Beware of Delray Credit Counseling! When I first called them, I told them I didn't want to do this if it impacted my credit score negatively. They swore up and down that it wouldn't and it would actually increase my credit score within the first few months of using them. What a lie. So I gave them my credit card info and they said I just start paying them, instead of my credit card companies and that they add one $25 fee (I had 3 cards) and they contact the credit card companies and negotiate a lower interest rate, which would allow me to pay off my cards fast and pay less in the long run.
They also said once I start paying them, I don't have to make payments directly to my credit card companies anymore. WHAT A LIE! What they don't tell you is that they charged me $40+ per month for their service, the first payment which is significantly larger (2 times the normal) is a 'downpayment' which you do not get back unless you pay off all of your cards through them, so if you stop using their service prior to paying off your cards you do not get this money back, for me it was about $600+ dollars. They also assured me that I can stop using their service at any time with no issues or charges to me, which was a lie, because they kept my $600+.
So I stopped making payments to my credit card company once I started paying DCC. Well, they don't inform you that the first payment is the down payment which they do not apply to your credit card company, and then the second payment (in the 2nd month) will not be applied to your credit cards until a month after you paid DCC. This meant that it was 3 months after I started paying DCC that they finally made the first payment to my credit card companies!!! I called DCC and complained because now all my credit cards were past due and delinquent!
DCC response was, 'you don't need to worry, because after I pay off all my debt through them, my credit score will be increased'... well duh, but in the meantime I didn't want it to go down! So I called my credit card company and explained what happened through DCC and my credit card company told me there is no reason for me to pay through DCC, as ALL CREDIT CARD Companies offer their own Debt Management services, where if you close the account (which you have to do anyway with DCC) your interest rate will be lowered and they don't charge you a fee every month.
I called DCC and told them what my credit card company told me and explained I wanted to close my account with DCC. The DCC customer representative was very offended and got defensive and started spewing more lies... Telling me that if I stopped using DCC my credit card company would be unhappy and immediately charge me a large fee as well as skyrocket my interest rate. So I called my CC company and asked if that was true, they said IN NO WAY, the DCC was just trying scare me into not canceling my account.
When I canceled they explained that the first payment I made I would not get back, they steal it and I say steal because they never told me they would keep that money. They say it's in their 'terms' but if you go to their website you cannot find their terms and when I enrolled with DCC they never sent me any information, they only send you their 'terms' if you specifically request it, and I did, and NEVER received it! They are a complete waste of time and money, they lie to you so you enroll and pay, then they got you. Even if you cancel they still get to keep your money!
If you want to use a Credit Counseling service, call your Credit Card Company first and tell them you want to use their Credit Counseling Service or Debt Management Service and they will close your account and lower your interest rate for free!
Just a note: either way, they send this info to your Credit History so there is a note stating you are enrolled in a debt management program which can prevent you from getting other credit cards or loan, but let's face it, if you need to do debt management, you probably shouldn't be applying for more credit cards or loan! Lesson of the story - always research before you buy or enroll. If it sounds too good to be true, that's because it is!!!
FLORIDA -- 9-2-09 - I want to give an update on my review. I still will tell everyone that will listen to not go through Delray. I was able to get a loan from a bank with my mother's help and I almost have it paid off. I further found out that these "debt reduction services" are owned by the credit card companies.
Of course they want your money they will do anything to get as much as the can. I had a credit card for 5 years and even though I made the minimum payment each month the balance never went down... It is devastating that there are so many companies that will rob you blind, and even worse that our nation allows them to continue business. I have not even thought about getting another credit card nor will I ever get one the rest of my life.
I just read a review on Delray cc and I have to agree they are not there to serve your best interest. I have been using them for the past 9 months. At first the guy that set me up on the program said that my credit score would sky rocket after three months. Well three months later I am still getting calls from all my creditors, and my credit is still shot. OK after 4-5 months my credit is still bad and I am getting calls that Delray is sending my payments late. Well I call Delray and they tell me to call the credit card company and change my due date. "Wait, I thought I was paying you guys to take care of my payments?"
