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He contacted the CCs - one of which put him in contact with a CC-approved debt company. THIS company sounds like it might be a debt relief company?

No, from your description, the DC company was a 'debt relief' company. 'Debt consolidation' is often another name for 'debt relief.'

The CC approved company sounds like it's a credit counseling agency, although they may not be certified by the NFCC. NFCC certified agencies typically help their clients do budgeting so that they can live within their means and still pay off the debt.

That said, your friend is always free to ignore any budgeting advice that was given, as long as he makes the required payments to the credit counseling agency, so it may be that he was given the advice and chose not to follow it.

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