Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. of Agawam, MA is a non-profit credit counseling and HUD approved housing counseling agency. Our experienced staff has an average of over 11 years tenure with our agency and has counseled over 2 million people and assisted over 225,000 individuals and families with debt repayment plans. We maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and are Chamber of Commerce members.
We are approved to provide reverse mortgage (HECM) counseling by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, we offer foreclosure intervention services to residents of MA and CT and provide bankruptcy related credit counseling services.
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The first guy I talked to started the process with me. I never had no problem or issue. I only called in one time for the whole time I was in the program. It's paying off everything, but everything's still the same towards my credit score. But I didn't pay a lot for their service. Only $9 went towards them from what I paid monthly. It took a lot of stress off me. It eliminated a lot of the phone calls. It got me up to the point where I can sleep at night.
Betty, hello! Thank you for taking the time to review our services. We're very glad that you're more relieved now that your debts have gone down. Since we are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, our fees are minimal. Our goal is to get you out of debt quickly and stress-free. Don't fret about your credit score. We are not a credit repair agency. However, many of our clients see an increase in their credit score as they progress and go through our program due to their payments being made on time, and the debt balances gradually decreasing. Stay patient, and hopefully the same will happen for you!
I had about $40,000 in credit card debt and Cambridge negotiated lower interest rates for me. There were five different cards that they negotiated a much lower interest on and by calculating what I would have paid in interest and sign-up cost and monthly cost, it still came out way ahead. My payment was based on how much I owe divided by five years, to get it paid down in five years, and considering what I could manage. Our interactions were mostly through email. It was pretty clear what I had to do and I was able to communicate just online.
I eliminated one card after about three years and then a little year later, I had eliminated another. On the last payment, all remaining three cards were paid off. I felt like Cambridge really had my best interest at heart and that they were positive about me being able to achieve my goal. I was very supported and encouraged. I've completed the program. I’m retiring in two years from now and I’m now credit-card-free. I can now invest more towards my retirement and I couldn’t be happier.
Kathleen, congratulations on completing our program, and thank you for telling us about your experience. One of the benefits of working with our company is our pre-existing relationships with creditors that allow us to negotiate for lower interest rates. Sometimes, as low as 0%. We know that it's difficult to pay down your creditors when the bulk of your monthly payments are going towards covering your interest rates. Lower interest rates allow your payments to be applied to the balance, which allows you to get out of debt much faster than just making the minimum monthly payments on your own.
Whenever I initially talked with the members, they were willing to help me out and set me up with everything. This was all new to me and being able to have somebody walk me through the whole process and be there is what drew me to proceeding with Cambridge Credit Counseling. Enrolling was easy for me as well. It felt a lot more personal than just going to some corporate conglomerate that's says, "Okay, give us a list," and then they don't assist me through anything. Cambridge Credit Counseling asked me what expenses I had every month. I went through that with them, and we went item by item. They then came back and told me, "Okay, well, it's not going to work with this. So, what else can we do?"
I thought about my budget and pushed it further. We were able to get things worked out. Having them there again to push me and get things rolling was nice. They said to do the fifth of every month and that worked for my pay periods, so I went with it. I saw how much I was paying and how much I've paid in total on the statements every month, but it didn't provide an end balance of how much I still owed in total. I would have also enjoyed seeing how much I had left to go because if I had the ability to pay early or finish that a little bit earlier, I would have done so. Since I didn't know how much, I just kept paying the minimum.
I finally got rid of all of my outstanding debts. Being able to catch up on my finances and get my stuff back together is a big impact. Plus, the cost was perfectly acceptable. I didn't think it was outside of any insane price range and it made it easy to manage the rest of my finances. In my eyes, the value's there. The initial setup and getting the accounts rolling and getting the money distributed were most beneficial for me. There were other services available, like balancing my budget, but I recovered all of that on my own, so I didn't feel like it was necessary in my case. They also kept reaching out, checking in, and sending the emails like, "Hey, if you need any help, we're here." That constant communication and knowing that I'm not just a number in a queue somewhere was nice.
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I have two special needs children, and we had an insurance issue in March three years ago. We always had two insurances (lots of therapies). One would cover the copays, and the other would cover everything else. My husband's employer changed insurance policies, and they were supposed to remain the same. However, we found out that they weren't paying the copays anymore after we had already racked up three months’ worth of copays, which was almost $3,000. With copays, you have to pay them to be able to come back and get more services. We had to use almost two months’ worth of credit card bills, while the credit card bills then were late. What happens is when you pay a credit card late, even if it's 2% or 3% interest, suddenly, it jumps up to 29.
We had to keep paying for the insurance too. We couldn't drop it because we had to have some ridiculous qualifying life event, even though they're the ones that changed it. We only had to pay for the $1,000 a month for the copays. We were also late with our credit card, so they went higher because the interest rates went up. We got stuck into a situation where we couldn't cover everything, so I went to Cambridge to try to figure out how to deal with the debt and still be able to pay these other things. They worked with the companies, got them down to the lower interest rates and worked out a plan. It went absolutely great. The cost was very much worth it too. $40 a month was not much to pay for helping us totally get on our feet again.
