In a Nutshell: Credit card debt has grown to an all-time high. In the latest numbers from the New York Federal Reserve, total consumer credit card debt exceeded $1.03 trillion. Century Support Services helps individuals with accumulated debt work toward becoming debt-free. Century’s debt resolution team uses its expertise to develop customized solutions for each client. Century Support Services is committed to providing consumers with financial education tools, a commitment that has earned it our Editor’s Choice™ Award for its standout debt settlement solutions.
People who make poor financial decisions or take unnecessary risks with their money may find themselves in debt. But being in debt isn’t confined to individuals with poor financial judgment. People in a solid financial position can also find themselves in debt after experiencing an unexpected event, including a medical emergency or a natural disaster.
Regardless of the path that leads someone into debt, it can be reassuring to know help exists.
Century Support Solutions (Century) has been in business since 2003. During that time, the company has served more than 250,000 clients and settled more than $1.7 billion in debt. We spoke with Emma Crutchfield, a Marketing Associate with Century, about how the company fulfills its mission of helping clients take control of their debt so they can live their best lives.
Crutchfield said Century is a people-focused organization.
“Century’s core competencies are based around our clients and our employees that support and respect our clients,” Crutchfield said. “As a people-oriented company, we genuinely care for our clients and want to see them succeed financially.”
Crutchfield said many of Century’s clients have been struggling with debt for a long time and are at the point where they need the assistance of a debt resolution company.
“A lot of our clients are just getting by financially,” Crutchfield said. “They’re looking to improve their situation, so they don’t feel like they’re just treading water.”
Many of Century’s clients approach the company while in the midst of a hardship that has taken a financial toll on them. Crutchfield said clients may find themselves in debt through no fault of their own.
“There’s so many uncontrollable factors that can cause people to go into debt,” Crutchfield explained. “And financial education isn’t always available to everyone. In college, I didn’t have the option to take a class about personal finance. I learned how to be best prepared for those uncontrollable financial situations, including medical emergencies and unexpected expenses, either by talking to my parents or through gleaning what I could from social media.”
Crutchfield said Century can help people experiencing financial hardship correct their course and get on the path to financial wellness.
A Three-Step Process For Getting Out of Debt
Century provides its debt settlement services nationwide, operating in every state except Oregon and West Virginia.
Onboarded clients communicate with Century via phone, email, live chat, or through Century’s client portal. Potential clients’ first interaction with Century usually occurs over the phone. As a Marketing Associate, Crutchfield has had the opportunity to listen to calls from customers reaching out to Century for the first time. She said listening to customers describe their circumstances can be an emotional experience.
“It can be really hard to hear some of our customers’ stories, to be honest,” Crutchfield said. “A lot of people who call in have some sad news to share, but our certified debt specialists are so empathetic. They take the time to listen to clients so they can fully understand their situation and how to help them best.”
Century’s certified debt specialists employ a conversational approach when fielding a customer’s initial call. Crutchfield said a conversational, empathetic discussion can help put clients at ease and reassure them that Century has the team and the solutions to help them manage their debt.
“It’s great how our certified debt specialists work with potential clients,” Crutchfield said. “It really is a personal conversation. Debt can be hard to talk about. No one wants to call someone — especially someone they’ve never met before — and talk about how they’re struggling with debt. We’re proud of our clients who take that first step in getting help. It’s not always an easy thing to do.”
Crutchfield said Century aims to remove uncertainty from the debt resolution process and uses a simple three-step program to help clients get out of debt.
The first step entails Century certified debt specialists learning about the client’s unique situation and personalizing a debt relief program that best fits the client’s needs. Once a plan is in place, the second step has Century negotiating with creditors and getting new deals in place their client can afford to pay off to resolve their debt once and for all. The third step is celebrating the success of the first two steps and enjoying a debt-free future.
Crutchfield said Century provides clients with regular updates throughout the debt settlement process, informing them of where negotiations stand and the steps clients can take to achieve their financial goals.
Empowering Clients Through Financial Education
Century is committed to helping people become more educated about their finances. Consumers with a solid understanding of personal finances may be in a better position to manage their debt.
Crutchfield said Century’s commitment to financial education starts with its employees.
“Century’s employee intranet contains several resources and educational tools employees can take advantage of that provide education on personal finance,” Crutchfield said. “We also have a Certified Financial Coach on staff to help our teammates with their personal situations.”
Century’s online resource center provides debt settlement resources and tips on financial wellness topics, including advice for saving on utility bills and traveling on a budget.
Century is partnering with a budgeting app that will provide its clients with numerous features to help them learn how to create, manage, and follow a personal budget.
“The app is intended to be used by clients who have graduated from Century’s debt resolution program,” Crutchfield said. “Clients who regularly use the app can stay on top of their finances and stay free of debt.”
Century partners with various organizations to provide consumers with an education on financial literacy.
Crutchfield said Century partners with Junior Achievement USA to help youth develop the skills necessary for achieving economic success. Century also partners with the Council for Economic Education to promote financial education and wellness.
“Century employees are another resource for our clients,” Crutchfield detailed. “Clients are more than welcome to call us with any questions they have or to seek financial advice. Our certified debt specialists are trained in financial education and wellness, and they’re happy to help.”
Measuring Client Feedback to Track Success
Century works with clients from various backgrounds. Its clients usually have at least $10,000 of debt, though the average customer has closer to $20,000 of debt. Crutchfield said other debt-reducing options exist for individuals with less than $10,000 of debt.
Century’s homepage features an interactive tool prospective customers can use to gauge how much money Century’s debt resolution program can save them. Interested consumers can schedule a free debt evaluation.
Century monitors customer feedback to ensure the services it offers meet customer expectations. Crutchfield said Century’s certified debt specialists who enjoy regular contact with clients, are a great source of information regarding customer satisfaction.
Century uses market research to track customer loyalty and third-party assessment tools to solicit client feedback.
“We take feedback very seriously,” Crutchfield said. “We’re always looking to better ourselves, and we love to hear what our clients have to say about us.”
Crutchfield said it’s rewarding to hear stories from clients who have climbed their way out of what they’d once considered insurmountable debt.
“Finances are everything in today’s world,” Crutchfield said. “Being able to help people get their finances and their lives back on track is incredible. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s why I’m in this industry.”