What is Credit Counseling?
For consumers having trouble paying their debts or simply making ends meet, a credit counseling service can provide information, guidance, and solutions. Credit counseling is often equated with debt consolidation, though they are not necessarily the same thing. There are hundreds of organizations that provide credit counseling. Most of them are reputable services committed to helping consumers resolve their money troubles. However, some charge excessive fees, give questionable advice, and fail to perform the services they promise.
How it is done?
There are basically three ways that the credit counseling term is used. First, it can be the same thing as debt consolidation. Many companies use “credit counseling” as a nicer way to refer to debt. A second way that credit counseling can be a “good” term is to actually mean counseling. Many credit reduction companies and private financial institutions offer credit counseling as a type of financial planning. Counseling can help figure out how much debt is owed and how to control debt in the future. In this sense, credit counseling should be apart of every debt reduction strategy. Finally, credit counseling can be a negative thing. The credit counseling industry is so profitable that dozens of new companies spring up each month. Many of them are operated by hucksters out to make a buck at your expense. Newsweek recently ran a story about the numerous complaints the FTC has received from consumers taken for a ride by credit counseling services.
How to Choose a Credit Counseling Agency?To make sure you get quality services from a credit counseling agency, choose wisely. Start by getting referrals from friends and family. Also, check the listings at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA). From www.tips.net you can get some good information on the credit counseling agencies. Check this out:
Credit counseling agency services include:
- money management education
- budget counseling
- debt counseling
- housing counseling (HUD-certified agencies), and