills in front of the credit counselor. And she can calmly added things up and turned to me and said, "Well Joy, it's going to take over four years, but we can get this all paid off." And I just burst into tears of joy, because I had never in my life imagined that I could get out from underneath that debt.

Life is definitely better after credit counseling. For me, it was one of the best experiences of my life.

Brett from Santa Monica California has a different take.

Brett: Basically I was 32 years old and $25,000 in credit card debt. And my objective was to pay off the debt and to reduce the interest rate. While I was under the program, the credit counseling services sets a monthly payment that you send into them. They negotiate new terms with each of your lenders, but some of the lenders weren't aware of the negotations and the interest rates, some went down, but my American Express card interest rates went up 14 times while on the program and reached 30.22 percent.

I would recommend credit counseling after you've done your homework. When you sign up for the service, yuo're not just signing up for a payment program, you're actually having something attached to your credit report that's a derogatory bit of information.

We always welcome your thoughts and comments.

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I have an issue with the experts: many of the debt reduction gurus out there advocate paying down the higher debt card first.....

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We are now debt free, except for our mortgage. Each person's will take a different course when trying to shake the shackles of debt, but there is one are where I have an issue with the experts: many of the debt reduction gurus out there advocate paying down the higher debt card first, siting the obvious mathematical advantage of knocking down the amount of interest that is charged.

While that seems quite logical and reasonable, what many experts fail to take into account is the power of the human spirit. If we would do the opposite and not just pay down, but pay OFF the smallest debt first and then add our payment of the first to the payment of the second debt and then pay that off quickly, then we'll discover the power of quick victories which motivate us to not just pay down, but pay OFF the larger debts that remain!

This is what is advocated by Dave Ramsey.

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