How To Choose The Right Credit Counseling Agency

Consumers facing mounting bills with ever increasing debt can find help by getting professional help from the right credit counseling agency. Although consumers needed no help amassing debt, turning to a professional counseling agency may be the first prudent financial action taken toward debt relief. It is a big step taken but following a few guidelines will help choose the right credit counseling agency that will get you out of debt.

1. Comparison Shop

There are plenty of debt consolidation and credit counseling scams created to part you from your money. Some, although they do conduct a valuable service, also profit handsomely at your expense. However, many non-profit organizations offer credit counseling services and consumer education designed to teach you long-term solutions to your present financial woes.

2. Check Accreditation

Professional credit counselors will be certified from one of many recognized associations created to authenticate professional credentials. Examine an agency’s accreditation especially if they are a commercial business charging service fees.

3. Check Local History

A great place to find out about a local credit counseling service is the Better Business Bureau. Here you receive , at least, any complaint history about the counseling service you are investigating.

4. Find the Fees

Make sure you discover all the associated fees you will be asked to pay when receiving credit counseling services. Fees should be disclosed and be reasonable based upon your income and ability to pay. Hiring a credit counseling service should never increase your indebtedness. Also, many states will set the maximum fees a credit counseling service can charge, so beware and check service quotes against information that is available about the local norm.

5. Know Expectations

Make sure your service contract specifically spells out what you will receive in the way of credit counseling. Also, keep in mind a few aspects that will point toward success such as if a discussion ensued to discover a solution or did the counselor simply sell you on their own pre-determined plan? Do the credit counseling services include education help toward learning about devising realistic spending plans and budgeting?

6. What Education Is Available

Professional credit counseling services always provide ongoing services designed to educate consumers about financial management. Learn about opportunities to gain individual consultation or attend agency sponsored money management workshops.

Non-profit agencies usually are great resources for education opportunities that help consumers understand how to read a credit report and gain valuable information to make informed financial decisions.

7. Debt Management

If your credit counseling service includes a debt management plan, make sure it lasts no longer than five years. Also make sure the agency provides detailed monthly statements for you to follow your debt reduction progress.

8. Money Transfer

Check to see if your debt management agency holds your monthly payment for a brief period before paying creditors. There is no reason to do this other than an attempt at earning interest. Ask if immediate electronic transfer is available to pay creditors.

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