Bills Logo

Is Christian Credit Counseling Right for You?

Is Christian Credit Counseling Right for You?
Daniel Cohen
UpdatedFeb 20, 2024
  • clock icon
    3 min read
Key Takeaways:
  • Learn what makes Christian Debt Counseling Different
  • All Credit Counseling Firms Use the Same Process
  • Review Christian Credit Counseling Company to avoid scams

Christian Credit Counseling is a subset of Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS). Christian Credit Counseling firms perform the same work to get you out of debt that is done by other Consumer Credit Counseling firm. The key differences can be a spiritual motivation they have for their work and some supporting materials they provide with religious or spiritual content.

How Does a Christian Credit Counseling Service Work?

Financial Analysis

Like any CCCS, a Christian Credit Counseling firm works to help people struggling with debt. They assist you in a two-part process. The initial step is a financial review and analysis. The counselor needs to understand your overall financial picture. They can’t help you without knowing how serious you debt problem is, or know what solution you can put in place unless they know how much you can pay each month toward solving your problem.

The financial analysis is free and it includes a review of your budget. If you can cut spending or allocate your resources differently, you may be able to resolve your debt problems without professional debt relief assistance.

Debt Management Plan

Christian Credit Counseling firms work most effectively with you if your debt problem includes high interest rates from your unsecured creditors. They can arrange a Debt Management Plan (DMP) that puts in place interest rates from your creditors that range from 0% to about 15.99%. The rate they obtain for you doesn’t vary from what they can get for any customer and the rate one CCCS gets is the same one that any CCCS gets, including Christian ones.

The DMP is a black and white program. The size of the monthly payment, the interest rates, the fees, and how long it takes to complete it are clear. As long as you make the payments as agreed, the date you complete the program is available up-front (although you can accelerate your program by paying more than required).

What Makes a Christian Credit Counseling Service Different?

Christian Credit Counseling Service handles your debt problem the same way that any CCCS does. They both have about 25% of their clients complete their program successfully. With similar costs and results, it is very reasonable to ask what Christian Counseling Services do that are different. The answer is, "not much."

They may:

  • Offer a component of prayer in a consultation.
  • Provide some spiritual supporting materials.
  • Use language that is grounded in the Bible or references your obligations to God.
  • Give you the comfort of working with people with whom you share values.

While these are minor differences that don't affect the results you will obtain, they could be important to you. You should assign them the weight you feel is appropriate.

Don’t Get Scammed

It can be a heavy burden to be suspicious of anyone offering you help. However, a degree of healthy skepticism is important. There are firms that can use the Christian religion and language to hide behind. These scammers know they can fool some people by clothing themselves in righteousness, making it easier to take advantage of people inclined to trust others that share their religious viewpoint.

Never assume that a company presenting itself as Christian Credit Counseling firm is what they claim. Research them and check to see if they are properly licensed in your state, what their rating is with the BBB, and what reviews you can find online from present and former customers.

When you choose a firm to help you get out of debt, finding the right solution is the most important and finding the right firm to help you is second. If you value working with a Christian firm, whether it is a Christian roofer, accountant, or cleaning service, make sure that you choose a company that is known for providing excellent results. The same applies to working with a Christian Credit Counseling firm.

Did you know?

Mortgages, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, and auto loans are common types of debts. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q4 2023 was $17.503 trillion. Housing debt totaled $12.612 trillion and non-housing debt was $4.891 trillion.

According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1,739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 8% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.

Collection and delinquency rates vary by state. For example, in Ohio, 18% have student loan debt. Of those holding student loan debt, 8% are in default. Auto/retail loan delinquency rate is 4%.

Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.

SHOW SOURCE
arrow-down