- Fee waivers available for eligible participants
- Credit card accounts may receive reduced interest
- Less likely to significantly lower credit score
- Website lacks important information
- Debt management plans last up to 60 months
Money Management International is a legit credit counselor
Formed in 1997, Money Management International is accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It's also HUD-certified to offer counseling about home buying and mortgages. It has physical branches in 25 states and is licensed to work across the US.
It doesn't collect your personal information while you use its website. But when you apply, Money Management International will require you to give it information about yourself, including your current creditors and your Social Security number. This is so it can provide you with counseling — and it won't sell, rent or otherwise use your information for profit.
Compared to debt settlement companies, Money Management International is a solid choice. But it's not all good. A previous lawsuit and unclear fees mean you'll need to do some digging before determining if it's the right way for you to handle your debt.
Previous legal action against Money Management International
Money Management International faced a class action lawsuit in 2010 for operating like a for-profit business. This is the only recent problem it's had as a company, and with over a decade between then and now — as well as a number of positive reviews — it may not be something you need to worry about. Still, keep it in mind and understand the full scope of what you'll be paying when you sign up for a debt management plan.
Money Management International reviews are mostly positive
|BBB accredited|| Yes |
|BBB rating|| A+|
|BBB customer reviews|| 4.86 out of 5 stars, based on 131 customer reviews |
|Trustpilot Score|| 4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 1,723 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of|| 04 November 2021|
The majority of Money Management International reviews are positive. Most reviewers state they're pleased with the customer service and processing speed. However, the majority lack details, so it's difficult to determine exactly what services each customer used and found helpful.
There are also some older — from 2020 and earlier — negative reviews that state Money Management International mismanaged their funds or didn't inform them of the entire cost of using a credit counseling service. Money Management International typically responded with generic answers and dealt with problems outside of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot review sections.
How Money Management International compares to debt relief companies
Money Management International isn't a debt relief company, so its services are slightly different — and may not damage your credit quite as much. But if you're looking to reduce the total amount of debt you have, these are a handful of legit debt settlement options that may be able to help.
Before you sign up with a debt relief company
Debt relief companies typically charge a percentage of a customer’s debt or a monthly program fee for their services. And not all companies are transparent about these costs or drawbacks that can negatively affect your credit score. Depending on the company you work with, you might pay other fees for third-party settlement services or setting up new accounts, which can leave you in a worse situation than when you signed up.
Consider alternatives before signing up with a debt relief company:
- Payment extensions. Companies you owe may be willing to extend your payment due date or put you on a longer payment plan if you ask.
- Nonprofit credit counseling. Look for free debt-management help from nonprofit organizations like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
- Debt settlement. If you can manage to pay a portion of the bill, offer the collection agency a one-time payment as a settlement. Collection agencies are often willing to accept a lower payment on your debt to close the account.
Money Management International specializes in debt management plans
A debt management plan consolidates your unsecured debts — like credit cards, medical bills and personal loans — into one monthly payment. Depending on your credit score, you may qualify for a debt consolidation loan at a lower average interest rate than your current debts.
But most people are unlikely to qualify for a debt consolidation loan and will simply have their monthly payments combined into a more manageable amount. This is still helpful for people struggling to meet multiple payments each month, but it may not save you as much money in interest.
In addition to its debt management plans, Money Management International offers general credit counseling and counseling for foreclosures, buying a home, student loans and bankruptcy. You may also be able to receive counseling after a natural disaster.
Money Management International charges monthly fees for its services
When I called, I wasn't able to get a direct answer on the expected fee amount you'll pay. There is a setup fee and a monthly fee for servicing your account, but the representative I spoke with said these are on a sliding scale based around the federal poverty level and state laws. You'll need to reach out directly for a free consultation to learn the exact amount you can expect to pay Money Management International.
Debt management isn't debt settlement — but you may still save money
Money Management International won't negotiate with your creditors. And that means the total amount you owe will stay the same.
Even so, it states that a debt management plan could be a way to reduce the interest rate on your current credit cards and other debts. Those accounts will also be closed, limiting the amount of future debt you'll accumulate while you pay off what you already owe. It's also less likely to damage your credit score since you'll still be making regular payments, which improves your chances of getting better deals on future loans.
It's not guaranteed, but this may result in saving money on your debts. Still, consider the full scope of debt relief options available before making a decision. Debt settlement and debt management aren't your only choices.