The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) aims to educate American consumers on managing their credit and finances.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with debt, enlisting the services of credit counseling could help simplify your repayment process and make it easier to pay off your debt.
What Does Consumer Credit Counseling Entail?
Credit counseling is a service offered to consumers to help them pay-off and stay out of overburdening debt to avoid bankruptcy. Credit counseling offers guidance on:
- Money management,
- Debt management, and
Credit counseling services can also negotiate with creditors on your behalf to try to have credit card and loan interest rates reduced. They could also request creditors to waive any late fees associated with your debt.
Credit counselors must be certified and trained in consumer credit, money management, debt management and budgeting. Counselors will analyze and discuss your financial situation with you to develop the best plan to repay your debts.
Why Would Consumers Need Credit Counseling?
Consumers will generally enlist the services of credit counselors to:
- Pay off their debt faster,
- Consolidate their debt into a single monthly payment,
- Eliminate or recover late fees,
- Negotiate lower interest rates, and
- Improve their money habits.
Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate existing debt and develop a strategy to secure a better financial future.
How To Choose A Credit Counselor?
The credit counseling agencies approved to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling are listed by the US Trustee program. People are required to undergo credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy in terms of law.
It is important to establish the experience and knowledge box of a potential credit counselor. Ask the following questions before appointing a credit counseling service:
- What services do you offer?
- How does your organization offer credit counseling?
- How frequent will we meet one another when resolving my debt?
- Are there any free resources your organization offers?
- What are the fees for your service?
- How do you charge for these services?
- What if I am unable to afford your services?
- Will your services be contractually binding?
- What certification and qualifications do you have to offer these services?
Credit counseling can help you manage your finances before they become overbearing, but it is a prerequisite by law if you are faced with potential bankruptcy. Credit counseling services aim to ensure consumers are able to pay off their debts and work towards a better financial future.