Enrolling in a debt management program through a non-profit credit counseling agency is an ideal approach to credit card debt consolidation, especially if you have bad credit. Your chances of acceptance are good and it’ll cost you less in the long run than your other available options.
Most credit counseling agencies are non-profit organizations that will allow you to set up a monthly debt management plan in which you combine your existing debts and make a single payment to the agency. The agency will then forward payment to your creditors.
Acceptance in such a plan is contingent on your ability to make the agreed-upon monthly payment. If you fail to make a monthly payment, your plan could be cancelled. You will usually have to pay a one-time set up fee. Programs also charge monthly fees. Try to find a program with the lowest possible cost per month, as some services may not worthwhile for someone already in debt. For example, InCharge Debt Solutions charges $29 a month and Greenpath has a monthly service fee of up to $36.
Debt management programs such as InCharge, Money Management International and others may waive any monthly fees in cases of extreme financial hardship. Others, like GreenPath, will waive the monthly fee for all enrollees it its “EarnUp” simple payment plan for the first 12 months. Ask if your situation qualifies for a waiver before you enroll.