Archive for Consumer Credit Counseling Service

What Exactly is Consumer Credit Counseling?

There are many different meanings for the term consumer credit counseling.

In it’s simplest form, credit counselling is the process where you meet with a credit counselor and they give you advice on managing your money. They will help you deal with credit card debt, and they will explain how to improve your credit score on your credit report.

In addition, if you are planning to file for personal bankruptcy in the United States, they will conduct the mandatory credit counseling before filing bankruptcy, and the post bankruptcy filing credit counseling session. In Canada, the credit counsellor will conduct the credit counselling during the bankruptcy process.

Finally, a credit counselor will actually negotiate with your creditors on your behalf through a Debt Management Program where you make one payment each month to deal with your debts.

For more information, consult a local credit counselor.


What’s the difference between credit counseling and a Debt Management Plan?

Consumer credit counseling refers to advice you get from a credit counselor to help you deal with your debts. Your credit counselor may advise you to get a debt consolidation loan, or they may help you with budgeting to pay off your debts on your own.

If you required more help, they may recommend a Debt Management Program where you make one payment each month to deal with your debts.

In a debt management plan the credit counsellor negotiates the settlement on your behalf, and your debts are repaid over a period of time. In other words, a debt management plan is one of the services provided by a credit counselor on your behalf.


What are the advantages of Non Profit Credit Counseling?

There are two types of credit counseling service: for profit, and not for profit.A for profit service exists to make a profit. This does not mean they are bad, but it does mean that their primary objective is to make a profit.

A non profit credit counseling service, as the name implies, does not exist to make a profit.

They exist to provide a service to you, and to get you back on track financially. In many cases a non-profit credit counseling agency will spend more time with you, and they will emphasize budgeting and personal money management. They will take the time to teach you the skills necessary to help you avoid financial problems in the future, which of course is the reason for going to credit counseling in the first place.

As with all service providers, meet with person who will be working on your case, and decide for yourself if the person you are working with can help you achieve your goals.


How can I choose a Credit Counseling Service?

Once you have made the decision to get consumer credit counseling, you are now left with the task of choosing the right credit counseling service.  Here are some tips for finding the right organization to help you deal with your debts:

First, talk to your friends and family members to see if they have any personal experience with a credit counselor.  Word-of-mouth referrals are the best kind, so if you can find one that your friends were satisfied with, they will probably also do a good job for you and your family.

Second, research your options on the internet, including using our credit counselor locator.

Third, use our web site to understand the process and your options, so that when you do contact a credit counselor, you will know what questions to ask.  Be sure to read our article on What questions should I ask my Credit Counselor?.

With proper research you will find the write credit counselor to help you through the process.


Starting Credit Counseling is a great New Year’s Resolution

If you have too much debt, and you want to start the new year off right, consider consumer credit counseling.
If you spent too much at Christmas, and don’t know where to turn, consider contacting a credit-counselor.htm”>credit counselor to review your debts, and to help you make a plan to get out of debt.
The start of a new year is a great time to start credit counseling.  You have a pile of bills from Christmas, but most people don’t spend a lot of money in January and February, so this is a great time to get started on a Debt Management Program.
Don’t wait.  Do it now while you are thinking about it, so that by the time Christmas rolls around again, your debts will be under control, and you will be able to enjoy the holiday season.


What Questions Should I Ask my Credit Counselor?

Many people are intimidated and embarrassed by the credit counseling process. To get you started, and to make sure you are fully informed, here are some questions to ask your credit counselor

  1. What services do you provide? Some consumer credit counseling services only prepare Debt Management Programs to help you repay your debts. Others are full service, and also offer budgeting advice and credit repair services.
  2. What qualifications do you have? You want to deal with an accredited counseling agency, and preferably with a credit counselor with many years experience.
  3. What do you charge? Are you a non profit credit counseling service?All reputable credit counseling agencies will disclose their fees in full up front; if they don’t, go to another service.
  4. Will my personal information be kept confidential? Most credit counseling services have a confidentiality and security policy, to prevent your personal information from being disclosed inappropriately.

You are the consumer, so be sure you understand the process before you start your credit counseling.