Take Charge America

Take Charge America

Based in Arizona, Take Charge America is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping American consumers improve their financial status through financial counseling and tools. The nonprofit provides different services including a free financial review and in-person counseling to help consumers manage and eliminate debt.  Take Charge America has more than 25 years of experience. Take Charge America is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and Financial Counseling of America (FCAA). The nonprofit has been featured on different news channels including ABC, NBC, and Fox News.

The Good

  • Financial Tools and Resources
  • Accreditations

Financial Tools and Resources

Like many other debt consolidation companies, Take Charge America provides a variety of financial tools and resources. One of the resources the organization provides is a newsletter. Consumers sign up and receive a regular newsletter with tips and pointers on how to manage and eliminate debt. They also provide users with financial calculators, a weekly blog and online lessons. These educational tools can be used by anyone and can help increase financial literacy. We appreciate when a company provides these tools and resources. It shows that they care about the long-term success of their customers.

Accreditations

Take Charge America is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA). Maintaining a membership with both the NFCC and the FCAA means that Take Charge America works to achieve industry-approved standards and best practices. Potential customers should look for accreditations while shopping around for companies to work with. In order to maintain accreditations, companies must up keep certain standards, which require a certain quality of service. Take Charge America demonstrates that they care about their customers and quality of service by maintaining these accreditations.

The Bad

  • Lack of Transparency
  • Unknown Cancellation Policy
  • IRS Lawsuit

Lack of Transparency

Take Charge America does not make its interest rates readily available to consumers. Consumers have to talk to the counselors of Take Charge America, possibly after paying the setup and activation fees, to find out what the interest rates will be.

Unknown Cancellation Policy

Take Charge America does not readily display its cancellation policy is or whether or not the company charges a fee for canceling. Many other companies in the industry offer a money-back guarantee.

IRS Lawsuit

In 2012, Take Charge America battled against the IRS in court to protect its nonprofit status. The IRS decided that Take Charge America took advantage of its nonprofit status, this advantage could have benefited the founder's family and given them financial gains. Take Charge America ended up settling with the IRS and paid a penalty. 

The Bottom Line

Take Charge America provides resources and tools for the benefit of consumers working to manage and eliminate their debt. The nonprofit organization is a member of the NFCC and the FCAA. On the other hand, Take Charge America has a higher monthly fee than the industry average and has been in a serious lawsuit in regards to their nonprofit status. Consumers may want to consider choosing a debt consolidation company with lower monthly fees, more transparency and no lawsuits. We recommend checking out other top rated companies.

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