Tom Smart, Deseret News
Sunday Monday cover on credit and the economy-- Using credit cards in West Jordan, Utah, May. 14, 2008. Photo by Tom Smart

Getting out of debt can sometimes require a debt-management plan. These plans are agreements between a debtor, a credit-counseling firm and creditors. The borrower makes payments to the counseling firm, which distributes the money to creditors.

But do these plans hurt credit scores?

They don’t, according to

FICO scores are determined by data listed on a consumer credit report. They are not affected by third-party assistance at all.

The breakdown of the FICO credit score consists of a number of factors. Payment history makes up 35 percent of the score, amounts owed is 30 percent and length of credit history is 15.

Other factors include any application for new credit, which makes up 10 percent, and the types of credit used, which is also 10 percent.

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