Credit Union Partnerships


Credit unions were founded to help their members
improve their financial lives and they have a long history of working hard for the benefit
of their membership. The credit counseling profession shares that
philosophy; we’ve been helping consumers for more than 60 years. Each year our independently certified counselors
helping millions of Americans develop appropriate financial plans, establish realistic goals,
manage unsecured debt and deal with complicated housing issues. Your staff may already be providing similar
services but establishing relationships with nonprofit credit counseling agencies can put
experienced financial professionals at your membership’s disposal. Cambridge is a non-profit credit and HUD-approved
housing counseling agency. Every day we counsel financially distressed
people and provide the information and resources they need to obtain, maintain and sustain
housing. To fulfill our mission, Cambridge has created
a variety of educational initiatives to help satisfy common consumer needs. Underlying our mission is a basic fact, Americans
need to become more knowledgeable about personal finance matters particularly in today’s economic
climate. A credit counseling agency is a financial
resource for the core mission of providing education and counseling to consumers. They typically accomplish this through community
seminar programs and direct personal counseling. Consumers who contact a nonprofit agency are
offered a free comprehensive financial analysis that allows the counselor to identify those
options that suit the individual specific circumstances. Counselor recommendations may vary from simple
spending plan adjustments to more complex solutions if an individual’s financial assessment
indicates that, despite their income, they wouldn’t be able to pay down their unsecured
debt in a reasonable time frame without significant creditor concessions such as interest rate
reductions or fee waivers. A counselor may suggest the option of enrolling
in a debt management plan often referred to as a DMP. A DMP is not the recommended course of action
for everyone, in fact only twenty percent of the individuals we talked to in a given
month are given the option of a enrolling in a DMP, that means eighty percent of the
people we help are provided with free professional assessments, educational resources and ongoing
support. Contacting a credit counseling agency and
getting answers to your questions does not influence participants’ credit score since
agencies don’t report to the credit bureaus. However if a person enrolls in a DMP, the
accounts included in their plan are closed which will lower their score. Participation in credit counseling may be
reported on an individual’s report but the notations made at the discretion of the creditor
and is considered a neutral mark by Fair Isaac and Company. Future lenders may take the notation into
consideration, but that’s a matter of each creditor’s internal lending policy. Just like you, we believe that empowerment
is the key to financial success and that a knowledgeable consumer is more confident and
capable participate in our economy. Unfortunately the financial literacy rate
in our country is embarrassingly low and the difficulties that result affect every level
of society including your members. If you have a relationship with a counseling
agency, you can refer those members who are overburdened by debt or facing foreclosure
and we’ll work with them to determine the root cause of their concerns. We’ll also identify any factors that may
be impacting their situation and present them with the appropriate options for their individual
circumstances. The end result is a more stable credit union
member who appreciates the unique benefits that come with their membership, they’ll also
have a workable budget, be less prone to default and know how to establish and achieve their
families short and long-term financial goals. From a counseling agencies perspective working
with the credit union helps us build a reliable resource network for consumers who become
frustrated with the traditional banking system. Our educational support transforms individuals
into people who can make informed financial decisions, what better place to refer them
for personalized attention then a credit union. Contact us, we would be more than happy to
discuss the possibilities of a strategic relationship with your credit union and showing you how
your members would benefit by working with an agency such as Cambridge. You can reach me directly at 413-241-2362,
or via email at [email protected]

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