A Consumer Friendly Credit Counseling Organization You Can Trust
1 of only 2 in the entire U.S. Legal Credit File Restorer
First Stone® Credit Counseling™
A Trusted Credit Expert Since 1990
“All the world is a stage,
and all the men and women (and big business) are merely players“
There are the five main categories of companies/people offering credit advice or credit services such as credit repair and/or credit counseling and/or bankruptcy and/or debt negotiators. It is important to remember that some are legal under the laws that govern the United States, and some are not!
- PCACC or Professional “Consumer Advocate” Credit Counselors: That describes First Stone�.
As required by law, First Stone is an approved “Consumer Advocate” Credit Counselor organization, with a 501(c)(3) certification. First Stone therefore operates legally under the credit laws of the United States of America, all states and especially in the State of Texas, where our headquarters are located. Our first objective is to help the consumer “get out of trouble”, get educated, “clean-up” their credit files and restore their good name so they can fully reach their financial and personal life goals.
- Other consumer Credit Counseling Services:
These are really a “collection agency” in disguise. The best known is CCCS, but now there are many clones because collecting money for creditors “can be lucrative” but, is hazardous to consumer health!
CCCS and their parent company, the NFCC, are the largest and most widely known credit counseling group in the U.S. Although they are IRS certified, consumers need to understand that CCCS is really a “non-profit franchise” (you may want to ask yourself who would buy or sell a “charitable franchise.”) They claim they receive nominal fees from their clients, but they actually receive substantial rebates or “Fair-Share Offerings” (their term) from the very creditors and/or collectors that are plaguing the consumer. Additionally, and this is very important, CCCS will not correct your credit files or even improve them. Their only purpose is to get you to pay off all your debt (usually at the full amount, plus some interest) and are therefore, essentially “collectors agencies.”
- Credit Repair Clinics:
The biggest peril a consumer may face when hiring a credit repair clinic is that the sole tactic these organizations and/or individuals rely on is sending unsupported and “frivolous” disputes to the CRA’s (credit bureaus) with the hope that it will fool them into removing all negative information. Credit bureaus, while not Rocket Scientists, are “more” savvy than that, usually picking up on this “technique” and then “flagging” a consumers file internally so that any future contact will be scrutinized as the consumer being a true “deadbeat,” whether valid or not. Additionally, Federal and State laws say that credit repair clinics cannot charge “up front” fees for their services. They must complete all the work (even if it takes years) before they can receive payment from you. Anything else is a criminal act, or so says The Credit Repair Organizations Act and The Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention, Act.
- Debt Negotiators:
Debt negotiates are the newest guys on the scene. They claim legality since they don’t claim to improve anyone’s credit record, credit history or credit rating. (If they do make any one of these claims they break the law.) But – they insinuate that paying off your debts for 50 cents on the dollar or even less will get you credit. And if you really believe that works without cleaning up your credit file we know of a “bridge in Brooklyn or some swamp land in Florida “ you can buy! By the way, blindly sending someone you don’t know any money on the dollar in advance to settle a debt … really, how smart does that sound?
- Debt Consolidators:
Debt consolidation under USC Title 11, really translates to bankruptcy and bankruptcy attorneys. This does not mean “true debt consolidation” as most people would think of it. It will also destroy your credit worthiness for the next 7 to 10 years, and quite possibly even longer, because most creditors remain very angry with those that take bankruptcy.
BEWARE: Here are a few others you must avoid!
- Anyone claiming that they will give you a new identity for credit purposes. This is fraud and a criminal act.
- Car dealers who advertise that buying their car will rebuild your credit file. It’s just not true and many do not even report to credit bureaus.
- Any credit card company that gives you a card which also includes a “pay off” for a certain collection item. This is always a scam. Please don’t fall for the deception.
*FSCC APPROVAL, is through a division of the U.S. Treasury (IRS), as well as others, as a non-profit credit counselor. We proudly present ourselves as “Consumer Advocate Credit Counselor – Professionals”. You might say, “We are for consumers as collectors are to creditors“.