There was a lot of anxiety and they were very helpful. Any time that I contacted them for some kind of document that I needed for some reason, they were immediately responsive. I had everything I needed right away. The customer support was very good. I was aware of everything I needed to know, when I needed to know it. We finished out a little earlier than expected and now, we're putting away the money we were paying to hopefully purchase our house in June. We’re putting it back for a down payment.
I have recommended Cambridge Credit Counseling to folks who are in similar boats. I explain to them it's something they could do themselves, except the negotiation. They're already in a situation where they're stressed because they're dealing with something that got them there to begin with, or they've had trouble managing. If they have the ability to really handle those things and function well to begin with, they would have done it. There's no reason not to have people who can track everything for them, step in and give them the structure so they can function and focus on what they need to instead of tedious stuff that takes up their attention away from the things that they're trying to make better in life.
As of right now, I'm very satisfied with the service that I had. There was an account that I had with Cambridge and another company. When I spoke to the original counselor that was helping me, Henry, he said that he had dealt before with home shopping clubs. When you get a bill from a company, they don't say, "By the way, we split it out to two or three different departments. And after you pay us off, then you need to go to another department and pay back the lot." Henry knew that there are sometimes different divisions and sometimes a bill is split out into two or three different divisions.
Henry also knew to ask if the $3,000 that I was getting help with incorporated all the outstanding bills or just one department of the outstanding bills and he assured me that when he asked, they said that the bill that I was paying off was the entire bill. When he was told that the $3,000 bill was paid off, I assumed that the bill was paid off, but when I tried to call HSN several months ago, they said I owed an additional $1,000 to another division. I said, "Wait a minute. I paid off 3,000. You're saying that you allowed me to charge $4,000 before I was the one who went to the counseling service?" They didn't cut me off. I was the one that said, "Wait a minute. This is getting out of control. I need help." I went to Cambridge Credit Counseling.
I don't know where the extra $1,000 is coming from. To me, it sounds hinky, but even more than hinky, I said to Cambridge Credit Counseling, "Please check with the bank that you were dealing with at the time, because I never missed a payment." Synchrony wrote me back two letters and to make a long story short, they just said, "Yeah, you're paid off. We have nothing more outstanding on you." it was at that time Synchrony bought Comenity Bank that was HSN's, and so they assumed the bills. If I owed money still, they would've said, "No. You still owe." Between HSN not doing their due diligence and Synchrony Bank maybe not doing theirs, I cannot charge now on HSN until they get paid $1,111.
I would have thought that in 38 months, if the right hand was getting paid, the right hand didn't tell the left hand, "Hey, if you're not getting paid, go to CCC and talk to them because she is paying off her bill and you wanna make sure that this is cleared out." In the future, if anybody has a Home Shopping Network that has a bill that's owed and they are paying it off, CCC should make sure that their credit counseling agent calls that home shopping company up. They must do the digging to find out if that's the total bill. If they are told that that's the total bill, the company cannot do like what they're doing to me and say, "Oh, she owes another $1,000."
The other services were offering negotiation to pay off the debt and not all of it. Cambridge said, “No, you pay off the entire debt.” It would look better on my credit score to pay the whole debt instead of saying that I settled. They explained all of it to me. Then they sent me a lot of information to help me understand my credit. They provided me a counselor, someone who I could go over everything that I was giving to them for them to take over for me. They explained how they would contact them, and how much I would pay, and how important it was to make my payments every month and to stay on my payments on time. They really did a good job because when I started working with them, my credit score was 505, and now my credit score is 650.
It was a very good experience with the counselors of Cambridge. They were very informative. They encouraged me that if I have problems with something, to contact them sooner versus later. Because it makes it easier for them to get in contact with the collection or whoever the creditors are. Every single person that I took to them, they got them to work with the company and they were able to help me pay it off. Some of them were even bad situations where I got into debt with some check cash advances and they even worked with them and helped me pay all of those off. I was so grateful for that one.
They had helped me with my budget for the month as far as what I was spending. They helped me find an amount that I could agree to that will work for both me and for the creditors and for them, where I could pay back at an even time so it wasn't so much like all of my bills together. Every time that we paid something off, I said, “Okay, I want to do these.” I kept putting them on there. They made it affordable where I could stick right around the same amount every month, like 150 a month. I just gave it to them on a specific date, always made sure the money was in the bank, and they pulled it and they made sure all of my clients got it. I didn't even have to talk to the clients. The only thing I had to do was when they would send me correspondence in the mail, I would just update Cambridge and let them know. Everything balanced out the way it was supposed to.
Their service was excellent. One time in those five years, my paydays didn't match up with the 28th, because that was the day that I chose to pay my bill every month. They said, “We can move it up or we can move it back a couple of days.” Then they would set it up and it would still work out, and the creditor still would get their money and everything just worked out right.
