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Christian Credit Counselors Give Bad Advice To Sinners, Jews

Credit Counseling?, some rights reserved, http://flickr.com/photos/baratunde/2907284715/Belmont, GA – Faithful Financial, a non-profit Christian Credit Counseling Service, came under fire (and brimstone?) this week for allegedly giving poor financial advice to people whose lifestyles they disapprove of.

Protesters camping out in the field across from the Faithful Financial offices are a mixture of Jews and wayward Christians who have lost their faith. They were initially attracted to the Christian counselors because of the company’s promise to fix their money problems by teaching them saving tricks and consolidating their debts into one monthly payment that would be given a lower interest rate by most banks. What they weren’t expecting was a wealth of bad advice that brought their shaky financial foundations to the brink of disaster.

“To their credit, they’re the only debt counselors in town who aren’t shameless cons preying on people who make bad financial decisions,” says Moise Steinberg, one of the protest organizers who saw his debt increase three-fold under Faithful Financial’s direction. “It really is a non-profit and they help a whole lot of people without using hidden fees and non-terminable contracts. The problem is that they’re also xenophobic nut-jobs intent on screwing over anyone who doesn’t belong to their church or conform to their ideals.”

Paula Wytowski says that she went to Faithful Financial in a desperate state. “I was up to my nose in credit card debt and I wanted them to get me a lower interest rate. I knew exactly what I wanted. But while I was there, the ‘experts’ convinced me that the best way to get out of it was actually to transfer my balance to a new card with a lower interest rate and then just keep doing that forever. Well, I couldn’t do that forever because eventually I was rejected with such bad credit and now I have ten times the debt I had before. And all this because I don’t bake cookies for old ladies on the weekend, or sit around talking about the Bible like it was the latest OprahBook Club pick.”

Robert Fineglad, a local artist whose work depicting his pre-marital sexual exploits as well as his prodigious drug use, is definitely disapproved of by the Christian community and has a similar story: “I needed some help sorting through my student loans, so my Christian friends recommended Faithful Financial. Either my friends are actually evil or brainwashed or something or those counselors just have some kind of black magic deception powers because they somehow convinced me that the best idea would be to stay in school forever because, according to them, you don’t have to pay student loans ever as long as you’re in school.”

“This turned out to not be the case,” Fineglad added, then broke down into tears.

Faithful Financial denies any wrongdoing in these and other contested cases. They say that they were providing a free service that clients were not forced to follow and if there was ever any doubt about their judgment, it did not have have to be followed.

Martin Hopper, a new adviser with the group, took a defensive stand when accused of biased treatment: “In all my two weeks with this company,” Hopper said, “I have never seen an example of the kind of bias we’re accused of having. I can assure you that we’re not trying to punish non-believers. Maybe we’re just not very good at what we do. Has anyone thought of that? Has anyone looked at our Christian clients? We’re not helping them very much either, but no one ever talks about that.”

Despite Mr. Hopper’s arguments, there is some evidence that Faithful Financial has undermined certain undesirable clients. One example is the case of Charles Bakowski who went to the company for advice and help in getting a small business loan for his S&M supply shop and dominatrix school Lucifer’s Dark Eternal Hole, to be set up in a basement available for rent. Instead of helping him, Mr. Bakowski claims that Faithful Financial actually warned all area banks against giving him a loan, effectively blacklisting him.

Under pressure from the protesters, the county will launch an investigation this month probing whether or not the Christian debt counselors have indeed been undermining the financial stability of non-Christians.

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