Anyway I call the credit card company and change the date. OK 6-7 months later I can't even get anyone to look at me for a car loan because my credit is still so bad. It gets better 9 months into the program and I get a call from another credit card company telling that I am 30 days late, and I have been 30 days behind for the past 3 months. I was livid my credit score is still very low and now I find out that Delray is messing up my credit more than I did. If I knew it was going to be like this I should have kept on going down my own path, but they promised that my credit score would sky rocket and that I would have no more calls from my credit card companies.
I also read the other review and agree that they do want a frist months deposit, but I didn't know they wouldn't return it. But they do screw up your credit and demand payment. In fact my first months payment was 290.00 and after 1 month it went up to 300 and then up to 330. and still every once in a while they send a letter stated that they had to pay extra on a card and want even more. I will be canceling my "membership" and taking control of my credit cards myself. DON"T GO THROUGH DELRAY they are not there to help and they will not live up to their outrageous promises.
Delray CC recently became aware of this dated post. Regardless of the time lapsed we are addressing the client review posted. We are at somewhat of a disadvantage on two points; 1) we do not know the identity of the client and 2) due to privacy laws we cannot give specifics of the account without the client's written permission. That said however, there are clues in the review we can certainly use to address some common misunderstandings about debt management programs (DMP). DMP programs were created by the credit card and banking industry to provide interest rate relief to consumers experiencing a hardship. In general, a credit card issuer will reduce or in some cases eliminate the interest rate on the client's account provided they enroll in a DMP program and seek financial education counseling through a non-profit organization. The purpose of DMP is to get out of debt. As such, it is not uncommon for the DMP payment to be the same or sometimes more than the minimum payments the borrower may be making now. The difference is by reducing the interest payments to what each creditor will accept, consumers will be able to pay off all of the debt in the program in 2 – 5 years compared to a client that maintains their own credit accounts, pays the minimum payment and consequently will not payoff their debt until14 – 35 years later, even if they do not charge another dime.
Since the purpose of a DMP program is to get out of debt a client is generally forbidden from incurring any new debt while enrolled in the DMP program. DCC is NOT the only company that requires its clients to refrain from obtaining new debt as it defeats the purpose of the program. In addition a client's creditor can pull a credit report at any time. If the lender sees new debt whether a mortgage, car, or credit card is incurred, the creditor enrolled in the program my throw the client out of the program since the borrower has more disposable income to pay new debt. The client must then have more income to have enough to pay the regular payment.
In terms of the monthly payment going up, it is important to note, no credit counseling agency sets the interest rates, fees, etc. Each creditor sets their own minimum payments and interest rates for clients that enroll in the DMP. Creditors can change their DMP minimum at any point in time without notice. Payments can also increase if the information provided by the client is not accurate. The proposals sent to each creditor to consider a client for DMP are based on information provided by the client. Inaccurate information not only causes the payment to adjust, but also creates twice the work for us because we need to submit an updated proposal with updated information. In addition, a client can also add additional accounts into the DMP, which in turn will cause the payment to increase.
In regards to the credit score “skyrocketing” in 4 months, there appears to be a misunderstanding here. Our counselors are trained and certified by the National Association of Certified Credit Counselors. If indeed one of our counselors made that statement, then there was a training opportunity we missed to correct the problem; however, there is a benefit to an account enrolled into a DMP program. If a credit account is less than 4 months past due and the client makes 3 consecutive on time payments in the DMP program, creditors are encouraged by a Federal Reserve guideline to re-age the account. Re-aging simply means the creditor will go back and rate the account as paid as agreed. If you are more than 4 months behind, it is at the creditors discretion if the account will be re-aged. While paying as agreed is certainly a positive for your credit report, another major factor to the computation of one's credit score is debt utilization. Meaning, the closer you are to being maxed out on your credit cards, the more negative impact occurs on your credit score regardless if the account is paid on time or not, or whether you enrolled in DMP or not. Until your balances get to 35% or less of your available credit, your score is going to take a hit.
