Table of Contents
- Money Management International is the largest nonprofit credit counseling service in the U.S. and is available in all 50 states
- The company offers free credit counseling, along with free and paid options for many other financial wellness services
- Clients can also set up debt management plans to streamline payments, lower interest rates, and pay off debt sooner
- MMI is accredited by the NFCC and BBB and has excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot
Money Management International (MMI)
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Money Management International (MMI), founded in 1997, has a rich legacy tracing back to 1958, marking it as one of the longest-standing organizations in the debt management business. MMI’s reputation is solid with a commendable A+ from the Better Business Bureau and an impressive 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
- Free initial debt and budget analysis
- Available in all 50 states
- 24/7 counseling availability
- Charges fees for some services
- Debt settlement may damage credit
MMI isn’t just about managing debt; it’s about guiding its clients toward a debt-free future, with most achieving it in under four years. Their debt management program caters to various unsecured debts with a tailored approach for every individual.
Financial transparency is a key attribute of MMI, but you must dig through their website to uncover specific fee details. On average, clients can expect an enrollment fee of $33 (capped at $75) and a monthly fee averaging around $24 (not exceeding $50). Fee structures can fluctuate based on state regulations. One of MMI’s highlights is the substantial reduction in interest rates for its clients, with the average rate coming in at 7% compared to those high credit card interest rates of 20%+. Their help often results in noteworthy credit score improvements, with an average increase of 60 points within the initial two years.
Education is at the heart of MMI’s mission. Their website contains valuable resources and material on debt management, ensuring clients receive service and gain knowledge. They also have free online debt counseling and the convenience of a live chat feature.
Money Management International (MMI) is the nation’s largest nonprofit credit counseling service. Established in 1997, the company has continued to grow through mergers with other credit counseling and education services over the years. It now offers specific counseling services for various debts, as well as debt management plans and various financial wellness programs.
Credit counseling is one of the best options available for consumers who are in over their heads with debt. These services, many of which are free, help you establish payment plans and healthy financial habits to get back on track with money management.
If you need credit counseling, Money Management International has one of the best reputations in the business. Read on to learn more about the company and what it offers.
The Money Management International Process
Because Money Management International provides various credit counseling and financial wellness services, you’ll have options to explore when you get started with the company. To get up and running, you’ll first need to create an online account and provide information about your debts and financial goals.
Once you’ve established an account, a financial counselor will review your information and connect with you to discuss your situation. They’ll go over recommendations for reducing your spending, establishing budgets, and creating a potential debt management plan. At any time during the process, you can reach out with additional questions or requests to tweak your plan.
If you decide to enroll in a debt management plan, you can work with your counselor to determine which debts you want to include. MMI will then negotiate with your creditors to secure lower interest rates and minimum payments. Once enrolled, you’ll make a single monthly payment to MMI, and it will make payments on your behalf.
As a credit counseling agency, MMI specializes in helping clients pay off consumer debts like credit cards or personal loans. There are no credit score requirements to participate. Unlike debt settlement agencies, nonprofit credit counseling services don’t consolidate your debts — they negotiate them and pay them off on your behalf.
Even if your debts aren’t eligible for a debt management plan, MMI offers counseling for a wide range of debts and financial challenges, including:
- Bankruptcy counseling
- Credit counseling
- Credit report reviews
- Disaster recovery counseling
- Foreclosure counseling
- Homebuyer counseling
- Reverse mortgage counseling
- Student loan counseling
MMI Costs And Fees
Money Management International’s credit counseling services are free, as are some of its other services, like student loan counseling and foreclosure counseling. The company does charge for specialty counseling services such as bankruptcy counseling or homebuyer counseling. These fees range from $50 to $199 per session, depending on the service.
If you opt to set up a debt management plan, you’ll pay an initial fee and an ongoing monthly fee as long as you’re enrolled. These fees vary based on where you live and how much debt you enroll in the program. On average, MMI says its clients pay $33 to set up their debt management plan and $25 per month in ongoing fees.
How Long Do Services Take?
Time frames for MMI’s services range in length depending on your financial needs. Counseling for credit card debt or other financial hardships will vary depending on your goals and the number of sessions you require.
Debt management plans take anywhere from three to five years to complete, The exact time depends on how much debt you have enrolled and whether you continue to make your payments on time.
