When debt adds up it helps to make a plan. Paying off your debts can be a blessing in disguise: you can build credit, strengthen your finances, and even reach big financial goals. It all just takes a little planning. That’s where consumer credit counseling comes in. Consumer credit counseling helps you manage your debt repayment plans, build a solid budget, and even get educated on big picture financial moves.
What is consumer credit counseling?Consumer credit counseling services help you manage your budget, manage debt, and get more financially literate. They help you build a plan to get out of debt that works for you and your financial situation. Services like these can offer a big boost (and a hit of hope) when navigating tough financial times. Here are some common credit counseling services:
- Building a personalized plan to money management
- Planning and stick to a budget
- Understanding your credit report and score
- Educating you on financial wellness through workshops or other materials
- Tackling your debt by creating a debt management plan
When should I seek consumer credit counseling services?So, when should you seek consumer credit counseling services? If you’re in need of financial support, actively trying to get out of debt, or planning for a brighter financial future, then it may be time to seek out consumer credit counseling. When debt is starting to overwhelm you, having options can feel like a relief. Credit counselors help you understand your options. Whether through debt consolidation or filing for bankruptcy, they will advise you on which direction makes the most sense for you and your unique financial situation. Here are some signs you’re ready for consumer credit counseling services:
- Money is tight and unpredictable in your household
- You’re pending outside of your means and relying heavily on credit
- You’re making only the minimum payment on your credit cards
- You’re dipping into your savings account or retirement funds to afford day-to-day life
- You’re consistently receiving overdue notifications
How do I find a credit counseling service?Depending on the counseling agency, you can get in-person or virtual services (or both!). Trust is so important when it comes to handling debt. It’s important to choose an agency you like – one that you trust. Here are some things to note and/or ask when searching for the right agency:
- It’s best if they are a nonprofit organization
- Ask if their counselors are certified.
- Ask how long they have been in business.
- Ask what their fees are, if any.