Each consumer has the opportunity to choose with whom he or she is going to do business. Delray CC prides itself on customer service and serving the customer. We only wish hello123 would have contacted our customer service department to address her concerns. Hello123, if you see this post, please contact our customer service department at 800-982-8445. You can ask for Laura who is the customer service manager at extension 234. For those of you weighing your options on how to resolve your debt, feel free to contact one of our counselors at 888-371-0710 for a free consultation and our free library of financial resources.
DELRAY BEACH -- My wife signed with Delray CC after being told our payment would be $1250 a month (roughly what we were paying at the time). After our initial deposit the rate went up to $1335. We balked but accepted. A month later it went up to $1511. Again we were a bit shocked, but saw the payments being made to our creditors and looked at it as a faster resolution to our debt. While paying more than most mortgage's each month to Delray we managed to pay off 3 of our cards on our own and Delray routed the remainder of the $1511 to the LOWEST INTEREST ACCOUNT. Upset but excited at the rate we were moving we again accepted.
This morning my wife called all of our creditors, negotiated our own interest rates (lower than what Delray negotiated) and found out from Capital One that Delray sent in a negotiated rate request of 14% on my wife's card. The rate was at 10% when they sent the request! They actually caused an INCREASE in our rate over the last two years. On calling Delray to cancel the DMP after making her own considerable arrangements, she was told that we would not receive our deposit back and it is forfeit.
No Delray! You do not call it a deposit, tell us that we can choose to get it back or apply it to our last payment, raise our monthly rates, raise our interest rates, and then keep our money "deposit'. This post is step one. Step two is an honest attempt to get Delray to see the error of this practice on Monday when they open. Step three is a BBB call on deceptive and misleading business practices. Step four is a call to the Florida and Washington state AG's office to have your contracts and policies reviewed.
Step five is using all of my resources to distribute knowledge to the people and limit your pool of fish. I hope everyone who reads this can see the legitimacy of my statements and can walk away knowing that Delray is not a company that you want to do business with.
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA -- I signed up for services with Delray Credit Counseling about 1 1/2 years ago. I had debt in about 3 credit cards and at that point it felt like I was not going to be able to get out anytime soon. The company offered to help reduce interest on credit cards and reduce monthly payments and stop fees like late fees, etc. You would send one payment to the company and it would pay the agreed amount to the creditors. It's supposed to be a non-profit organization.
First of all they did reduce the interest but not by very much as they had indicated when they explained what they could do, then they charge a $39 fee per month so that's like adding to your interest that they have reduced. Then the first full payment you make is kept as a "deposit." Then the second payment you make is not sent to the creditors until 30 days after, so you find yourself having to pay for 2 or 3 months your credit card to keep current while paying Delray at the same time. They extend your payments for as long as possible.
I think for mine it was like 4 or 5 years and of course over the course of that time, your paying interest and their fee which means you end up paying them about 2000+ on top of the interest. I was able to find a bank loan and a credit card which I could transfer my debt for much lower interest than I was getting from any cc under the program, I calculate I will be debt free in about 1 to 1 1/2 years at most, so I call to end the program and I find out that because I'm ending the program before they will keep my deposit.
Ultimately these people do not have your best interest in mind although that is what they claim. I would recommend to someone to try to talk to their creditors or find some other organization that is really non-profit.
I just read a review on Delray cc and I have to DISAGREE they are there to serve your best interest. I have been using them for the past 1.5 years since March of 2008. At first the guy that set me up on the program said that my credit score might increase or decrease after three months but will hold and improve. It is true that after a few months I had SERIOUS DOUBTS because I was still getting calls from all my creditors, and my credit is still very low. BUT after 6 months everything was smoothed out and went really well. You have to work with Delray and the creditor to get the payments on time (you might have to do a payment deferment or change the due dates).
When you are in serious debt your credit score won't improve overnight it takes seven years for any blemish to come off your record. It has taken 2.5 almost 3 years and I finally am able to get approved for a small credit card that I pay off every month (I only use it instead of my debit card and then I pay it off to gain good credit). People who complain about this company need to understand that this isn't a 'quick' fix. There are no quick fixes to your mess ups. I am going to be debt free except for one student loan in one more year! January 2011 is my payoff date! Delray promised my debt would be paid off in 5 years and it will be 3!!!