Money Management International Review 2021

MMI, a widely available nonprofit credit counseling service, helps consumers handle debt and manage their finances.
Sean PylesAug 6, 2021

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Money Management International is one of the most accessible nonprofit credit counseling agencies in the country. Consumers looking for budgeting help can start the intake process at the agency’s online portal, with the option of chatting with a counselor on the website or calling a counselor at any time in the process for help.

MMI is available in all 50 states and may be a good fit if you:

Like most nonprofit credit counseling agencies, MMI provides common services that differ in fees and availability. These services include:

: A free service where you and a counselor run through your budget and analyze your overall finances.

: A counselor creates a plan to consolidate your consumer debts and lower the interest rate, setting up one monthly payment to erase the debt over three to five years.

 Two court-mandated sessions: one before you file and one before your debts are discharged.

A counselor outlines your repayment options and may contact your issuer on your behalf for an additional fee.

Help for home buyers, homeowners considering a reverse mortgage, and people struggling with mortgage or rent payments.

Many nonprofit credit counseling agencies offer the same services. Where one differs from the next is generally in its accreditation, accessibility and how its services are run. Here's MMI at a glance:

Accreditation: The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the outside body that ensures standards of practice among counselors and oversight for the agency.

Online support: Counseling services and educational resources are available on .

Completion rate of debt management plans: MMI says 67% of clients who enroll in a DMP complete the program.

Availability: Operates in 50 states, with physical offices in 25 states.

Debt management plans are a cost- and time-efficient way to pay off debts that are primarily from credit cards.

While enrolled in a DMP, your debts are consolidated into one monthly payment with a reduced interest rate. Note that interest rate cuts are standardized across credit counseling agencies, based on your creditors' guidelines and your budget. You’ll pay off your debt over three to five years through a monthly payment plan.

During this time, you’ll likely be unable to use credit cards or open new lines of credit. Missing even one payment can unravel the DMP, leaving you to handle the remainder of on your own with the original interest rates.

About 25% of MMI consumers who receive debt and budgeting counseling use DMPs.

Here’s an example debt management plan based on the average MMI client profile, compared to a do-it-yourself debt paydown plan:

Note: In a debt management plan, individual creditors offer the same adjusted APR for all credit counseling agencies. The difference in average APR among credit counseling agencies is a reflection of their clients’ creditors and does not indicate one agency will offer lower adjusted APRs than another.

This debt relief option won’t cover all problem debt, however. Most medical bills, student loans, car loans and mortgages generally are not covered in DMPs. Before you commit to a DMP, research other .

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