Credit Counseling Report: Creditor Participation Leads to Client Success and Savings

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Cambridge Credit Counseling’s Transparency Report reviews the positive trends in creditor participation

Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp.
Given today’s economic climate, account concessions are extremely helpful in relieving the pressures on a typical family budget.

Cambridge Credit Counseling today released its fifth Debt Relief Performance Report. The report is a key component of Cambridge’s “Transparency Project,” a campaign to empower consumers, create an industry standard for reporting client performance data, and educate policymakers about the value consumers receive through credit counseling.

In the 5th release, Cambridge focuses on the positive impact of creditor concessions, which generally take the form of lower monthly payments, reduced interest rates, and the elimination of late and overlimit fees. An analysis of client performance data indicated that when creditors grant such concessions, clients are more likely to stay committed to their debt management plan and complete it on schedule.

Given today’s economic climate, account concessions are extremely helpful in relieving the pressures on a typical family budget. On average, DMP enrollees experience a $161.76 monthly savings on their unsecured bill payments, and a 14.68% reduction in interest rates. When compared with consumers continuing to struggle to make payments on their own under penalty interest rates, clients who are current on their bills when contacting Cambridge can realize an overall savings of $13,679.95, while clients who were behind on payments prior to speaking with a counselor can save $9,437.12.    

Cambridge’s latest report (available here) also provides a variety of statistical information that enable consumers to gauge the typical results of working with the agency. Among the metrics included in Cambridge’s latest report:

  • Fees for clients experiencing significant hardship were also often reduced or waived. During the third quarter of 2011, Cambridge waived or reduced Initial fees for 32.18% of new clients and Monthly fees for 39.2% of new clients
  • 97% of new client accounts are no longer receiving any late or over-limit fees
  • Consumers who contacted Cambridge in the fourth quarter of 2011 were even more likely to be worried about the ability to keep pace with their bills (91.1%)
  • The percentage of consumers experiencing anxiety about the rising cost of living rose to 60.4%
  • Approximately two-thirds of all consumers who contacted Cambridge during the quarter had experienced a loss of some or all of their income.

Cambridge’s Transparency Project is intended to help create an open environment within the debt relief profession, and Cambridge hopes that that its campaign will be reviewed and embraced by other agencies. Cambridge once again invites anyone with questions about this initiative to contact Christopher Viale at (888) 694-7491, or at transparency(at)cambridgecredit(dot)org.

About Cambridge Credit Counseling
Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. is a professional housing and credit counseling agency dedicated to educating young adults on the importance of sound financial management, and to providing financially distressed Americans with education and debt management services appropriate to their needs. Visit Cambridge Credit Counseling online at http://www.cambridgecredit.org.

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Thomas Fox
tfox@cambridgecredit.org
413-241-2362
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