Consumer Credit Counseling Service

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Educating our community and supporting individuals in becoming self-sufficient in their financial needs.

Established in 1969 Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Tri-Cities holds firm to the mission statement of "Educating the community and supporting individuals in becoming self-sufficient in their financial needs".

Serving over 3000 families a year with one on one budget counseling and reaching nearly 7000 individuals with educational presenatations in 2004, we are one of the first and only financial counseling agency dedicated to changing a way of life.

Our service offers NFCC Certified Credit Counselors and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. A preference benchmark you can trust.

We are "People Who Care".

Everyone finds themselves struggling from time to time and it is natural to feel embarrassed about it. Be assured that everything you discuss with our Livejasmin counselors is completely confidential. We want to make this as easy and comfortable for you as possible.

We provide several services to help families in need.

One on One Budget Counseling: It does not take a financial crisis to benefit from our one on one jasmin live counseling. Our Certified Credit Counslors tap into over 40 years experience to work with you in establishing and living within a spending plan especially designed for your circumstances.

Debt Management Program (DMP): If you are in severe credit crisis, our counselors will being working with your jasminlive creditors immediately to set up an alternative payment plan based on your situation. This in many cases reduces your monthly payment allowing you to focus on basic necessities.

Creditor Participation: Because your payments will be forwarded via our office, many creditors are willing to reduce or waive current interest rates and fees. This allows more of the payment you are making, even though it may be a reduced amount, to be applied to the principle thus paying your accounts off quicker.

We have educational programs for all ages from elementary to the senior citizen. We are a featured speaker for many area schools and offer one to twelve hour programs to suit you. Whether it understands your credit report or how to shop during the holidays, we can put together a presentation for an employee, church or any other group setting.

Home Ownership Center (HOC): A homebuyer education, pre-qualifying and counsling program targeting low to moderate income first-time homebuyers, limited equity borrowers and other members of our community wishing to gain more knowledge in the housing market.

Frequently Asked Questions

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• What Does the Name "Consumer Credit Counseling Service" Mean? That registered name is your guarantee of quality. We must maintain high standards of financial accountability, counselor certification, educational programs, and customer service to retain the registered name.

• How can we help the average family with too much credit card debt? As a non-profit, community service, we offer help to all who need money management, credit or housing counseling and education. Every family's financial needs are unique, and an experienced counselor can provide an action plan for your greatest economic well-being. That action plan might include our Debt Management Plan or simple budgeting advice or referral to other community resources.

• Does our institution make Loans? No. Our institution does not lend money or arrange for loans. We work with you to establish a Debt Management Program (DMP) that allows you to better manage your money and to eliminate bills rather than going deeper into debt. We show you how to budget without new loans. We represent your positive attitude to creditors who can provide concessions based on legitimate need and hardship.

• What is a Debt Management Plan? The Consumer Credit Counseling Service Debt Management Program is a standardized, nationally recognized program that provides individualized Debt Management Plan for individuals and families to provide positive means to repay debt and can act as an alternative to bankruptcy. The plan from serves in a dual role: it helps you to repay your debt and allows creditors to receive the money that you owe them. National, regional, and local creditors receive your plan and, after approval, work with you through your financial team. You decide what steps you will take each step of the way.

• Will I have to give up all my credit cards if I choose to go on the Debt Management Plan? Credit grantors will expect that if they make concessions to help you take charge of your debt, you will not continue to increase your indebtedness to any other creditors.

• Can You Get My Creditors to Stop or Reduce Finance Charges? Yes. Many creditors do agree to make interest concessions while individuals are enrolled in a Debt Management Plan. This reduction is usually greater than they will offer you directly. These reductions in interest charges, fees, or penalties are because of their support for our clients who are in trouble and have decided to do something serious about correcting the problem. Creditors do, however, reserve the right to grant, amend, or revoke any concessions.

• How long will it take to pay off a Debt Management Plan? Each person's DMP is unique. It will vary according to the amount of debt and the credit grantors you owe. The average length of a DMP is approximately 48 months.

• Can I make Debt Management Plan payments electronically? Yes, through our ACH plan, your account can be debited according to your payment schedule. This is safe, sure, convenient way to stay on track with your payments.

• Will Seeing You Hurt My Credit Report? We are a confidential service. We do not report enrollment to credit reporting bureaus or anyone else. That is up to the individual credit grantor, and sometimes they will show an account as under credit counseling. Keep in mind that if your credit is without blemish, and you have paid as agreed, you may benefit from our basic budget counseling or a class on the wise use of credit, both of which are inexpensive services. But if you're experiencing late payments, you probably will find that these delinquencies are already being factored into your credit-worthiness.

