How to Select the Right Credit Counseling Service

Written by admin on December 7th, 2010

If your financial situation is in bad shape, you might want to consider the services of a credit counselor.  If the bill collectors are calling and the payments and interest rates are stacking up, a credit counseling service can probably help.

The right counseling service can help you to deal with the debt collectors and show you how to consolidate your debt to a manageable level.

·Before deciding on a suitable credit counseling service, ask for references.  A credible company will put you in touch with previous customers who have had good results in debt consolidation from this company.  This is your financial future; don’t rely on just some ad or direct mail piece to point you toward the credit counseling service you should use.

·Make sure your counseling service is accredited.  There are practices and standards maintained by the American Association of Debt Management Organizations.  Credit counseling services with their accreditation will be following required practices and abiding by ethical standards.

·Check with the Better Business Bureau.  If your credit counseling service is a member in good standing of the Better Business Bureau, it shows that they have had few complaints and are willing to engage in resolution of any problems.  Call your local BBB and ask for information on whatever counseling service you may be considering.

·Avoid for profit counseling services.  Seek out non-profit counseling services, as there is a good chance that their advice will be independent of any outside influences.

·Do not sign up with any counseling service that asks for upfront fees.  There are plenty of non-profit credit counseling services that will waive upfront fees.  You’re in enough financial trouble already without incurring additional fees.

·Ask if they will provide educational services.  No doubt part of your problem was that you did not fully understand the financial complexities that got you into this mess.  Good credit counseling services offer trainings, videos, and audios on subjects like managing your income and credit card responsibility.  Education is an important part of the process so you can avoid this ever happening to you again.

·Ask if they will help you develop a detailed plan for becoming debt free.  A good counseling service will have such a plan as one of their main objectives in helping you.

Do your due diligence and consider in detail what a credit counselor can offer you.  At this point, such an option may be the only one you have left.  Your choice is very important.

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