An effective, reputable credit counseling service can help you climb out of debt and achieve your financial goals. All consumer credit counseling services are not created equal, though. The best debt management companies offer the following:
Complimentary information and assistance
A viable credit counseling agency should be clear about its services and ready to provide a free consultation to help you determine if credit counseling is right for you. Credible companies do not charge fees until they've negotiated a debt management program for you. Steer clear if a company asks for money up front.
Wide range of services
A high-quality credit counseling service offers more than a one-size-fits all debt management plan. In addition to a tailored plan to manage your debt, a good company will provide a variety of services, including money management and budgeting advice.
Assistance from licensed and trained professionals
Credible consumer credit counseling companies are licensed to provide credit counseling services in their respective state. All of the counselors will also be certified and well-trained.
Effective consumer credit counseling firms get reviews that display their integrity and effectiveness. One complaint could be considered a fluke; but if you see similar complaints repeated, take a closer look at the company and consider seeking assistance from an alternate business. Consult with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Better Business Bureau regarding a company's performance and reputation.
Financial planning assistance
The best consumer credit counseling companies help you consider the future of your financial situation and how you can improve it. Such credit counseling businesses help you devise a specific plan to pull yourself out of debt and can assist you in steering clear of falling back in debt.
A good credit counseling service can help you deal with a difficult financial situation and achieve your goal of getting out of debt. So while finding the ideal company for you may take some time, taking the next step is well worth the effort.
About the Author:
Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in personal finance and insurance. Since 1983, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Parenting, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times.