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Clean Slate Podcast – Episode 13
In episode 13 of the Clean Slate Podcast, Juan breaks down all the services CreditGuard offers.
About the Speaker:
Juan Valladares is the Vice President of CreditGuard of America, Inc. and has been working in the credit counseling industry since 1997.
Juan began his career at a major answering service center, responsible for the training and supervision of over two hundred employees. Now in charge of managing CreditGuard’s counseling department, Juan’s management, organizational and motivational skills are all vital to the company’s success.
Juan is a devoted father of two and a passionate racquetball player who competes regularly to satisfy his competitive instincts. He has dedicated his professional life to helping people get out – and stay out – of debt.
“Clean Slate” Podcast Episode 13: What Services Can You Expect from CreditGuard?
Wayne: So outside of helping to consolidate debt into one payment, what other services does CreditGuard provide as part of a typical program? In all of our discussions it seems to me like you covered this in segments, but I think this is an opportunity to kind of bring it all together.
Juan: First and foremost I think what every consumer should do is understand where they are at with their finances. And in order to do that you have to actually gather your information. Once you gather your information, you contact one of our certified credit counselors, and at that moment these are the services you’ll receive from us:
You’ll get a certified credit counselor with a significant amount of experience and training, tests and all that stuff they need to do in order to answer those phone calls, and you’ll get your free confidential consultation, where the certified credit counselor will determine the best possible solution for your financial needs.
We will go ahead and determine the lowest possible payment for each one of your creditors and renegotiate the terms with each one of them. We’ll be able to reduce your interest rates; we’ll even be able to eliminate them in some cases. If you’re falling behind on your accounts, again we’ll be able to renegotiate with your creditors to get you back up to a current status, which is called a re-age status.
- We can stop any late fees or over-the-limit penalties, so this way your money really starts to work for you. We can stop any collection calls, providing the consumer with at least some peace of mind.
- We collect one affordable monthly payment—just one payment a month—and then we pay off each one of the creditors that are placed on the program.
- We provide ongoing credit counseling and financial education, which is extremely important throughout these services for the next 3, 4 or 5 years that you’re in the program.
- We’re available 24 hours a day via phone or internet or secure logins. And of course our customer service department that will help you out throughout the entire service.
- We provide financial education. We send out little quizzes to consumers and show them what their credit report looks like.
There are just so many benefits that the company offers. So it’s not just about us saying, ‘Call us, make one payment to us and we pay off your accounts.’ This is a union. This is a relationship that we build with the consumer, because this is a time when the consumer is really in need. And they’re just getting phone calls from people saying, ‘Give me my money. Right now.’ And it’s so, so stressful.
Wayne: So stressful.
Juan: What CreditGuard does is create that relationship between the consumer and us. We say, ‘We’re here to hold your hand, and trust me; we’re going to get out of this together in three to five years.’ This is what we do. So it’s not just a different payment here and there, it’s an education.
“It’s not just a payment here and a payment there, it’s an education.”
So all these benefits I have mentioned—yes, you’ll receive those things, but it’s always good to know you have someone on your side who’s helping you.
Wayne: Right. You’re not doing it alone.
Juan: Exactly. Do you know how difficult it is to get out of debt? How stressful it is? When you get so many phone calls you don’t even want to answer your phone at times? Now, when you answer your phone it becomes really simple: you can say I have CreditGuard working for me, give them a call, here’s their phone number.
Wayne: So you don’t just set folks up, like ‘Ok, here’s your program; here’s your payment; have a nice life.’ And then push them off a cliff?
Juan: No. That’s just not the way it works. We get creditors calling us all the time and we say ‘Yes, they’re in the program, and this is what is going to happen,’ and all of a sudden the stress becomes much easier to manage for individuals. And when you don’t have that additional stress in your life, you can focus on what’s more important. And you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, like as I mentioned before that this will go away pretty shortly. So the program is not just to set you up on a new payment plan and give you some benefits, which is obviously part of it, but it’s also to say, ‘Wow, I do have somebody working for me. Wow, there are some benefits to this, and look at all these things I’m learning in order to better manage my finances.’
Wayne: Yeah, the opportunity to go through such a stressful and difficult period in your life knowing that you’re not alone, that you have a support system and you have a plan in place that can function. Alleviating that stress just sets you up to be happier at home, enjoy your family more, be more successful at work and really achieve the things in life that you’ve set out to achieve without having to carry that load on your back all by yourself.
Juan: Absolutely. We’ve been in business for so many years, and it’s wonderful—it’s probably one of the best parts of the job, when you have individuals who write these nice recommendation letters that say, ‘Thank you so much, you’ve changed my life. You don’t understand the stress that you’ve taken away from me by paying off all these debts.’ And we’ve literally had thousands of letters like those over the years.
Wayne: I was going to say you must have a room full of testimonials. Like filing cabinets stuffed with thousands of them.
Juan: They’re everywhere. We have to keep them, too, because of our regulations and compliances. It’s quite amazing, and it’s always so nice to read them from time to time, just to help stay focused. So yeah, debt management programs and our services we have a plethora of benefits, and the most important thing is that peace of mind. The rest is pretty simple; it’s all actions, like making a payment, seeing the benefits. Peace of mind, though, is incredible. I think that when you can help relieve the stress from somebody’s life it goes a long way.
Wondering if our services might be a good fit? Call 1-800-500-6489 or visit our Debt Solutions page for more information on how we can help you get out of debt. The call and initial consolation are free, so what are you waiting for?