Cambridge is awesome. They work with me so well. I love them. I've referred them to friends and family and they've called and used them. They helped them get out of some stuff too. One of my brothers was into a check-cashing thing. He had borrowed 2,500 and the balance had got up to 4,000. He worked with Cambridge and they helped him pay it off. My only wish with them is that they work with taxes. If they work with taxes, they would cover the whole scope.
We were told twice in the last six months that we would be paid off in July, and we weren't. We still owed 600. I called and the first person I talked to, which was the counselor that I originally set it up with, said it would be to our advantage if we could take the money out of our savings to pay off the 600. We wouldn't have to pay them the $50 for the month of July and we wouldn't get anything extra for paying it off early, but it would be specified to being paid off. We ended up paying too much to a couple of the companies and we got money back, which wasn't a problem. I said that they were all paid off, they had cleared the bank. I told her not to take out the money in July ‘cause, otherwise, they were taking it out automatically. She said she would mark it down and she put me on a recorded thing.
Then I asked the second person I talked to if I was doing this the right way. She tried to convince me not to do it. She told me that I would not get a letter saying we had paid it off, and it would say we had not completed the program. That kinda upset me, but I didn't care. I called back and talked to that other girl. She said she didn't know who that person was. Everything that person said, she would look into it because she didn't know why anybody would tell me that.
A month later, we got an email or a text message from Cambridge that we have not paid anything in the last couple of months and that we owe $125, and to please contact them immediately, so I did. I got this gentleman on the phone. He looked at it and said that he found what happened and that all we had to do was send him an email saying we have completed it. I asked if he would send me something, then confirming it, and he did. Up until then, I was surely satisfied. The problem was paying off the last month. I just got a $5 I wasn't expecting two weeks ago, ‘cause they were overpaid.
When talking about your credit, it scares you because it is so important. Having this big bill paid has just been a lifesaver because every month now we have money that we do not have assigned to anything. We're gonna have to buy a car and my husband needs handicap equipment. It's been just a blessing. One of the things that I liked was when I called, I always got my questions answered. Even when that guy said he found out what happened, he didn't explain to me, but he told me what to do to fix it, and he did it. I would highly recommend Cambridge.
Everything was easy. To send everything in, you got to take care of it. Let me know what I need to do and pay, and how long. Everybody at Cambridge was great. I usually just did everything by email. I've got the one notification, which is great. I emailed, set this on automatic draft, and there it went. I would like to know what is my balance left on the account so I know where I'm sitting at without having to log in to the Credit Card and Services and find out. That would give me an idea of how close to my goal I was getting. Other than that, I got it all consolidated, and it is off my plate instead of feeling like I was robbing Peter to pay Paul. It was a relief, the breath of it.
Getting started with Cambridge was an easy process. They made it pretty simple. Their process really worked well for me.
Cambridge gave me an affordable rate to where I could do it each month. So, I was happy. The counselor was very nice. My life is a lot better now. I'm all done with it, and I have paid everything paid off.
I struggled with debt. I learned how to better manage my budget and my credit score was repaired in a short time. They have learning tools to help teach how to manage your money so you don’t fall into the debt trap!
The program was set up that Cambridge would take their fee and the money to pay the Discover card right out of the checking account. My bank went along with it and I didn't have to worry about the money going out on time. I'm the world's best forgetful person, so it’s a good thing to have something like that. It made me feel better that I was getting my debt taken care of and I didn't have somebody hassling me all the time. Discover didn’t bug me and they accepted the way it was set up. I was really surprised when the lady called me and told me that I was almost finished with it and that they were taking a fee.
Anytime I called with a question, they always gave me somebody to talk to that would explain things to me if I didn't understand. They did a good job and they didn't harass anybody. They were always polite, didn’t push, and didn’t make any threats. They helped me get rid of my debt and I was satisfied. I would recommend them to anybody. If I ever got in debt like that again, I would just go with Cambridge.
Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. author review by Barbara Friedberg
Cambridge Credit Counseling was established in 1996 and works to provide credit counseling, debt management programs and financial literacy education to clients across America. It is a non-profit company and specializes in credit, housing, reverse mortgage and bankruptcy counseling and debt reduction services.
Free credit counseling: Non-profit Cambridge Credit Counseling offers free credit counseling by nationally certified debt experts to consumers who need to find ways to get out of debt.
Services: Cambridge Credit Counseling offers a variety of counseling services covering topics such as credit cards, housing, reverse mortgages, foreclosures, bankruptcy and overall financial education.
Expertise: Company counselors have, on average, 13 years of experience and hold national certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, the Partnership for Financial Education, NeighborWorks and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Credentials: Cambridge Credit Counseling is a 501(c)(3) non-profit credit and housing counseling agency. Cambridge is an ISO 9001:2008 organization, which means its credentials are recognized worldwide.
Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. Company Information
- Social media:
- Company Name:
- Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp.
- Year Founded:
- 67 Hunt Street
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (888) 403-2084