What Is The Potential Of Credit Help Agencies?

If you're buried in debt and are having problems making your monthly credit card payments or other types of unsecured loan payments, credit help agencies may be able to provide a means of getting control of your finances. While many types of credit counseling or credit help agencies have received bad press over the last few years, there are still many nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to helping consumers get out of debt.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or the NFCC, is an organization with 115 member agencies in nearly 1000 offices nationwide; furthermore, the NFCC through its member credit help agencies councils nearly 2,000,000 Americans every year. Furthermore, credit help agencies offer several types of services to consumers in debt.

For example, these agencies provide consumers with sound financial advice and explain different options available for paying down debt and better managing credit. Also, these services allow people to enroll in debt repayment plans that allow them to finally find a way out of the endless cycle of late payment charges and high interest rates. These types of services can be invaluable for people that have experienced financial problems for any number of reasons, such as: job loss, death, illness or divorce.

Furthermore, credit counseling offered by credit help agencies is now a required step for most bankruptcy filings. Bankruptcy law now requires that dead debtors undergo counseling to better understand the ramifications of bankruptcy and the effects to their personal credit, credit standing and their ability to use credit following the bankruptcy.

Choosing a Credit Help Agency

Choosing a good credit counselor counseling program or credit help agency is sometimes difficult. After all, when you're looking for a credit help agency, it's not something you typically tell a lot of people about. Therefore, you usually have to search on your own. Also, there are a few things that you should keep in mind that will help make finding a good credit help agency a little easier.

First, always look for a nonprofit firm. You're already in debt, and want to save as much money as possible. Nonprofit agencies receive most of their funding from the creditors themselves, not you. Also, make sure to check the enrollment and monthly fees. The association of

Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (IACCC) states that most member agencies charge only a nominal fee to enroll and if the is usually capped at $75 with a monthly fee limit of only $50. If the credit help agency attempts to charge more, choose another and report the agency at the IACCC website.

Second, always make sure that you know up front what type of services the credit help agency will provide to you. For example, you should know if you'll be receiving counseling, a debt repayment plan and budget advice included with your fees, or if each type of service requires an additional fee. Obviously, the more services that are included in your basic fee the better; however, make sure that you check with the agency first.

Other Considerations

Credit help agencies offer invaluable services that can help you get out of debt. Good credit help agencies can help you negotiate lower payments and interest rates with your creditors, and will allow you to make a single payment that will be distributed amongst all your creditors. By negotiating lower payments and interest rates for you, credit help agencies can help you see the light at the end of the title -- by eventually helping you get out of debt. However, always use only nonprofit credit help agencies that are affiliated with the in NFCC and the IACCC; furthermore, always be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau about the agency - before signing on with a credit counseling service or credit help agency.

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