Money Management International Customer Service And Reputation
When it comes to credit counseling and debt management plans, customer service is critical. Money Management International has an excellent reputation for caring, compassionate service and working with each client to establish the best plan for their situation. The company has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot and an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with only 11 complaints in the past three years. Its debt and budget counseling services are available 24/7.
MMI is fully accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and offers services in all 50 states. In-person services are only available in 25 states. According to the company, 76% of clients who enroll in debt management plans complete them.
MMI also offers a wealth of online classes and webinars, plus a range of online resources to help customers establish healthy financial habits. Because of its position as a nonprofit, MMI can offer many of these services for free and without bias.
Benefits of Working with MMI
Many consumers have benefited from working with MMI. Customer reviews emphasize the company’s caring, patient counselors and their willingness to respond to each customer’s unique needs and help them navigate their financial challenges.
The company’s debt management plans can also bring tangible relief to consumers struggling with debt. On average, MMI’s customers reduce their interest rates from 26.17% to 7.32% and pay off their enrolled debts in 52 months. Streamlining your credit card debts into one simple monthly payment can also relieve the stress of managing multiple payments and interest rates.
Although your credit score may dip initially when you enroll in a debt management plan, MMI clients typically see their scores improve eventually. In fact, those who complete a debt management plan usually see a boost of around 84 points. When combined with better overall financial health, these improvements can translate to greater financial freedom and opportunity.
Downsides of Credit Counseling Services
There are no risks or disadvantages involved in seeking free credit counseling from Money Management International. Some of its specialized financial counseling services and debt management plans do carry fees, however, so be sure you review the terms and processes before you get started.
Enrolling in a debt management plan does bring some downsides. When you enroll, you’ll typically be required to close your credit cards and prohibited from opening new ones until you complete your plan. This restricts your borrowing options and hurts your credit score in the short term. As you pay off your debts, your score will improve, but it may be more difficult to qualify for other loans initially.
Keep in mind that not all creditors will participate in debt management plans. Depending on your specific debts, this may limit the effectiveness of the program.
Debt Relief Alternatives
Credit counseling services and debt management plans aren’t your only avenue for debt relief. If you’re struggling to make payments, you should explore all your options, including:
- Debt settlement services: Debt settlement companies are for-profit enterprises that negotiate with your credits and establish payment plans, which you pay out of an account that you own. This process can do more damage to your credit, as you’ll have to stop payments during negotiation.
- Debt consolidation loans: Debt consolidation loans combine several existing debts into one new loan. Typically, you’ll pay a lower interest rate than what you were paying. Unlike debt management plans, you’ll usually need a strong credit score to qualify.
- DIY debt settlement: You can take the time to negotiate rate reductions or lower minimum payments with creditors on your own. This option will save you money on debt management or settlement fees, but you’ll have to manage the process yourself.
- Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a way to wipe your debts clean and start fresh. The process is much faster than a debt management plan, but it goes on your public record and affects your credit for a longer period. Consult a lawyer before opting for bankruptcy.
Final Thoughts On Money Management International
Money Management International offers invaluable financial wellness services for those who are struggling with consumer debt. Often, you can improve your financial health for free, and the MMI’s counselors will guide you through the process. The company’s debt management plans also offer an affordable, streamlined option for paying off credit cards and other consumer debts that have gotten out of control.
If you’re struggling to keep up with debt, there’s no risk in reaching out to MMI for a free credit counseling session. Be sure to read all the details and ask follow-up questions before enrolling in a debt management plan.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Money Management International A Legitimate Company?
Yes, MMI is a legitimate nonprofit credit counseling service. It’s accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Better Business Bureau.
How Does Money Management International Make Money?
As a nonprofit agency, MMI can offer many of its services for free or at a low cost. Although MMI receives some money from its clients for specific services, the company is primarily funded by creditors.
Can Creditors Refuse A Debt Management Plan?
Creditors are not required to work with credit counseling or debt settlement agencies. Most will participate, however, as they have an interest in recouping as much debt as possible.
What Happens In Credit Counseling?
Credit counselors work with clients to review their existing debts and overall financial situation. They offer guidance around budgeting, setting up payment plans, and establishing healthy financial habits. Counselors may also offer to establish debt management plans to help consumers consolidate payments, reduce rates, and pay off debts faster.