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Success Online Financial Education Newsletter
Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCCESS NewsletterMay 9 2013 newsletter
Five signs you are being scammed

Man frustrated at debt scam

By Jessica Horton, Community Manager

It’s almost impossible to open your email or surf online without stumbling across ads for "credit doctors" or companies promising to “get rid of your debt TODAY.”

The recent news about the New York City-based debt settlement scam company, Mission Settlement Agency, which Federal agents found to be defrauding customers of millions of dollars, serves as a stark reminder of the kinds of scams consumers encounter when seeking financial help.

Unfortunately, as more consumers find themselves rejected for credit cards, loans, and mortgages, the temptation to pay for services to “fix” the problem on their credit report can certainly be enticing. However, companies that pledge instant elimination of your debt, or promise remarkable improvements to your credit score are not going to be able to deliver these results.

While there are steps that consumers can take to heal their finances, all of these steps require little to no money, just time. There’s usually no reason to pay someone to do these things for you, and no one can or should promise to improve your credit. The majority of these company offers cost significant money, and they often are unable to deliver on their grand promises.

So to help you avoid falling victim to a scam, the following are five red flags to look for when seeking debt help:

 Read More

The amazing Get Out of Debt card!

get out of debt card

By Jesse Campbell, Copywriter

My wallet is a wasteland of expired insurance cards, grocery store key tags and a Subway rewards card that has so many points on it I think I might be able to buy my own franchise. It rarely, I feel obligated to mention, has much money in it.

You probably have a lot of miscellaneous items taking up real estate in your wallet and most of them don’t do you much good. So how about putting something really valuable in your wallet? Something so valuable you might even consider it invaluable.

Oh. And also, it’s free.

What am I going on about? A little something I like to call the Get Out of Debt card!

 Read More

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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
866.530.9869 or visit



How to recover from a financial setback

Financial setbacks inevitably happen, and if you find yourself dealing with a layoff, high medical expenses, or another setback, there are some steps you should take to start the road to recovery.

Assess your personal situation

First, assess the situation so that you know exactly what you are dealing with. Is this a one-time setback, or an ongoing issue? Is it temporary or permanent? Know exactly how much money you’ll need, and how much you have.

Analyze available financial resources

Determine what resources are available to you, both from your own accounts as well as insurance. If you are facing medical bills, have you made sure everything has been covered appropriately by insurance? If you’ve been laid off, look into Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) extended health insurance coverage, as well as unemployment insurance.

Do you have an emergency fund? If so, this may be the right time to start using it.

Set financial priorities

After you know exactly what your situation is and what resources you have available to you, you’ll need to set priorities. Go through your budget and determine if there is any opportunity to decrease costs, such as canceling or cutting back on cable.

Know which bills have to be paid immediately, and what things you can prioritize later. Just don’t be tempted to go without insurance – this can change a minor setback into a major one very quickly.

Create a personal financial plan

With your spouse, work through your budget and your bills, and decide how you are going to get everything paid. Is there opportunity to earn more or spend less? Know exactly how you’ll be spending your money over the next few months, and make a plan to track your progress.

Contact your creditors

Finally, if there are some bills you absolutely cannot afford to make minimum payments on, contact your creditors to work through payment options. You should make these phone calls before your bills end up in collections, because once there, your options are limited.

MMI Debt Management Plan Client Corner
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