Connie J. Schlosberg
Are you currently struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt? If you think you have already exhausted all of your options and still have not found a solution, you might want to speak to a credit counselor.
What is credit counseling?
Credit counseling agencies are non-profit agencies that offer free budgeting assistance and financial education. In some cases, credit counselors can also help negotiate with creditors to achieve reduced interest rates.
What services can you expect from a credit counselor?
Many people burdened with credit card debt, medical bills or student loans turn to credit counseling to help them find the best solution to help manage their finances.
Credit counselors off the following services:
- Financial education
- General budgeting
- Student loan counseling
- Home ownership counseling
- Debt management plan (DMP)
- Bankruptcy information
What should you do before seeking help?
Examine your financial status
Gather all your bills, verify your credit report, and make an honest assessment of earnings and expenses before heading to a credit counseling office.
Do your research
Understand that as nonprofits, credit counseling services are available at a minimal cost. However, you should still take the time to search for qualified and reputable credit counseling services.
Commit to a plan
You need to be patient and bear in mind that debt problems cannot be resolved overnight. Talking to a credit counselor will not magically eliminate your debt. You must stick to a budget, make efforts to cut down your expenses, and find ways to boost your income so you can pay off your debt faster.
Tips in Choosing for a Credit Counseling Agency
Here are some great tips on choosing the right credit counseling agency for you:
- Identify your financial struggles and the areas where you need help with. This will serve as your basis for finding the right credit counselors that offer the expertise you need to solve your problem
- Ensure that the credit counseling agency you are seeking help from is certified and accredited
- Verify the legitimacy of the agency you’re working with through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling®, or check out the Better Business Bureau®
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask the agency about their services and what fees are involved
Credit counseling agencies are only there to guide you and help you assess your financial situation. They can help you develop a budget plan and find the best approach to manage your debts more efficiently. Through their guidance, you can work on finding the right solution to solve your financial dilemma.
Should you decide to seek help from a credit counseling organization, it’s important to know that their goals are aligned with yours and that you understand the terms and conditions involved. Also, remember that there are scams out there, so do your best to stay away from these types of agencies to avoid making your situation worse.