What happens when I come to Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeastern Iowa?
You receive free credit counseling. You help set a budget and action plan with goals and solutions. Debt management, bankruptcy and financial plans are discussed.
How confidential is my program and meeting with CCCS?
All information presented to the office remains with the employees and is used to help you with your creditors. All employees and auditors sign approved confidentiality statements in accordance with the State of Iowa confidentiality laws.
Do I have to come to Waterloo, Iowa, to meet with you?
No. You may handle all counseling and your Debt Management Plan through your computer, telephone, fax or by visiting a counselor in any one of our ten offices. Click here for location and contact information.
About Debt Management
What are the benefits of setting up a Debt Management Plan?
* Some companies stop or reduce interest
* Most companies stop late payment fees and over-limit charges
* Most companies accept smaller payments
* Collection calls cease
* CCCS bundles your unsecured debt and contacts your creditors
* Proposals are sent to set up payment plans for predetermined bills
* You retain control of your own credit and debt
* You continue to pay basic bills such as rent, mortgage and utilities etc.
YOU gain control and remain in charge!
How do I start the program?
You deposit a payment with CCCS to cover your credit education program and the company's proposals charge. The average payment is $70.00. This payment must be made before proposals are mailed to creditors. This also pays for our education program called MoneyMap, including your textbook and all classes.
What forms do I have to fill out and sign?
The forms include an application, list of debts, statement of services and a contract for services. We formally begin working on your plan when signed paperwork and funds are received.
What method of payment can I use?
All payments must be made by bank check or draft, cashiers check, money order, Western Union or ACH transfers from your paycheck. You can receive free bank checks from Veridian Credit Union (all locations), Regions Bank (all locations), the University of Northern Iowa Credit Union, and Cedar Falls Credit Union.
When are payments due?
Deposits are due by the 5th and the 20th. Payments received by the 5th are mailed to creditors on the 10th and payments received by the 20th go out the 25th. Payments received after the due date go out the next payment date. All payments must be made to the CCCS office in Waterloo.
Where does CCCS place my money?
All client funds go into a trust account owned by the creditors and CCCS for payment of client bills. This trust account is audited by two sources each year.
What accounting do I receive?
Each month, you receive a client statement mailed on the 10th of the month detailing the creditors and payments with new balances. The companies continue to send you the statements. You need to bring your statements in every three months for updating and comparison. Should you notice an error, call the accounts manager at once.
Do I have to grant CCCS Power of Attorney?
Yes, just in order to work with your creditors. Unless we have the power to negotiate on your behalf, we cannot acknowledge even knowing you. Your creditors need to know we are your financial agents in this repayment plan.
How long will repayment take?
Payments are determined according to creditor policy. Some companies require higher payments than others. At the time you set up a contract, your counselor will give you an estimated payoff which includes interest. Within 30 days of signing a contract, CCCS will send you a "client pay out" which is a computer printout specifying a more precise payout including all known interest rates. As policies change and interest accrues, this will change as well. We can update this for you annually.
How long does a contract last?
Division of Banking requires a debt management contract to be set up for 36 months. You determine the length of contract yourself. If you can repay all your debt within two years, the contract terminates when the debt is paid off. If your debt extends beyond 36 months, we will amend the contract to continue the plan.
How does a Debt Management Plan (DMP) affect my credit?
Participation in the DMP may affect your credit report either favorably or unfavorably, according to your creditor's policies with respect to the DMP and your payment history prior to and during your participating in the DMP. We will talk to loan officers to put in a good word for you.
What is this Debt Management Plan (DMP) going to cost me?
Credit grantors cover the bulk cost of the DMP. Clients contribute about $15.00 per month to offset our costs. The client and counselor determine these contributions after reviewing the financial picture. No one is ever denied service because of inability to pay.