Nonprofit Credit Counselors Urge Consumers to Plan Now Before Feds Raise Interest Rates? Again

BY GlobeNewswire | ECONOMIC | 05/02/22 07:44 AM EDT

Stafford, Texas, May 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In March, central bankers raised interest rates for the first time since 2018, a trend that is expected to continue this week.

?This is a critical time for consumers with burdensome credit card debt,? said Thomas Nitzsche, Sr. Director of Media & Brand at MMI. ?On top of a 40-year inflation high, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates as many as seven times this year, adding months or even years to debt payoff for those only making minimum payments.?

MMI debt management client Manny Romero of Santa Cruz, California said his call to MMI was a life-changing experience.

?I was in debt over $25,000 and MMI was able to help me freeze my interest rates. I was able to make affordable monthly payments, providing me an opportunity to get out of the vicious cycle of debt,? said Romero.

MMI reports about 3 out of 4 Americans are unaware of the interest reduction offered through nonprofit debt management, according to a Harris Poll commissioned by the MMI.

Last year, MMI helped over 52,000 households repay nearly $242MM in debt nationally.

MMI?s 2021 aggregate data shows that for their clients carrying the average debt load of about $18,000, a debt management plan (DMP) can save them nearly $28,000 in interest versus making the same monthly payment without the plan. A DMP can also shorten the repayment period from an average of nine years to four years.

?The difference is dramatic. We save consumers time and money, but most importantly we help them find relief from the unique stress and shame of debt. At MMI, we?re not only helping consumers wipe away debt, but also the stigma associated with it,? said Nitzsche.

Tallis Lockos of St. Louis, Missouri learned that when he enrolled in an MMI debt management plan (DMP) and was able to pay off $31,000 of credit card debt.

?I saved thousands of dollars by consolidating my high interest credit card debt, lowered the interest rate, and made monthly payments which were much lower than doing it myself,? he said.?

?Seek financial help,? advised Romero. ?There is a way out of debt and if I can do it, so can you.?

MMI is pleased to offer cutting-edge online debt analysis allowing users to get a confidential look at their options to get back on track, including a nonprofit debt management plan (DMP). Unlike most other DMP providers, the process can be completed without ever picking up the phone to speak with a counselor.

About MMI?

Money Management International (MMI), formerly Consumer Credit Counseling Service, is changing how America overcomes financial challenges. MMI helps create, restore, and maintain a life of financial wellness through empowered choices. For over 60 years, our clients have achieved financial confidence through nonprofit programs that educate, motivate, and liberate. MMI inspires action by delivering expert professional guidance and timely solutions aligned with our client's goals. Experiencing a financial challenge? Find your solution 24/7 at 866.864.8995 and MoneyManagement.org.

For reporters looking to interview real people for stories about debt, MMI has created a group of former clients from across the country who are willing to share their experiences with the media in the hopes of inspiring others. Our peer advocates have paid off a combined total of nearly $6 million of debt and now serve as MMI ambassadors of hope.

To schedule an interview with Thomas Nitzsche and any of our MMI Peer Advocates including Manny Romero and Tallis Lockos, please contact:

Thomas Nitzsche, 404.490.2227, Thomas.Nitzsche@MoneyManagement.org

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Thomas Nitzsche
Money Management International
404.490.2227
Thomas.Nitzsche@MoneyManagement.org
Source: Money Management International

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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