A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE ARCHIVES

Can That Debt Management Agency REALLY Lower My Interest Rate?

July 7th, 2011, byMichelle Singletary

Q: I have talked to a debt management agency, and the names/words that have come up are MSP (Member Service Provider), EFS (Education Finance Services/Educational Financial Services) and Membership Fulfillment Center. I would like to get from under my 29.9% interest, but am I getting myself into more trouble? All my payments are current. The savings they quoted to me seem really good.

New York

A: This is an example of the famous Shakespeare line, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

What you have encountered are various names for the same service I don’t recommend to people. You are looking for a savior, and it will cost you. Yes, for anywhere from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, you too can get a promise that your debt (or, in your case, your interest rate) can be reduced.

Or, how about this often used but always true statement: If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Many debt management agencies will promise or guarantee they can reduce your interest rate, but that’s not likely.

Don’t do it.

Rather, if you need help, look up a nonprofit consumer credit counseling service (CCCS) that is affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. An agency might be able to help you get that interest rated lowered if you enter into a debt management plan.

Even so, why not just buckle down, cut your expenses until you can’t cut anymore and pay off the debt? The quicker you get rid of the debt, the less time you have to deal with that high interest rate or the cost of entering into a contract with a debt management company.

  • ron mcknight

    There are a number of non-profit counseling agencies out there. I would also suggest working with an agency that is registered with the local BBB, and ensure that they are licensed to not only privide service in your state, but will be the agency that services your account as well. In addition, true non-profits offer a completely voluntary program, no contracts involved.

Last modified: July 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm