Experts estimate more than 3 million Americans contact credit counselors each year seeking assistance in managing their debt.
In turn, most are denied access to credit while in a counseling program. Now, the company helping consumers achieve financial fitness gives them access to the power of plastic with The Freedom Point's Real Money Prepaid Visa card.
"Consumers living with debt face many challenges such as not having a credit card or bank account," said Mike Croxson, president, The Freedom Point. "The Real Money Prepaid Visa provides the convenience of both, without the dangers of overspending, late fees or overdraft fees. Our customers can only spend as much money as they've put on the card."
Besides being accepted wherever a Visa brand is displayed, the card offers other services attractive to consumers dealing with debt.
A Unique Three-Account System
The three-account system features a spending account, a program account and a rainy day account:
- The spending account is the main account where all of the money put on the card or spent off the card occurs.
- The program account is designed for consumers participating in a financial fitness plan with The Freedom Point and is used to pay certain bills automatically.
- The rainy day account is an account where consumers can put money away for emergencies, the holidays, to pay quarterly bills or even for a vacation. This is a unique aspect of the card because many people struggling with debt are refused for typical bank savings accounts. Participants can move money from account to account online using Real Money's secure system.
Participants receive messages regarding any activity on their accounts and their daily balance via text messaging on wireless phones, email or the Real Money secure message center online.
Customers will be able to track their spending habits with their Real Money card. Purchases made with the card are automatically organized into budget categories such as housing transportation, food, insurance, healthcare, entertainment, charity and dependent care. This information provides a context for regular consumer coaching with The Freedom Point Fitness Coaches as well as enabling customers to proactively plan a monthly budget based on their spending habits.
Various "Add-Cash" Options
Designed to be as easy as possible, consumers can add cash to their accounts through a variety of ways including direct deposit, electronic transfers, money orders or at nearly 50,000 retail locations.
Ability to Pay Bills
The Real Money Prepaid Visa offers participants a full bill payment feature. Customers can send electronic payments to more than 2,500 billers for free. Bills are paid instantly - saving consumers on checks, envelopes and stamps.
"We developed The Real Money Prepaid Visa after listening to our clients and understanding their needs," Croxson said. "We want people to know there are options out there to help them live financially fit lives and we have the tools to help them achieve that."