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While making the decision to enroll in a Debt Management Plan (DMP) is a critical first step to working your way out of debt, it is important to keep in mind that it is only the first step. Participation in a DMP is a long-term commitment, as it takes approximately 60 months, on average, to successfully complete a DMP. During this time, it is extremely important that you take an active role in your own success, and remember that this is a partnership between you and your CareOne Debt Relief ServicesSM Provider.
It is critical that you carefully review your agreement so that you understand the details of the plan you have enrolled in, its fees, and requirements. Once you have reviewed your agreement, make sure to keep a copy of it with your other DMP information. You can always refer to your agreement for answers to your questions regarding fees and program details.
It is important to call your creditors in order to inform them that you have enrolled in a Debt Management Plan with a CareOneSM provider and to make them aware of your new payment date. By keeping them in the loop, your creditors are more likely to offer benefits for making timely payments on your DMP.
We recommend a relief plan based partly on your budget, and if you provide us with an inaccurate assessment of your budget, you may end up enrolled in the wrong plan for your needs. You may even end up not qualifying for any of our plans due to an incorrect assessment of your finances.
While most creditors require that all of your credit card accounts be put on your DMP, not all do. We strongly advise our customers to put every single one of their unsecured and credit card accounts on the plan from the beginning, so that there is no temptation to use a credit card from an account that has been left off the plan.
Set aside time each month to review your statements. It is your responsibility to ensure that the statements you receive from all your creditors match up with the monthly statement you receive from us. If there is a discrepancy between a creditor statement and your CareOne statement, it is most likely because your creditor responded to our proposal with an updated balance. Just contact our Customer Care department at 1-800-CARE123 or email us through the Help Center gadget in your My CareOne portal, and we can assist you in updating your balance.
While you have the ability to change your payment due date on your plan, it can affect your creditor payments, which can impact your success. Before making any date changes, keep in mind that your creditors expect to receive a payment every 30 days. If you change your debit date, and select a date that falls outside of this range, a creditor may consider it a missed payment, which can jeopardize your success. This is why it is so critical that you select the right payment due date from the start, and consistently make your payments according to this date. While missing a payment or making a late payment can obviously impact your success on the plan, making a payment too early can also do more harm than good. Creditors like consistency, and expect to receive a payment every 30 days, so if you make your monthly payment early, and it falls within the previous month’s 30-day cycle, it may be treated as a missed payment for the month you are actually trying to make a payment on. We prefer that you make your payments on the same day each month, and, if you find that you have additional money each month, increase your monthly payment amount.
If, for whatever reason, you need to authorize a stop payment for a period of time on your account, please call our Customer Care department at 1-800-CARE123 so that we can work with you to properly stop and reinstate your plan payments.
While we try to estimate when your account will be fully paid off as accurately as possible, we need you to help us by monitoring your statements closely. Once one of your creditors notifies you that one of your accounts has been paid in full, please let us know in order to avoid any unnecessary payments to that account and to ensure that your My CareOne status is current.
While your main priority right now is to pay off all of your debt, you never know when an unexpected and unplanned expense will present itself. It is important to be prepared for this situation by setting aside a small amount of money each month, preferably in a savings account, so that you can cover your expenses without jeopardizing your DMP. Just be sure that this unexpected payment is something that cannot be avoided, like purchasing medicine for a sick child, or fixing a part on your car.
We offer a multitude of free resources and educational materials, available on our website, to help consumers learn to manage their money and create a secure financial future. We also have an extremely robust community where you can connect with others facing similar financial situations by participating in our groups and forums, and reading our blogs.