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Better Debt Management with the Help of Credit Counseling

If you can't manage the debt you have then consider consulting with an expert about taking control of your finances. Debt management services and specialists focus on just that, managing and hopefully eliminating debt. These debt professionals will examine your unique financial situation and offer methods of managing, realigning and ultimately paying off your debt. They may suggest a variety of options including refinancing your home loan, taking out a low interest home equity line, applying for a debt consolidation loan or reinvesting funds that you have in certain assets into others. There are debt management services available locally and online that can help you conquer the debt with simple advice. Use the resources available to you and take control of your financial future.

Professional Credit Counseling – Worth the Time

Credit is as simple or as complicated as you make it. You can rule your own credit or you can easily get into a position where it rules you. Good credit can make homeownership possible while bad credit can not only keep you in the renting zone but can even compromise your ability to buy a car or get approved for a cell phone.

If your credit is suffering and fixing it is a mystery then you need professional credit counseling as soon as possible. The industry has been built by the needs of everyday consumers just like you. Professional credit counselors know what to recommend for credit repair and they know what kinds of habits and patterns to look for.

You may think that if you have to pay for credit counseling, it won't be worth it. Money is probably tight already, but like eating healthy, sometimes regaining your financial health is going to cost a little more money in the short term for the long term results you want.

Benefits of Consumer Credit Counseling

If you are a good consumer, you may also be a great debtor. College students and young people out of college fall prey to the consumer drives of America and spend their credit on designer labels, cars they can't afford and a lifestyle that is hard to maintain. As a result of this, they get into debt before they see it coming.

If you feel like you are careening down this path, or one like it, you should consider seeking consumer credit counseling. They can help you change your spending habits and come up with smart, long term goals for repairing your credit and managing your debt. As will all things like this, it is better to start early, so don't wait until you are in trouble to call a consumer credit counseling agency.

Some consumer credit counseling is fee based, but that is usually based on some improvement in your situation. If they don't get you the promised results, they get no fee. If they do succeed, the fee is small enough that it will be worth it. Your improving credit score will save you far more.

Finding a Consumer Credit Counseling Service

Are you ready to seek consumer counseling or advice now that you didn't get that low rate on your home mortgage? How do you find the right consumer credit service for you?

First, if you know someone who has had financial problems or has struggled with money, they may have spoken with a consumer credit agency they can recommend. Referrals are a great way to start a trusting relationship with a consumer credit agency or service.

You can search on the web for a consumer credit counseling service that may meet your needs. Verify that they have no negative reviews from websites like BBB Online (Better Business Bureau Online). By checking out your consumer credit agency, you'll be able to trust them more and know you are getting good advice.

Talk to a consumer credit counseling service if you think your credit can be improved.

How to Know if You Need Credit and Debt Counseling

You may not think you need credit counseling, but perhaps you do. Here are some tips on figuring out if you need some assistance from debt management professionals:

  1. Do you have several debts from various creditors? You could use some advice on consolidating debt and spending habits. Don't be afraid to ask for help and find some solutions, you'll simplify your life and your finances.
  2. Have you been turned down for a car loan, mortgage loan or even a cell phone? If you can't get a loan or you can't get the best rate on a loan, you need to find out why. You should be looking at your credit report, looking at your FICA score and seeking the help of a consumer credit agency. Next time, you'll get the loan you want at the rate you deserve.
  3. Are you having trouble paying your monthly bills on time and in full? You may not be earning enough, you may lack self discipline or organization, or you may have too many bills. No matter your situation, you could use some consumer counseling to improve your situation.

Worried About Identity Theft? Speak To a Credit Counseling Specialist

If you are concerned that you've been a victim of identity theft, consider seeking help from a consumer credit agency that will be able to identify the problem and suggest solutions. Identity theft can cost you thousands of dollars if your credit score is damaged. It is fairly simple to diagnose identity theft after it happens, and this is where a consumer credit company can help you. These professional credit counselors have the information, contacts and processes to combat identity theft and they can eliminate any potential blemishes or long lasting effects on your credit. If your credit has been damaged through no fault of your own, a consumer credit counselor may be just the person you've been looking for.

Consumer Credit Counseling for Senior Citizens

Senior citizens have unique financial management challenges. They may be planning for retirement or managing a fixed income. Consumer credit counseling specifically for senior citizens is available. A few trusted sources:

  • When it comes to senior consumer credit counseling, AARP has incredible resources. You can see what the AARP can offer by going to their website here
  • If you don't want to go with AARP, look on Google, Yahoo or MSN for senior consumer credit counseling. If you aren't comfortable choosing a company from a random web search, check for referrals and references online.
  • Ask your accountant or financial advisor for referrals, or seek referrals from friends and family.

Make sure you select a reputable company that you can trust.

Concerns about Debt Management Credit Counseling

Consumer Affairs is a great resource for advice on selecting agencies for consumer credit counseling. They offer some facts and resources that can help you choose the right credit counseling agency. It's important to ensure that you trust the agency you select and that you eliminate any concerns you may have.

For instance, there are 17 states in the US that mandate guidelines for credit counseling companies and debt management services? That leaves 33 states that have no mandated guidelines and this opens millions of people open to scams.

  • Don't choose a credit counseling agency that advertises on television, uses telemarketing or sends out spam emails.
  • If the agency says they are non-profit, this really means nothing, so don't think a "non-profit" is a better option.
  • Be wary of giving any personal or financial information over the phone.
  • Reputable debt consolidation companies don't charge high fees or keep your first month of payment.
  • No one can remove or get rid of your debt. If an agency promises this, they are lying.

Tips from the BBB on How to Choose a Consumer Credit Counseling Service

How do you choose a reputable credit counseling service? Use consumer representatives like The Better Business Bureau (BBB) to help you find the right credit counseling service. Some tips from the BBB can help you choose the right company:

  • All fees and services should be disclosed immediately. Compare costs from like service providers to ensure that the costs are reasonable.
  • Ask: Are there services beyond a debt management planning and debt consolidation loans?
  • Ask: Can you get a free counseling or budgeting session? Are there other free educational resources?
  • What's the fee structure for any additional services?
  • Is the consumer credit counseling service independently accredited through a third party association? Are the credit counselors taking calls certified? If they are not certified, what kind of credit counseling training have they undergone?
  • Remember that you can call a creditor and negotiate lower payments or alternative schedules before you contact a consumer credit agency.

Credit and Debt Counseling for the Average Joe or Jane

If you're an average American, chances are you have decent credit, you can get car loans or mortgages but you probably have had or currently have some issues managing your debt. Although you may think it isn't worth it to call a consumer credit counselor, the chances are they will be able to teach you how to manage your money more effectively and improve your credit score.

Finding debt and credit counseling is easy today because of the Internet. You can get a free assessment of your current credit situation and you'll likely be able to get some great advice about what to improve. The worst thing that can happen is improved financial independence. Not so bad!

Use the resources available to you and improve your financial situation. Even if you are doing ok, you might be able to do better.