What is Credit Counseling?
A credit counseling service can be a viable option to lift yourself out from underneath your debt. Credit counseling agencies are non-profit agencies that offer free budgeting assistance, financial education, and provide sound advice for those struggling financially with the main goal of eliminating debt.
In some cases, credit counseling can help in negotiating with creditors to achieve reduced interest rates and provides helpful referrals to assist the borrowers in accelerating the payoff of their debt.
What Services Can I Expect from Credit Counseling Agencies?
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.
The following are the top services that one can expect from a credit counseling agency:
- Simple and General Budgeting
- Financial Education
- Counseling for Student Loans
- Bankruptcy Counseling
- Debt Management Plan
- Home Ownership Counseling
Things to Keep in Mind When Seeking Help from Credit Counseling
Before getting help from a credit counselor, here are a few things to consider.
You should have an honest examination of your financial status.
Make sure you’ve gathered all your bills, verified your credit report and made an honest assessment of earnings and expenses before heading to a credit counseling office.
You should do your homework.
Be sure to take time to search for qualified and reputable credit counseling services. You should also know that credit counseling services are available at a minimal cost.
You should do your part.
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 the budget plan you have agreed upon, make efforts to cut down your expenses, and find ways to boost your income so you can pay off your debt faster.
Is Credit Counseling Right for Me?
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.
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.
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 explore other avenues. One of these avenues is a consumer credit counseling agency.