Thanks to the downturn in the economy, many people have been struggling to pay off debt. As a result, more people have turned to alternative consumer credit data
and other forms of financing because of lower credit scores. However, while many have struggled, there are resources available to them - yet many have failed to take advantage. One resource that consumers have not taken advantage of is a toll-free number from member agencies of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, which said that it had received only 150,000 calls last year. This despite advertising the number on more 500 million statements given out to customers. "I don't want to imply that we've got a magic wand," said Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the NFCC, based in Washington, D.C. "But even if we can't resolve the problem, we can provide a written action plan or suggest where they can go for the right help." Other institutions have also been trying to increase the amount of credit counseling available. Bank of America recently provided $5,000 in funding to support the United Way of the Plains' credit counseling services.