Money Management International 2021 Updates: The Good and the Bad

Money Management International is a well-established company that offers a great number of educational resources including credit counseling.

Money Management International 2020 Updates: The Good and Bad

About MMI

Money Management International is a national nonprofit credit counseling agency that has been operating since 1958 with the goal of helping consumers set up a debt management plan and get out of debt.

Also, Money Management International provides a spread of services including bankruptcy counseling, credit counseling, and debt management assistance.

Consumers can receive the financial knowledge they need through in-person sessions, phone, and internet at their own convenience.

As part of its credentials, the non-profit organization maintains an active membership in the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

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The Services

The main service offered by Money Management International is a debt management plan, which debtors can use to get out of all kinds of debt.

This should include common household debts like credit cards and personal loans, as well as mortgages and more. They also offer assistance with bankruptcy and student loans.

The Prices

The following prices are for all services offered by Money Management International:

  • Debt Management Plan Startup Fee: Max $75; average $33
  • Debt Management Plan Monthly Fee: Max $50; Average $24
  • Bankruptcy Counseling: Pre-filing up to $50; pre-discharge up to $50*
  • Student Loan Help: up to $199
  • Housing Counseling: $0 to $150**

*This cost can vary depending on the state of residence.
**Depends on the type of service offered.

MMI’s Debt Management Plan

MMI’s Debt Management Plan

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 your debt on your own with the original interest rates.

About 10% of MMI consumers who contact MMI for debt and budgeting help 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:

  Debt management plan DIY debt paydown
*Figured at the average $24 monthly fee plus $32 startup fee.
Amount of debt $19,994 $19,994
Interest rate 7.33% 22.5%
Monthly payment $535 ($511 to debt and $24 to fee) $535
Time to payoff 45 months 65 months
Cost Interest: $2,924 Fees: $1,115* Interest: $14,750

When To Consider DMP:

  • If you’re struggling to make monthly payments on debt
  • If your consumer debt is between 15% and 50% of your annual income
  • Also, if you think you can pay it off within five years
  • and if you don’t qualify for a debt consolidation loan

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 debt-relief options.

The Good

1. Money Management International Fees

Money Management International offers some of the lowest upfront fees in the industry. Most companies charge an upfront fee to set up the account and the consolidation program upwards of $49.

So, how much does Money Management International cost to use? Money Management International charges a one-time $50 setup fee and has an average monthly fee of $25.

This is slightly lower than most companies in the industry. In addition, MMI offers a free debt counseling session.

2. Specialized Financial Services

Because MMI is not a debt settlement or debt consolidation company, its services do not negatively impact your credit score. Debt management plans are created based on the client’s financial situation.

A management plan or repayment plan helps clients find alternative ways to pay a debt, without affecting their credit report or credit history.

3. Great Customer Service

The customer service at Money Management International is extensive. Customers have access to a credit counselor at any time during the day, 7 days per week.

MMI states that many of its financial counseling services are absolutely free. A few of its more in-depth services are low cost and customers will find that its debt management program is extremely affordable.

However, customers should question a debt counselor for the possibility of waived or reduced fees; the company has been known to be able to reduce fees for eligible customers.

4. Memberships With Established Organizations

Consumers can have increased confidence in Money Management International thanks to its memberships with the NFCC and the CC.

These memberships with established organizations mean that Money Management International holds itself to industry-recognized standards focused on helping consumers improve their financial health.

5. Variety of Resources

Money Management International provides services for United States consumers. The services are designed to help consumers get out of debt and financially free.

Some of the services provided by Money Management International include setting up a debt management plan, education services, budgeting education, and housing counseling assistance.

Money Management International also offers financial educational resources such as tools, ebooks, and articles. We appreciate it when companies offer ways to help clients educate themselves to avoid future financial troubles after becoming debt-free.

The Bad

 

1. Lawsuit

Money Management International has been involved in a class-action lawsuit. Some of the allegations leading to this lawsuit stated that the company was operating as a for-profit organization.

MMI failed to follow the requirements for certain accreditations and improperly collected debts. It’s also noted that MMI also failed to be completely candid with their customers.

While this lawsuit is a few years old, it does cause some reason to be concerned.

2. Transparency

It would be helpful to consumers if Money Management International was more open about its pricing. Pricing information could be easily made available through infographics, videos, and/or charts.

It would be beneficial to consumers who are trying to find the company that best helps customers pay off creditors and become debt-free. Not having certain items available online makes companies seem less credible.

It also makes it more difficult for consumers to shop around. Consumers who want to cancel their contract with Money Management International must pay $25 to end their agreement.

3. Limited In-Person Counseling

While Money Management International is accessible online or over the phone to all 50 states, in-person counseling is only available in 33 states.

This can pose a problem for consumers who live in the 17 states not covered by the nonprofit but want to receive in-person counseling.

For consumers who are less tech-savvy, Money Management International may not be a good fit as in-person counseling may be more effective.

FAQs

1. How much does Money Management International cost?

Monthly prices are undisclosed at this time. Up to $50 for up-front fees.

2. What is their money-back guarantee and cancellation policy?

Money Management International does not charge a cancellation fee and there is no contract.  The fees (if any) are paid monthly for services rendered.

3. What are Money Management Internation’s business hours?

Credit Counselors are available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.

Money Management is a full-service counseling provider that provides consumers with a vast educational resource, and some of the best debt management programs around.

They have more experience than most and they also have some of the most enticing rates and services. But they are not perfect. The company is lacking transparency in key areas and could use some improvements here and there.

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