I signed up with a Credit Counseling agency a little over a year ago because I had two credit cards at or around 23%. With the agency I choose, the rates were dropped to 9.9%. This really helped however, as indicated, the accounts were closed and my credit report reflects "managed by a credit counseling agency". I didn't think much about this until I decided to look for a new mortgage for a new house. One mortgage company increased my proposed rate drastically due to "two trade lines being managed by a credit agency."
The fact I signed up for this to better manage my debt was no argument or defense. They also said they want to see me out of this program by at least two years, so dropping the agency would add no value. I killed the house deal and decided to continue to pay off the debt. We'll see about the two years.