CareOne Debt Relief Services Review

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CareOneSM Debt Relief Services is a debt management company based in Columbia, MD. The company has been in business for almost nine years and provides a virtual one stop shop for consumers carrying the heavy burden of debt. CareOne offers a variety of services and benefits, however their main focus is helping people get out of debt through the use of their debt management program or debt settlement service.

Here are some quick facts about CareOne Debt Relief Services:

Company Founded:- August 2002

Years In Business:- 9

Number of Employees:- 189

BBB Rating:- A

BBB Complaints:- 80 in the last 36 month reporting period

Fee Information:- unknown

Escrow Available?:- unknown

Source of Funds:- client payments

Fee Structure:- unknown

Avg. % Settled:- N/A

Refund Policy:-

Minimum Debt Required:-$2,500 or more unsecured debt (two or more accounts)

About the Company:

CareOne Services, Inc was incorporated in July of 2002 with an original business start date in August of the same year. This is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business with an A rating. Of the 80 complaints issued against the company in the past three years the top three reasons include: billing or collection issues (20), service issues (19) and customer service issues (14). Out of 80 complaints, 70 were resolved and 10 were administratively closed. Over 4 million people have used this company to resolve their financial problems and get out of debt.

The Program:

Unlike companies that specialize in one area of debt relief, CareOne offers a variety of programs to ensure each unique situation is handled in the best possible manner. They offer debt consolidation through a debt management plan and debt settlement services based on your financial circumstances. To learn more, potential clients are encouraged to either call via a toll free number or fill out a short form online. A credit “coach” will review your information and contact you to determine which options are right for your situation.

Website Experience:

After reviewing the websites of several companies offering various debt relief services, I have come to the conclusion that finding the right amount of information is often hard to accomplish. While many websites offer the bare minimum, the website for CareOne offers…dare I say too much information. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to selecting a company to help you through tough financial times, more information is always better-however it is possible to have that much information that visitors get lost while navigating the site. That being said, I enjoyed seeing a website that offers a newsletter, tip section, article library, news and quizzes.

Overall the website is very professional and certainly packed full of information. I did not find fee information or any really specific information in regards to the programs this company offers. It was difficult to get a feel for this company as the information provided (while useful in general) was somewhat generic. As with most online reviews, the jury is out as to whether this company has helped others successfully get out of debt. I’ve found several negative reviews but as previously mentioned in other reviews, it is difficult to determine if the company failed to live up to their promises or the clients were unaware of the potential negative consequences of working with a debt relief company.

Potential clients do have the option to receive a free no obligation consultation which provides a great opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the programs and fee structure of this company. Anyone who have worked with CareOne is encouraged to leave a comment to share their experience with other readers.

Conclusion


CareOne Credit Counseling Review
  • Nicole

    My experience with Care One Credit Counseling-

    I am currently the subject of a lawsuit due to Care One Credit Counseling. Here’s why:

    After my husband was laid off from a great job (when our baby was only two months old and I wasn’t working due to my unpaid college internship), our monthly bills became our worst nightmare. As we fell deeper and deeper into debt, I began to research debt relief programs. First I called Consumer Credit Counseling Services. After an extensive interview, they regretted that they would be unable to help (we would have to have at least $250 per month surplus; we were in the red each month). Next, I tried Care One. No extensive interview. Accepted.
    Care One would contact each creditor and find out the minimum we could pay to each. After three or four months, Care One reported that each creditor had accepted its credit proposal (we had been paying them through Care One in the meantime). Months went by. Each time we called Care One to confirm new balances, ask why our money was being taken out in smaller chunks instead of the agreed lump sum on the 25th, etc., a foreign sales rep. would barely understand our questions. We usually hung up more confused than when we called. Once they got the payment date wrong (the 15th, instead of the agreed-upon date of the 25th), which caused us to overdraft.
    Finally, we were contacted by one creditor and informed that they were suing us. Why? Care One had been sending them money, but not the amount that they had demanded during the credit proposal period (we never knew that the amount Care One said they had agreed to wasn’t the demanded amount).
    I cancelled the account with Care One, but not without a tiresome argument from a foreign sales rep. in which I was told that the creditor was lying to me and that they had never disputed that amount.
    Basically, I paid thirty some-odd dollars per month for Care One to get me sued.

