American Consumer Credit Counseling Review 2024

ACCC offers debt management plans with lower fees than some other nonprofit credit counseling agencies.
Tommy Tindall
Sean Pyles
By Sean Pyles and  Tommy Tindall 
Updated
Edited by Courtney Neidel

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American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling offers credit counseling services by phone from anywhere in the nation.

ACCC charges lower fees for debt management plans than most other credit counseling agencies. One standout service it offers is an online course called Financial Peace of Mind, where consumers can learn about managing their money.

ACCC offers services in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and may be a good fit if you:

  • Prefer phone consultation.

  • Want in-person counseling; there are offices in 17 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Are looking for a debt management plan with lower average monthly fees, including waived or reduced fees depending on financial hardship or your state’s regulations.

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ACCC’s services and fees

ACCC provides common services available at most nonprofit credit counseling agencies. The difference from one agency to the next is in fees and availability. These services include:

Credit counseling: A free session where you and a credit counselor go over your budget and debt, overall financial situation and goals.

Debt management plan: A plan to consolidate your consumer debts, primarily credit card debt, at a lower interest rate, setting up one monthly payment to erase the debt over three to five years.

Bankruptcy counseling: Counseling options for pre-filing and post-bankruptcy.

Housing counseling: Homeowners who are considering a reverse mortgage or first time buyers who are looking to take the online homebuyers course.

Service

Fee

Credit counseling

Free.

Debt management plan

Maximum $39 startup fee. Monthly fee of $7 per account, which is capped at $70; the average is $25. Both fees may be waived or reduced for financial hardship or based on state regulations.

Bankruptcy counseling

Pre-filing: $49.

Pre-discharge: $39.

Housing counseling

Free to $175, depending on the service. In-home requests are charged a surcharge.

How ACCC compares

The main difference between many nonprofit credit counseling agencies is the accessibility of its services, where they operate and their accreditation. Here’s how ACCC stacks up:

Accreditation: ACCC is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, and accredited by the Council on Accreditation, an outside organization that ensures standards of practice among counselors and oversight for agencies.

Online support: A client portal, financial calculators and educational resources are available online.

Completion rate of debt management plans: ACCC says 63% of clients who enroll complete the program.

Availability: Operates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

ACCC’s debt management plan

Debt management plans are a debt relief option to help consumers pay off unsecured debt, usually credit cards, faster and cheaper than they can on their own. It works by rolling multiple debts into one monthly payment with lower interest. Note that interest rate cuts are standardized across credit counseling agencies, based on your creditors' guidelines and your budget.

In exchange for the interest rate cut, you agree to a monthly payment plan that fits your budget. DMPs usually take three to five years to complete.

About 25% of all clients who contact ACCC enroll in a debt management plan, according to the company.

A DMP can save you time and money over paying off the debt on your own. Here’s an example based on the average ACCC client:

Debt management plan

DIY debt paydown

$20,445 debt.

$20,445 debt.

10% interest rate

22% interest rate

$455 monthly ($430 to debt, $25 to monthly fee).

$455 monthly.

61 months to pay off.

96 months to pay off.

Interest: $5,698; Fees: $1,564.*

Interest: $23,036.

*Figured at the average monthly fee of $25. Includes startup fee of $39.

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.

When to consider a DMP:

  • If you're struggling to make monthly payments on debt.

  • If your consumer debt is 36% or more of your annual income.

  • If you don’t qualify for a debt consolidation loan.

DMPs are generally for credit card debt. Other unsecured debt, like student loans and medical bills, are covered on a case-by-case basis.

Before signing on to a DMP, know that other debt relief options might be better for your financial situation.

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