Ask the Experts: Can I Add Credit Card Accounts to an Existing Debt Management Program?

You can add them, but there should be a good reason why they weren’t included initially.

Hello,

I’m already enrolled in a program but I wanted to know if I can add more credit cards to my existing Consolidated Credit account. Is it possible to add cards after I’ve already enrolled and started making payments?

Mirna
Bridgeport, CT

An expert answer from Gary Herman


You can add cards to the program after you’re already on it. You just need to be careful about why that card wasn’t put on the program when you first started.

Be aware if you want to leave a card off the program – for whatever reason – it’s extremely important that you talk to your counselor in advance about why you’re leaving that card off the program.

If something unfortunate happens after the fact, you can add it to the program.


Requesting to add credit cards to an existing debt management program is easy. Simply call your credit counselor and give them the account information for the card you wish to add. Keep in mind that as with any account included in the program, the credit issuer must approve of the new account being added into your existing program. Once the counseling team has the go-ahead from the creditor, the account gets put into the program officially and you’re all set.

As Gary mentions in the video, the really key point is why the account was left off your program in the first place. You are not legally required to include every credit card account you have open in the program when you enroll, but it’s definitely in your best interest to do so.

When you clear up all of your unsecured debt once you finish the program you’re in great financial shape and won’t have  more debt hanging over your head. Additionally, it’s critical to note that if you keep charging on cards that you keep out of the program and take on too much new debt while you’re enrolled, your creditors are within their right to reject your continued enrollment in the program.

In other words, they can decide you’re really not invested in eliminating your debt and ask to have their accounts removed. Any payments already made to that creditor on the program would still be applied to reducing the original balance you owed, but the account’s high interest and penalties can be reapplied. You’ll be back to making payments directly to the creditor and facing a minimum payment that can be problematic for paying off that account.

So with all of that in mind, you really should aim to include all of your credit cards in the program unless you have a specific reason for not including one. In that case, just make sure to discuss it with your credit counselor while you’re going through the enrollment process so the counselor can help you avoid any potential issues that could arise.

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