Unfortunately, I just read several other people post their concerns about this company. I am sorry that there are others besides myself. I contacted Christian Debt Consolidators after my husband was laid off and we were having financial trouble. I had worked out deals with 8 of my creditors and I was paying them on time every month. However, after 6 months I realized I was never going to get out of debt. My balances were not budging! I needed help and heard that debt management companies could reduce interest and monthly payments. I was desperate and did not want to claim bankruptcy and destroy my credit (which was not great, but not as bad as it is now). Like the others who wrote in, my first payment was accepted.
I paid around 600 dollars. I was told that if I could, I needed to make my regular payments to my creditors because this payment was not going to be sent to them and would be refunded at the end of my four year plan. I explained that I could not pay them and pay my creditors because I am a teacher and I am on an extremely tight budget. They said that this was normal and that it would be okay to miss a month's payment because after enrolling in the program, my creditors would "re-age" my accounts and essentially it would not matter.
My husband was suspicious of this, but I assured him that the people I spoke to said that this was how it was done (a common practice) and that by accepting my proposal the creditors knew they would have to start from scratch with the total amount I owed them and forget any previous missed payments, fees, etc. It seemed too good to be true and it was. After that, I began getting paper work from A New Horizon. It took them forever to egt everything in order because they needed me to send them everything I had already sent to the first place!
I am nearing my 6th month with A New Horizon (who I did not choose) and they only recently got all of my creditors to agree with the proposal. It took that long!!!! Consequently, my creditors were not getting paid what they expected from me and so A New Horizon increased my monthly payment from 600 to over 700 dollars a month.
When I asked why they kept increasing my monthly payment they said that because I missed that first month's payment (that was the one the company keeps until the end of the program), the creditors wanted more! Now I pay A New Horizon more than I did before I enrolled in debt management and I was promised a reduction in my monthly payments.
Secondly, my credit is ruined!!! It was not great to begin with, but oh my gosh it is ruined now. My creditors report every month that I am making late payments. I was told that A New Horizon would negotiate a new due date for each creditor so that when my huge payment was withdrawn from my account on the 16th of each month, it would go to each creditor on time. This is not the case. Basically, I am paying more than I ever have and my credit scores are dropping each month.
A New Horizon has managed to negotiate lower interest rates with my creditors. That is the only positive thing I can say about their efforts.
The "re-aging" myth they told me about really upsets me because it was the only reason I agreed to enroll. If I knew that creditors do not "re-age" accounts and will not accept that you miss a payment when you enroll in debt management I never would have done it.
I even asked the folks at Christian Debt Consolidators and A New Horizon, "How can you expect me to make a huge payment to you and a huge payment to them? I am in financial hardship here. This is the reason I need help. If I could make a two (huge) payments in one month- why would I need your help? That would mean I had reserves of money. I have no reserves- that is why I have come to you. The website says you can lower monthly payments- not double them." They agreed completely with my logic and came up with this "re-aging" story to reel me in. It worked. I feel like they preyed on my desperation to improve my credit. I feel so screwed now.
When I call and explain that my credit is in the toilet, they say that I just need to wait a few more months and then I will see my scores increase. Well, it has been six months and my scores are still dropping and I am forking out over 700.00 a month directly from my checking account. How can I pay this much money every month for six months and have my credit scores drop? Some of these creditors only receive 16.00 a month. If I were them I would be mad too. I was paying them more than that before I enrolled in the program. I am only at the 6 month mark, but I am too far in to quit now. If I drop out of the program, I will have creditors expecting huge minimum payments and huge interest. They will not want to work with me like they did before the debt management program began.
I got myself into debt and that is no one else's fault. However, Christian Debt Consolidators and A New Horizon was not honest about what really happens that first month you enroll. Most creditors will not "re-age" your account.
In addition, I can't seem to get anyone on the phone because they work the same hours as me. On Friday's they close at 3:00. No weekend hours. Please. I am not a stripper. I work during the day. I cannot stop and make calls (I would need an hour with these folks) during the day. The people I send almost an entire paycheck a month to cannot be reached after 5:00. I appreciate any help I can get with managing my debt, but I am not receiving anything but headaches and low credit scores!
I also keep getting different people who manage my account. They change all the time. No wonder they have no idea what I am calling about and asking about. The person probably just started that day.
Sorry for the rant, but this is the only therapy I can afford now that I got into debt management with A New Horizon.