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Has anyone ever used Debt Management Company?

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I am 2 weeks into a debt management plan

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I had a lot of credit card debt, and though I always was able to make my minimum payments, I knew I would never be able to get out of debt if I didnt make a change. Previously I had paid off credit cards with a loan from Lending Club, but that raised my credit score and I got a lot of new card offers and was soon in debt again. My credit score now isnt great, but I was afraid of making it worse by entering into credit counseling and a debt management plan. I finally decided that my getting out of debt was more important that my credit score.

I searched for a company online and decided on InCharge Debt Solutions since a few websites recommended it and it looked like you could do pretty much everything online on your own. I finally did have to call in to complete the setup. They have been very nice and eager to help, and I have called them and emailed them with questions a few times in the last 2 weeks and they have always been available to answer.

There website wouldnt let me enroll Target or Barclay, stating they didnt participate, but I guess it was just outdated info, as the counselor was able to enroll both of those cards for me, Target even approved 0% interest. Barclay will only let you enter a debt management plan if your account is current. I wasnt able to enroll my Care Credit in the plan as it had too many promotional offers, so I called them myself and talked to their hardship department and Care Credit entered me on their own plan, seperate from InCharge, and they gave me 0% interest too.

I was charged the top allowed amount for my setup fee with incharge and my montly fee, but read somewhere later that I may have been able to get those lowered if I had tried. My creditors were all contacted by InCharge immediately and as each creditor responded to the proposal, I got an email. The creditors all responded between 3 and 5 days. Only Discover did not accept the original proposal and wanted a slightly higher montly payment. I am not paying that much less per month, but I will be out of debt in 4.5 years. Citi card has not yet been contacted as they apparently wont accept a proposal until the first payment is sent.

The only downside so far is that InCharge told me I needed to contact some my creditors and have the payment date changed. With me being charged the highest setup fee of $75, I would have thought they would have taken care of that too. My first payment hasnt officially gone out yet, my payment date is Monday 8/1 but it already shows as a pending debit on my checking account since Friday evening at my bank's website. The setup fee is there as a seperate charge pending too, I paid nothing upfront, even though they were already going to work for me. There was another downside in that I gets tons of letters sent snail mail from InCharge screaming their name in large lettering on the envelope letting the world know that I am using a debt solution company, I would have preferred more discretion. 

So far my credit score has only dropped a couple of points for the accounts being closed. The creditors do all close your account or show that you have no available credit. I am anxious to see if it drops any more in the next few updates. Some of my creditors will be paid a few days to a week late, assuming InCharge pays them right away, but there are not supposed to be any late fees, but I am not sure if Citi might charge one due to the fact that I am not yet enrolled.  

Anyhow, I had so many unanswered questions about this type of plan before I started, I thought I would post this to see if it might help out other people who are thinking of credit counseling. 

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