More Questions about CCC vs. settling yourself

Ok guys to sum up what you said is that 1) I can try and work out something with the credit card myself instead of going through Consumer Credit Counseling. Is this by asking them for a lower interest rate? Is there any benefit of doing this myself vs. going through CCC other than the fee (which they said they would waive – i’ll make sure of this). CCC said that would waive all interest. Do you really think i could get CitiBank to do this myself? (also i’m not behind on my payments)

2)I’m worried about how this will affect my credit. One of you mentioned that it’s going to affect my credit whether i go through Consumer Credit Counselors or call Citibank myself? Is this true? Am i understanding this correctly?

I also have another credit card with a smaller balance. Did you guys keep one cc for emergencies? I know there’s always a risk of charging it up but i may need it.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much.