Cambridge Credit Counseling is one of many different services that might be able to help if you aren't sure where to start with paying off your debt. This certified and accredited credit counseling service actually offers an array of different options including debt management plans, housing counseling, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and financial education.
But although Cambridge Credit Counseling offers some free services, they do charge for certain services. As a result, it's important to carefully research the company, and the fees it charges, to find out whether it is right for you. This Cambridge Credit Counseling review can help you decide.
Cambridge Credit Counseling offers credit counseling, debt management, housing counseling, and more.
- Free one-on-one debt analysis with a certified credit counselor
- Average credit card interest rates reduced from 22% down to 8%
- Resolve your debt in as little as 48 months
- What is Cambridge Credit Counseling?
- How does Cambridge Credit Counseling work?
- What we like about Cambridge Credit Counseling
- What Cambridge Credit Counseling could improve
- What Cambridge Credit Counseling customers are saying
- Cambridge Credit Counseling customer service
- FAQS about Cambridge Credit Counseling
- Bottom line
What is Cambridge Credit Counseling?
Cambridge Credit Counseling is a certified and accredited financial counseling service. It provides free help to people who are struggling with financial issues, as well as debt management plans and other services for a monthly fee.
Cambridge is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Financial Counseling Association of America. It's approved by the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office of United States Trustees to provide required counseling in cases of bankruptcy. It's also approved as a counseling agency by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Cambridge was founded in 1996 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Counselors who work for the company are nationally certified and have an average of at least 12 years of experience in helping people with their financial issues.
Although Cambridge Credit Counseling is headquartered in Agawam, Massachusetts, it provides services to clients throughout the U.S. The company indicates that it typically reduces the average interest rates on client debt from 22% to 8%, and its clients generally get out of debt in around 52 months.
As with most credit counseling agencies and debt settlement services, Cambridge charges for much of the support that it provides. And it can't guarantee results, though its goal is to "get you out of credit card debt fast with as little cost to you as possible."
How does Cambridge Credit Counseling work?
Cambridge Credit Counseling offers several different services, including:
- Credit counseling: This free service includes a one-on-one analysis of your financial situation, as well as advice on making a budget and developing a plan to pay off debt and start saving.
- Debt consolidation: Cambridge provides a free debt analysis to help clients identify opportunities to consolidate debt. Debt consolidation involves taking out a new loan to repay multiple pre-existing loans. The company indicates it's helped typical clients reduce the average interest rate on their debt from 22% to 8%.
- Debt management plans: This service requires an initial setup fee capped at $75 and ongoing monthly fees capped at $50. It involves entering into a repayment plan with creditors. Cambridge indicates that they reduce total monthly payments by an average of 25% per month.
- Housing counseling: Services range from free to $125 and include first-time homebuyer counseling, foreclosure intervention, reverse mortgage counseling, and rental counseling for landlords.
- Student loan counseling: Services start at $39.95 and include complete customized reports to help borrowers understand all their options. Goals of this service involve helping borrowers choose the right payment plans, exploring student loan consolidation options, determining eligibility for student loan cancellation, and otherwise taking steps to reduce student loan payments or eliminate student debt.
- Bankruptcy counseling: In most cases, people filing for bankruptcy must complete pre-filing counseling and post-filing debtor education. Cambridge offers both, for a fee of $39 per household for each course.
Interested consumers can contact Cambridge Credit Counseling for a free credit counseling session. This session can help you learn about the best next steps for getting your finances in shape and what types of services Cambridge can offer.
What we like about Cambridge Credit Counseling
- It’s certified and accredited. Cambridge Credit Counseling has an impressive array of credentials, so clients can trust that it's a legitimate service.
- A wide array of services are available. Cambridge doesn't just offer debt management plans. It also provides debt settlement, credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, student loan counseling, foreclosure intervention, and more. This means those who seek help can learn about many options instead of just one or two.
- Financial education is a key focus. Cambridge offers a free consultation with a certified credit counselor to help people get their budgets in order and make a debt repayment plan. It also has hundreds of pages of resources on its website that aim to help people take control over their financial situation.
What Cambridge Credit Counseling could improve
- Fees are above what some competitors charge. Cambridge Credit Counseling charges for some services. For example, the initial fee for a debt management plan could be as high as $75 while the ongoing monthly fees could total as much as $50. This is higher than what some competitors charge.
- Few online services are available. Although you can access your account online and perform some tasks such as viewing payments or adding and removing creditors, you can't get virtual counseling over the internet. You also can't chat online with a credit counselor to get your questions answered. Other financial counseling companies offer these options.