    • Brad

      Nicole,

      Sorry about the lawsuit. I hope you can get something worked out before you go to trial and I would suggest you get an attorney to help you. They only other thing is that it’s sometimes really hard to believe in situations like this. I know for a fact that CC companies will flat out lie to you to get you to send money or otherwise get you to do what they want. So it’s possible that Careone is telling you the truth, but it also sounds like they were a little careless with your case.

  • Annonymous

    Please contact your creditors first, before you allow Care One to take over. After speaking with a Care1 counselor, I decided to try my creditors myself. They lowered my interest rate to 2% vs. the 6% offered by care1. BTW, I asked the care1 counselor if 6% was the best they could do and she assured me that would be the best rate I could get. NOT TRUE. She also told me the creditors would not give me the same “5 yrs and your paid off” promise care1 could offer. NOT TRUE. I received a lower interest rate, 5 year contract, and MUCH lower monthly payments. No fees to Care1 either. In addition, I became current after the very first payment. Care1 will take at least 30 days for you to become current. That first payment I made was the same payment I will have each month. I was only 2 weeks behind when I contacted my creditors myself. The care1 counselor called me when I didn’t return the signed agreement to allow them to take over. When I told her I received a better deal by calling my creditors myself, she was shocked. I guess most ppl either believe the counselors when they say there’s no other way, or they don’t believe they can make the difference on their own, or they feel it is easier to have a third party negotiate for them. It took me less than 30 minutes to negotiate with my creditors. Thank God I tried on my own. It is saving me thousands over 5 years.

    • Brad

      Sounds like you did a good job. A couple things to keep in mind though, 1)there are hundreds of creditors out there and some will work with you like you describe and some wont and 2) Lots of people like to use a service like CareOne because they are intimidated by creditors, and nervous and confused about their finances, and CareOne will act on their behalf. Worth paying the money in lots of peoples’ opinions.

      It’s kinda like anything, could you to fix your leaky sink yourself? Of course you could! Just go to Home Depot, ask someone how to fix it and buy the parts and in a few hours you’ll have it fixed. But lots of folks would rather just pay someone to take care of it for them.

  • Margaret

    CAREOne is not a reputable debt management company. This was the first debt management company that I signed up with and they will not put all your creditors onto your debt management plan. If you have Capital One credit card or an American Express credit card, you are out on your own paying the minimum due each month. They refuse to lower the interest rates.

    Another reason is that this company LIED to me by telling me that the creditors will grant me concessions after my third payment. Lo and behold, it was the fourth month and one of my creditors told me that they did not receive a payment from them. It was Macy’s Visa. I told them that I signed up with a debt management plan. My creditor told me that they did not receive a proposal from them. so I was paying them over $320 each month and they was keeping some money for themselves. I decided to end this nightmare. STay away from them

    • Joey

      Did you just listen to yourself. What does careone have to do with capital one and AMEX not accepting the program. That has nothing to do with the reputation of Careone. If you’re going to come up here and try to bash a company, please have REPUTABLE reasons for doing it. What you’re complaining about right now is foolish.

  • Sarah

    I contacted Care One yesterday and have a follow up appointment with them today. I would like to know what questions I should make sure to ask. It sounds to me like a lot of the “issues” others have had with the company could have easily been handled had they asked the right questions before beginning. Unlike some other reviews I have read, I am well aware that choosing debt consolidation will adversely affect my credit rating. Since I am already facing home foreclosure my credit rating can’t get much worse. However, I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions of things to make sure to ask before we pursue this option further.

    • Margaret

      Hi Susan:

      I am one of the people that had “issues” about this company. Currently, my sister is using this company to pay down her credit card debt. Not all of her credit cards is with the company. She has to pay Capital One and American Express on her own. These 2 credit cards REFUSED to lower these 2 credit card interest rates. She does not have a counselor that is monitoring her to see if she is possibly applying for more credit cards while on this plan. She does not have everything in writing.

