Consumer Credit Counseling

Consumer credit counseling for those needing it. If you want to get out of debt and rebuild your credit, get some consumer credit counseling for free.

Consumer Credit Counseling

When it comes to consumer credit counseling, there are tons of services out there. But you want to go with a name you trust. Browse our Web site and see just what kind of consumer credit counseling services we have for you. Whatever debt counseling or consumer credit counseling service you choose, stick to it. It will all pay off in the end.

Consumer Credit Counseling Q&A:

Here's a little Q&A for those needing consumer credit counseling help.

Where do I find credit consumer credit counseling service? I'm ready to reduce my debt, but I only hear of one or two from the TV/radio. Is there an avenue for credit counseling in the Yellow Pages, online? What do I look under ... the obvious? Thanks for your insight and help!

--Susan--

I can tell that you are a perceptive person because your question is right on target. Typically if you are looking for a great product you will find it widely advertised in the marketplace. In what Sherlock Holmes might call "The Strange Case of the Quiet Counselor," the opposite is true. The best consumer credit counseling agencies are all about helping people. To do the best job they can, they keep prices for their services as low as possible, and if you can't afford that, they'll help you for free. As a result, they generally have lean advertising budgets. Agencies with large advertising budgets either have to charge more or deliver less. Usually it is the latter, sometimes it's both.

This is not to say that if you see an ad you should run away. Agencies have to get the word out somehow or you wouldn't know they were there. It's a question of degree. You can indeed find credit counselors in both the Yellow Pages, or business directory, of your telephone book and online under "debt counseling" or "credit counseling." Once there, you'll find many agencies, certainly more than the one or two you've heard on TV and radio. Your next step will be choosing the agency that is right for you.

Finding a reputable credit counselor will involve some research on your part after you have located a few via the Yellow Pages or the Internet. Some things to look for are:

  • Accreditation. This is your chance to shortcut the search process. Look for accreditation by the Council On Accreditation, or COA. They are the largest accreditor of nonprofits in the United States, and they conduct in-depth audits of consumer credit counseling agencies and other entities.
  • Services offered. Look for an agency that will give you a budget or a spending plan, with a written action plan. You may think a debt management plan is right for you, but without the two plans in place first, you'll never know for sure.
  • Fees. Get these in writing, upfront and know what is included. They should be affordable or free. This is one of the few industries where the less you pay, often, the more you get. Not to get in trouble with my ecclesiastical friends, but a church that charges a hefty admission fee at the door or for its services might have its priorities mixed up. Same applies here.
  • Length of counseling time. To find the right solution for your situation, your counselor needs to spend at least 45 to 60 minutes with you to understand what you need.
  • BBB Rating. Your Better Business Bureau can provide you with the agency's rating, you're looking for "satisfactory," and alert you to any complaints filed and whether they have been resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Don't just look for a BBB seal on the Web site or Yellow Pages ad. Call the bureau and ask. They're not supposed to make recommendations, but often you can get valuable insights from them.
  • Ask a friend, relative or co-worker. You are not the first one to look for good advice, and you sure won't be the last. Chances are, someone you know has been through this already. The largest single referral source for good counseling agencies are past clients. You don't have to go into gory detail, just ask: if they were looking for some budgeting advice whom would they recommend.
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