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Consumers struggling with credit card debt can enroll in a “Debt Management Plan” through a credit counseling firm or they can pick up the phone and create the same “DMP” on their own and possibly get a better interest rate. Feedback from CCCS of Greater Atlanta found that interest rates from many creditors are now ranging from 6% to 10%, compared to a range of 10% to 14% last year for a “DMP”. CCCS also found the average debt management plan is structured to repay debt in 36-60 months. However, reveals that many major credit cards firms are now offering individual customers a 60 month repayment programs at 0% to 5% interest. One of Citi’s current programs is a 60 month repayment of 100% of the principal at a 0% APR. The program is generally offered to a cardholder that is at least 60 days late. After four consecutive payments the account is reported as “current” to the credit bureau. BofA’s similar program offers a 60 month 100% payback at a 5% interest rate. Both the Citi and BofA programs stop all penalty fees and in some cases they will refund the fees racked up during the delinquency period. Of course under both programs the credit card account is closed and essentially converted to an installment loan. Remember the more delinquent you are the more leverage you have to get a deal you can live with. For more information on credit counseling services visit: and

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