What Is Credit Counseling Exactly?
Feeling confused about how to get your credit in order? Is your debt making you feel out of control? You may need to seek credit counseling to help you get your affairs in order. You don’t need to be ashamed as a lot of people need help when faced with large amounts of debt. You can get your credit under control if you work with a good credit counseling agency or attorney. Most credit counseling agencies offer services like homeownership counseling, financial advice, student loan counseling, and more. However, there are a number of things you need to understand before you go for credit counseling. In this article, we will explain credit counseling in detail and what you should look out for.
Explaining credit counseling
Credit counseling is a resource that some financial organizations, private companies, industry experts, and more provide to improve an individual’s financial situation. If you feel you need extra help managing your debt, and organizing your finances, going to a credit counselor might be the best option for you. When you go to a credit counseling agency, they can offer tools and resources intended to improve your financial situation.
Credit counseling services
Credit counseling agencies generally offer five major services highlighted below:
- Broad budgeting
Your first counseling session is often free, and it will involve taking an overview of your entire financial situation. This includes your income, expenses, debt, financial goals, and others — this session usually takes 20 minutes to one hour. During this session, you’ll receive feedback on how to improve your finances. At the end of the session, you and the counselor will decide whether you need extra counseling.
- Debt management
A counselor creates a debt management plan to help you create a system to erase your debt. This plan will combine all your debts as well as their interest rates.
- Bankruptcy counseling
There are often two bankruptcy counseling sessions – one before you file for bankruptcy and one after your debts have been discharged. These sessions are available to help you make the best financial decisions.
- Housing counseling
There are different counseling choices available to help you understand the cost of owning a house. The sessions are available to enable you to make the right decisions before, during, and after homeownership.
- Student loan counseling
Here, student loan repayment options are deliberated, and the counselor can help manage communication with the loan issuers.
What to look for in a credit counselor
There are a number of factors to consider when looking for a credit counseling agency, and they include:
- Accreditation and certification of the agency;
- Accessibility of the services; and
- Prices of the services offered.
Getting the best out of credit counseling
It is advisable to work ahead of time before your credit counseling session – gather all your financial information like your income, debts, assets, expenses, and others. Being proactive ensures that your counselor will be able to get a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation and start helping right away.
Credit counseling is a good resource that just about everyone could benefit from. You do not have to be in dire need before seeking this help. Having credit counseling is a good way to ensure that you make good credit decisions.
If you are in a bad financial situation and you do not know the way out, you need help. The pro bono attorneys at The Debt Relief and Education Foundation have the knowledge and experience you need to get back on track. Contact The Debt Relief and Education Foundation today for a free consultation.