Brandi W.'s review of Alma Financial Assistance Corp

Alma Financial Assistance Corp

Customer Reviews & Ratings
Complaint Posted 3/8/2010
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Review 3/8/2010
I would recommend being very careful when signing up with Alma Financial Assistance Corp. It is a financial assistance company. I signed up because the company was recommended, but the person that recommended the company was behind on all her payments and the program did not affect her credit. When I signed up, my credit was fine, I was up to date on my payments but was not able to pay more than the monthly minimums and did not have any savings.

The company assigns a monthly payment that you make directly to them, they then distribute the payments among your creditors, in accordance with the payment arrangements they agreed upon. The problem is, they tell you not to make any payments until they have reached an arrangement, and the contract specifically says you are responsible for the payments until they begin making payments for you. I asked the person in charge of my account what would happen to late payments on my account and she said that they would be eliminated when I started making my payments. I asked her if my credit would be affected due to these late payments, she said that some creditors make a note stating that you are using a financial assistant, but that would not affect my credit score. Now I have two late payment notes on my credit report, my credit score was lowered by more than 100 points because the creditors close your credit line, making your credit line maxed out. In addition, the company is making payments that are lower than the minimum payment agreement, as far as the statements go. When I read the contract I understood that the first payment was for enrolment, but since contracts are sometimes difficult to understand I asked if when I made the first payment on my account if this payment was to be used on my accounts or if it was an enrolment payment for the program, she informed me that $49.00 where for my monthly fee (as stated in the contract for the remaining payments) and the rest was for my creditors payments. After two weeks I called the company and asked why they hadn't made any payments. They told me that the first payment was for enrolment, so they could start making arrangements with my creditors, and that from the second payment on they would use the money for my creditors.

I understand that you have to read contracts carefully, and in each of these three statements I had my doubts, but I asked a direct question and received a direct answer. Each time they told me what I needed to hear in order to feel confident enough to sign up. And to my surprise, each time it was the other way around.

If I quit the program the interest rates are increased to the amounts they were before, the late payment fees are reinstated, and I loose the first payment completely, so I am going to stay in the program but, if your credit is not yet affected by late payments I would definitely have to recommend reaching arrangements directly with your creditors before joining this program. If you are already behind on your payments and one more month will not affect you, than the program would probably work for you.

Hopefully I will be able to write a review again when I have made more payments (I'm on my third payment now) and be a little more optimistic, but I am definitively disappointed with the initial experience.
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Hours   Phone   (866) 385-2562 Address   URB Sagrado Corazon, 359 Calle San Claudio, Ste. 322
San Juan, PR 00926-4258
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