Managing debt from several creditors can easily become overwhelming and exhausting. That’s where you might need some professional help. And a credit counseling agency might be just the thing. So what are credit counseling agencies? How can they help? Learn more about these agencies and the services they offer to get your finances back on track.
What Are Credit Counseling Agencies?
What are credit counseling agencies? While the name implies credit, the services a credit counseling agency provides extend beyond the term. Credit counseling is a financial service designed to educate consumers. A credit counseling agency, like ACCC, can offer a person a variety of financial services. These services ultimately benefit your credit, hence “credit counseling.” You can receive a financial analysis, help to create a realistic budget, and recommendations for your financial next steps to name a few.
During a credit counseling session, they organize and calculate, each expense, interest rate, and other costs. You will learn how much you earn and spend in a month. Plus, you find out how much you spend in a specific budget category and if you are within recommended guidelines. For instance, you may spend 50% of your budget on housing-related costs rather than the recommended financial community guideline of 30%. Similarly, you may learn how much debt you are truly carrying.
Post a credit counseling session it is likely they recommend a debt management plan, bankruptcy or a revised budget to deal with your debt. Additionally, credit counseling agencies often offer free financial workshops in the community. Oftentimes, you can call and complete your counseling over the phone. Agencies are typically licensed across many states. However, make sure that your state is included in their licenses.
Selection Criteria for Credit Counseling Agencies
Before making any calls, you should investigate or even interview the organization you are thinking of working with to help deal with your debts. Here are a few standards you should see in reputable credit counseling agencies:
- Non-profit organization
- Have been in business for at least seven years
- Licensed in your state
- Charge no minimum fees and are prepared to waive your fees if you simply cannot afford to pay them
- All the counselors should be certified
- Member of one of these organizations: the NFCC or AICCCA
Credit counseling agencies help consumers who are struggling with debt to better control their financial lives and rebuild credit. Getting financial help is a great first step when managing your debt.
To learn more about budgeting and managing your finances, call ACCC today at 800-769-3571 and speak with a certified credit counselor.