• Will My Employer Know I Have Gone to you? Our services are confidential. We only notify your Debt Management Plan creditors of your involvement with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Tri-Cities. As part of your plan, you may voluntarily exercise an option of wage assessment, if you wish. You can discuss that option directly with your counselor and determine if that is an option that suits your needs.

• What Does Counseling Cost? The agency's budget assessment and debt counseling are currently set at $20.00 per session. Counselors must be certified through a national agency and all counseling is strictly confidential. We provide this non-profit community service throughout Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon-- and it can be accomplished via phone or internet -- but the best case is a confidential "one-on-one" personalized session at any of our offices. These personal interviews often provide greater understanding of available options.

• How Does Budget Assessment and Debt Counseling Work? Confidential evaluation sessions are offered as a community service providing consumers with opportunities to find financial and debt repayment solutions that are result-oriented. Additional counseling may be utilized as long as necessary or held in conjunction with an additional educational program. Counseling is provided as a community service throughout Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon -- and is available through regional and satellite offices. We also provide phone counseling.

The initial budget assessment and counseling session may last a little over one hour. Generally, we encourage a personal appointment, but sessions can be accomplished by telephone or mail. A confidential questionnaire may be downloaded from our Internet page to get you started faster.

• How Long is a Counseling Session? The initial budget assessment and counseling session may last a little over one hour. Generally, we encourage a personal appointment, but sessions can be accomplished by telephone or mail. A confidential questionnaire may be downloaded from our Internet page to get you started faster.

It's different from those who claim they can provide you a quick fix in less than 15 minutes. Our counseling covers all debt, not just partial debt. Our experience shows that quick fix programs which address only credit card debt are not as effective as thorough consideration of debt options. Counseling sessions may be voluntarily repeated as often as needed.

• How Long Do I Have to Stay With your institution? Our programs are voluntary. The goals of our education, budget assessment, counseling, and administered debt-repayment programs are helping you regain control of your finances. You make the call. Some remain on programs through completion. Others take over their finances when they feel comfortable and debt has been reduced to a manageable level. Your counselor is available to help you make these decisions. We also provide educational and counseling services for credit restoration following completion of programs. It is not unusual for someone who has become "debt-free" to accomplish a "refresher."

• Is your institution a Government Agency? We are a private non-profit 501(C) (3) organization registered in the State of Washington and Oregon -- and is a member of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (NFCC). We are not a government agency.

• How is your institution Funded? Funding for our programs comes from many different sources. One of which is through creditor participation in our Debt Management Program. In addition, clients make a monthly payment to help defray administrative expenses of servicing their accounts. As a non-profit agency, we also receive funding for special programs via grants and community donations.

• Who Do You Serve? Consumer Credit Counseling Service serves South-Eastern Washington and North-Eastern Oregon. As a non-profit, we provide community-based educational and counseling services -- and, for those who voluntarily choose, administered debt management plans. We provide offices throughout our service area for personal counseling, have phone counseling available, and can provide initial contact through the Internet.

What Makes Us Different From Other Debt Repayment Agencies On the Internet?

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We do not speak for other agency strategies. We know from more than thirty years of experience in Washington and Oregon that our strategy works.

We can confidentially point to critical differences that establish us as part of a National Financial Care Center Network in the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). We address all debt. Here are some critical questions you can ask to determine differences. Ask if all debt is considered. Ask agency credentials for debt-counseling. As members of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), we must be accredited -- and that accreditation becomes your guarantee of quality service. We are also part of the NFCC family of offices that promise you standardized, quality service wherever you are -- a network that concentrates not only on national creditors, but also maintains relationships with local and regional businesses. This means sound debt-counseling recognized by all levels of business -- at the national, local, and regional levels.

Therefore, we provide you quality service by thoroughly answering your questions and establishing means to repay debt through certified counseling knowledgeable of all creditors. We share in national standards a Client Bill of Rights and services outlined at

As a member of the NFCC network, we address all debt, not just a portion. We guarantee like other Neighbourhood Financial Centers under NFCC that we will look at your entire debt with a goal of affordable repayment to local, regional, Federal, and national credit card creditors.

When all debt is addressed, a realistic repayment plan is established. We know from experience that partial repayment plans are likely not to succeed. We help you with a successful repayment path. Those in hardship can then find a solution rather than giving up on themselves and their families.

A full repayment strategy is a new start -- rather than the lose-lose position of bankruptcy. This solution is part of the NFCC network: one that has been established through years of trust between the creditors and the NFCC network of agencies, with all believing that people and families deserve an opportunity to get out of debt.