Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Mid-Ohio Valley marking 50 years

PARKERSBURG — Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Mid-Ohio Valley is celebrating its golden anniversary.

Consumer Credit Counseling has responded to challenges over the past 50 years helping the community achieve financial independence and most notably by adapting to meet needs posed by COVID-19.

“Our agency’s financial mission has not changed in the last 50 years,” Shelene Shrewsbury, executive director, said. “What we have done is find more ways to provide financial guidance to people from all walks of life. This may take the form of credit report counseling provided to those looking to borrow money for a home or car to save them the most money. It may be through our debt management program where we guide individuals through a plan to pay off overwhelming debt.”

Help may be through the Payee Representative Programs where those with limited resources manage their incomes and ensure needs are met, she said.

“Through it all, we want to educate our clients to make the most of their income and control of their money- not allowing their money to control them,” Shrewsbury said.

The nonprofit Consumer Credit Counseling helps individuals and families become financially stable through goal setting, learning how to spend and save and using appropriate financial resources to make sound financial decisions. Assistance and education is provided to help with credit card debt, budgeting, Housing and Urban Development counseling, or financial planning.

“The CCCS team holds multiple certifications and has worked with thousands of clients who are friends, neighbors, and local community members,” Board President Tom Frawley said. “CCCS income guidelines make services affordable for everyone, regardless of income or family size.”

Consumer Credit Counseling at every board meeting recounts an example of how people were impacted through its Mission in Motion. A recent Mission in Motion came from a client testimonial whose spoke of nearly giving up before finding Consumer Credit Counseling.

They were delinquent with multiple bills, overwhelmed with debt and facing eviction from their home, but are now debt free, current with all obligations and have hope in being able to manage their financial affairs through the support, tools, and resources provided by Consumer Credit Counseling.

Services include:

* Bankruptcy Counseling and Education be completed before and after filing for bankruptcy to ensure all financial options are considered and rehabilitation is achieved. Upon completion, participants receive a certificate.

* Debt Management helps participants manage monthly bills by setting up a specially tailored program to meet one’s individual needs. Affordable payment terms are negotiated by Consumer Credit Counseling to help a consumer better manage their debt.

* Home Buyer Counseling and Education equips clients through the homebuying readiness process. Topics include how to create a budget, understanding your credit report, reviewing closing documents, and tips for protecting your home as an investment.

* Consumer Credit Counseling can obtain a credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus as well as provide a credit report counseling session to ensure every consumer understands their personal credit findings and their credit score. This report does not affect a credit score negatively.

* Student loan counseling to help student loan borrowers understand their loans, payment plan and forgiveness options.

* Representative Payee Program oversees the payment of rent and utilities while allotting weekly living expenses to the Social Security and/or Veterans benefit recipient. The Consumer Credit Counseling team advocates with landlords, social security, and other social service agencies to ensure every client is aware of and receives all resources available to them.

Shrewsbury has overseen the implementation of programs in her time at Consumer Credit Counseling including assistance and education for small business owners and providing financial counseling and education to those in active substance use recovery.

“Shelene has been employed by CCCS for nearly two decades,” Frawley said. “Her knowledge, dedication, and training are exceptional.”

Private financial support for Consumer Credit Counseling allows the continuation of valuable programs and services which keep our community healthier. Consumer Credit Counseling will participate in Give Local MOV on May 4.

Give Local MOV is the Mid-Ohio Valley’s annual 24-hour online-giving campaign to raise money and awareness for local nonprofit community. Consumer Credit Counseling will be sharing links and information about the event.

Consumer Credit Counseling also will hold a fundraising dinner with a step back in time to the 1920s to celebrate its Golden Anniversary and the life of “Vito ‘The Gut’ Marzetti at a fundraising dinner. Attendees can pay respects and honor the legacy of this gangster who believed in the work of Consumer Credit Counseling and the financial expertise they have been providing the Mid-Ohio Valley for 50 years.

Learn more about Consumer Credit Counseling at www.wvcccs.org or call 304 485-3141.


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