Assistance outlining a household budget through a credit counseling agency has helped numerous homeowners erase various types of debts which may have been problematic and leading to financial trouble, that ultimately can result in delinquency and further problems within one’s personal financial life. Consumers who are suffering from various types of debt often neglect to seek out credit counseling assistance as they may be unsure of what types of assistance a counseling program may offer and how various debts can be repaid by simply speaking with a reputable credit counseling agency.
Yet, consumers who may be suffering from financial distress related to their mortgage payments, medical bills, or even excessive credit card debt may all find aid through a credit counseling agency, but there are some steps that need to be taken by a consumer before selecting a counselor or agency. While there are various resources and federal credit counseling foundations that will offer advice on selecting a credit counseling agency, provide lists of agencies that are nationally accredited, and consumers can also simply run a Google search to find reputable agencies in their area, looking at the types of services offered will be necessary.
Some credit counseling organizations may be accredited, have certified counselors, and generally may have positive reviews but there are some institutions that will use general credit counseling assistance rather than focusing more so on a specific individual’s budgetary and financial needs. Looking for a counseling agency that will personally review a consumer’s budget, offer specific and personalized spending recommendations, and also help meet further financial goals are just a few of the services that a consumer must look for when seeking out a credible and helpful counseling agency.
It’s understandable that many consumers, like those who faced unemployment or setbacks in their financial life, may be in a position where their expenses have simply run away with them, which is one of the main reasons that consumers will consult these credit counseling agencies. However, specific forms of debt may need to be addressed as well, as again, medical expenses, for example, may be the only drain in the life of a consumer and if they are unable to address these issues directly with a creditor, a credit counselor may be able to offer either assistance so that these payments can be more easily met or, in certain conditions, they can act as an intermediary.
However, consumers who speak with a credit counseling agency will typically want to avoid a debt management or debt settlement plan, unless they are absolutely necessary. Debt management plans can be less problematic in terms of a consumer’s credit score, but a debt settlement plan will usually decrease a consumer’s credit score as they will be paying less than the original amount owed on various debt obligations.
Yet, what advisers often suggest to consumers who may have various types of debt and are looking for some form of outside help to address their financial concerns, is to take a proactive stance against credit or debt difficulties, as waiting for a creditor to make the first contact to see if the consumer needs help is unlikely to happen. While, again, credit counseling agencies should address issues in a very personalized way and offer transparency in not only their process and fee structures, they should have good reports from past customers and offer some proof of accreditation.
It must be remembered though, these counseling agencies are no guarantee to solve a consumer’s debt difficulties, but when bills related to credit cards, medical expenses, or even mortgage payments have become an issue, various counselors have been accessed by consumers over the past months as a way to avoid falling further down the spiral of financial difficulty, and in some cases, these counseling agencies have been able to intervene in such a way that allows consumers to get back on their feet and find debt relief.