      My suggestions is to ask the following questions: Can you send me the proposals in writing? In order for a debt management plan to work, everything has to be in writing. Are you going to get a copy of their proposed amount? If not, then don’t work with them. Also, what is my counselor’s name and extension? These companies have to have counselors who would like to see you succeed. Will you know your counselor’s name?

  • Dave

    CareOne could not have done less for me, if anyone reads this PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE just contact your creditors directly first and talk to them, even if it’s a collection agency. I wish I would have done this but I Googled it and CareOne actually had good reviews so I decided to call them.  BIG MISTAKE!  Here’s the summary:About 5k on a single credit card that I’d had since 18 (I’m now 30). No one big purchase, just always carried a balance and slowly it crept up to 5k over 12 years. Basically, the absolute WORST and stupidest thing you can do to yourself and a credit card company’s dream. I ended up in collections at 29% APR so I called CareOne, they said the best option would be to pay it in full instead of negotiating a lower payoff amount because it would look better on my credit. I agreed, so they worked out a 36 month payment plan where I would pay $168 a month (plus $10 a month fee for CareOne) for 36 months and it would be paid in full and would report as so on my credit.  168 x 36 = $6048, so I was paying an extra $1,000 over 3 years to settle a $5,000 debt but compared to what i was paying in interest before it sounded great. They said not to worry about the 29% APR because they had existing relationships with the collection agencies (including mine, he looked it up) and they would be able to negotiate a much lower rate for me, if not zero. He got me to send my first payment and my CareOne setup fee (which was more than $10 but I forget how much, around $30 I think) right away on the phone. I asked about how he already knew that they would lower my APR and take this deal and he said again said not to worry about it, they have relationships with these collection agencies and they always take the deal and they never turn away money. He told me to just call back in a week or so and find out if the collection agency had cashed CareOne’s check and if they did that meant all was well and they accepted the terms.  So I called back in a week and got the check information and in fact it was cashed, so I breathed a sigh of relief and finally felt like I was on the right path.  It was going to take 3 years to get there but I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel.  Fast forward 7 months and CareOne has been taking monthly payments of $178 ($168 for the creditor and $10 for CareOne) automatically from my account as every month as planned.  I get a quarterly statement from Capital One (original creditor) that shows the $168 payments they’ve been receiving from CareOne and only $58 of that is going to the principle, I was still at 29% APR!  CareOne did not negotiate a lower APR for me as promised, in fact they did nothing except act as a middleman and pass my monthly payments and take their $10 fee.  The worst part is no one bothered to call me, email me, or write me a letter saying that they were not able to lower my APR and in fact they were doing absolutely nothing for me.  So I called them today to find out what happened and the girl I spoke to said the collection agency must not have agreed to lower the APR, but we can resubmit it if I want.  I asked what will happen if we resubmit it and she says it will almost certainly get denied if it got denied the first time.  So I asked her to cancel the plan immediately but at this point they’ve already got roughly $100 in fees from me.  I called the collection agency directly and with a 20% down payment they agreed to stop charging interest completely (0%) and put me on a 13 month payment plan to pay the principle.  This was SO MUCH better than the “deal” CareOne gave me.

  • http://www.careonecredit.com Suzanne Cramer

    The CareOne Debt Relief Services website http://www.careonecredit.com/ does provide a vast amount of information for anyone looking to get out of debt or just develop better personal financial management skills. While they do provide services they also provide financial education to help you get out of debt and stay out of debt. If you are looking for reviews of previous or current customers you can check out ongoing conversations in the online community. http://community.careonecredit.com/

  • Elizabeth hatch

    This company is nothing but bs. I got connected with care one to help with my hospital bills. I made two payments (two months) they never even contacted the hospitals collectors. I canceled due to ending up back in the hospital. I was told that I would get a little refund check since they never contacted my company’s that I was in debt to. Well here, 3 months later I still yet to see the refund check. Someone else apparently cashed it and they wanted all my info to resend a check, well I was told today that that can’t do that. Why stat it in the first place?