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The Fools here can help you do much the same thing as a reputable credit counseling service would: taking a hard look at your budget, balancing it, arranging your debts into a snowball order to target one after another, negotiating lower interest rates with your creditors, and making judicious use of balance transfers to save money on interest.

Is a counseling agency (legit one anyway) better able to negotiate interest rate reductions than one could do on his own?

Does the creditor look at the fact that the person is in a formal program and take that in consideration? Does the debt counselor have different channels available for negotiation? I just assumed that's the way it worked - that the creditor was more likely to help and the agency had relationships established that they use to the client's benefit.

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