In May was reported that consumers may not be accessing counseling assistance as frequently as could be necessary for some individuals who may be struggling with credit card debt or other forms of personal obligations in their financial life, as information on debt relief assistance from nonprofit credit counseling agencies is now more available thanks to provisions from the CARD Act. Consumers do still struggle with credit card debt, and other obligations, for a variety of reasons, but when it comes to living within one’s means, formulating a household budget, and generally avoiding high amounts of personal debt, nonprofit credit counseling assistance have been beneficial when consumers simply take advantage of these resources before their financial obligations overwhelm them.
Reports have also stated that, while millions of statements carry information about debt counseling assistance, only a small percentage of consumers have used this available help. It goes without saying though, not all consumers may be in a position where credit counseling assistance is necessary, but rather, there are men and women who have simply budgeted in such a way that has allowed any problems related to their income or financial obligations to be offset by these responsible practices that, once again, have come about through household budgets, cutbacks in needless spending, and saving for difficulties which may arise down the road. Yet, there are also some worries that consumers may be avoiding credit counseling simply because they feel that organizations, by and large, could be scams or they don’t fully understand the process of credit counseling for debt relief assistance.
Credit counselors want consumers to find debt relief, so a consumer who turns to one of these organizations will typically meet with a representative who will review their finances, make suggestions about alterations that should be made in the personal lives of these consumers, and if further assistance is needed due to a consumer being in a position where they cannot pay off what they currently owe due to their current financial state, these counseling agencies can help in these areas as well. Yet, credit counseling by itself does not cause damage to a consumer’s credit score, can be affordable or even free in some cases, and could be the preventative measure that allows consumers to avoid further financial problems, if factors like job loss or excessive debt are in play.
It is true that there have been some counseling agencies that have arisen over the past years, particularly when consumers started losing their jobs, maxing out their credit to stay afloat, and facing other hardships related to unemployment, but there are national accrediting bodies that will point consumers to a reputable credit counseling organization in their area and, furthermore, simple research on the Internet can usually yield results that will offer reviews of a particular credit counselor or agency that can be used in the selection of one of these assistance plans. Consumers must also be sure that their credit counseling agency will not push debt management or debt settlement plans initially, as these could be more costly or cause damage to a consumer’s credit score, but when it comes to avoiding defaulting on debt obligations like credit cards or personal loans, simple credit counseling can be the first step which may offer solutions that most individuals will need in order to avoid further problems.