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The people waiting for credit counseling appointments usually look worried. They know they've got money problems, and they're about to find out if they can dig out without resorting to bank ruptcy.
This is the time of year when they tend to find themselves in the lobby of places like Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Sacramento Valley.
If they have enough income to cover their bare necessities and to pay off their debts, Consumer Credit Counseling will set up a repayment plan. It eliminates having to deal with creditors, collections and assorted payments.
In some cases, Consumer Credit can get interest rates lowered or waived completely -- although as the nation's consumer debt mounts higher, that's getting harder to do.
Unfortunately, only about a third of those who come in for credit counseling have enough income to cover their debt payments, says Judi Elliott, education director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service.
"Our clientele runs the full spectrum from people living on Social Security to people with six-figure incomes," she said. "No one is …