What Cambridge Credit Counseling customers are saying
Cambridge Credit Counseling has received mostly positive feedback from past customers. In fact, the company has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, and it earned five out of five stars in the limited number of customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau website.
Past reviews indicate that Cambridge Credit Counseling charged competitive rates and provided "on-point" customer service. And many past clients indicate that Cambridge helped them make the right decision about their finances, whether that meant exploring alternatives to bankruptcy or finding a way to become debt-free and save money.
Cambridge Credit Counseling isn't necessarily perfect, though. There was one complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau in the past year, though the details of it have not been disclosed.
And although the Better Business Bureau reviews were overwhelmingly positive, there were few of them, so it's difficult to determine whether every customer will have the same great experience with the company as these clients did.
Cambridge Credit Counseling customer service
Cambridge promises that clients have access to their account information and to customer support 24/7, thanks to the company's "state-of-the-art automated telephone system."
You can complete a simple online form to contact Cambridge Credit Counseling service and schedule a free consultation with a certified counselor. This process involves providing a few simple pieces of information including your name, phone number, and email address; the state where you live; and the type of help you're looking for.
Cambridge also provides its corporate contact information, including a phone number, fax number, email, and mailing address:
- Phone: 800-527-7595
- Fax: 800-757-1481
- Email: email@example.com
- Mailing address: 67 Hunt Street, Suite 305, Agawam, MA 01001
In addition, there are phone numbers, emails, and fax numbers provided for each of the company's different divisions:
- Housing Counseling Division: Phone: 800-757-1788; Fax: 888-569-6707; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Payment Processing Division: Phone: 800-527-7595 Fax: 888-757-1519; Email: email@example.com
- Credit Counseling Division: Phone: 800-527-7595; Fax: 800-757-1655; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bankruptcy Division: Phone: 800-403-3433; Fax: 800-757-1665; Email: email@example.com
- Customer Service Department: Phone: 800-527-7595; Fax: 800-757-1481; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Loan Counseling Division: Phone: 800-661-7190; Fax: 800-757-0159; Email: email@example.com
FAQS about Cambridge Credit Counseling
Is Cambridge Credit Counseling legit?
Cambridge Credit Counseling is a legitimate nonprofit credit counseling service. The company has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. Cambridge is also a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, and the Financial Counseling Association of America.
Its counselors are also certified through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, and the company is a Department of Housing and Urban Development-Approved Housing Counseling Agency. It is also approved for pre-bankruptcy counseling by the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office of United States Trustees.
How does Cambridge Credit Counseling impact your credit?
Cambridge Credit Counseling offers several services, including help with debt consolidation as well as debt management plans.
Some of its services, such as free analysis to help you with budgeting, won't hurt your credit score. In fact, getting help with how to pay off debt and build savings could potentially have a positive impact on your credit in the long run.
However, some of the financial steps the company facilitates could damage your credit. For example, the company offers bankruptcy counseling, and a bankruptcy on your credit record could reduce your credit score considerably. Entering a debt management program and paying less than the full amount owed on your debt could also have an adverse impact on your credit.
Ultimately, the effect on your credit that results from working with Cambridge Credit Counseling will vary depending on the specific services you use, and whether you end up paying your debt in full on schedule or not.
How much does Cambridge Credit Counseling cost?
The cost of Cambridge Credit Counseling varies depending on the services you use. The company offers free consumer credit counseling with certified debt relief experts who can help clients develop a budget and reduce expenses. But it also offers services you have to pay for, including pre-bankruptcy counseling, which comes at a fee of $39 per household; and debt management plans, which could come at a cost of a $75 initial fee and a $50 recurring monthly fee.
Is debt settlement a good idea?
Debt settlement could be a good idea for some people if they owe more than they can reasonably afford to repay. Settling debt involves negotiating with creditors and convincing them to modify loan repayment terms. Typically, you end up paying back less than the full amount owed, either in a lump sum payment or as part of a payment plan.
Although debt settlement can be a better alternative than bankruptcy because it doesn't damage your credit as much, it can still reduce your credit score. You may need to be delinquent to get creditors to agree to settle debt, which means late payments will be on your credit history and will reduce your score. And debts are often reported as settled instead of paid in full, which might be damaging too.
Debt settlement companies can help you with the process of settling credit card debt and other types of unsecured loans (those for which there's no collateral). However, it may be possible to settle debt yourself by negotiating on your own behalf with creditors.
Cambridge Credit Counseling has top-notch credentials and offers some free support and loads of helpful services. Those factors helped it rank in the top spot on our list of best credit counseling companies. If you're struggling with paying off debt, it may be worth looking into what the company has to offer.