Credit card debt counseling can be of help and can rescue you if you are knee deep in debt and having trouble paying your bills. The credit counseling can help you create a workable budget and a repayment plan with your creditors. The new plan may also offer reduced payments, fees and interest rates to the lenders.
Debt counseling organizations will have expert counselors who have expertise in consumer credit, debt management and budgeting. They will discuss with you your entire financial situation to find out an appropriate solution to your problems. Counselors offer services through their local offices, the Internet and on phone.
There are hundreds of credit counseling agencies active across the United States. Many credit unions, housing authorities, universities, military bases and the US Co-operative Extension Service branches also offer free credit card debt counseling services.
But be aware that, just because a credit card debt counseling agency says it is non-profit, there is no guarantee that its counseling services are free and legitimate. Some debt counseling agencies charge high fees, which may be hidden, or ask customers to make voluntary contributions that can be an extra burden for you.
Finding out a legitimate credit card debt counseling organization, however, is not that difficult. You have to work a bit on the Internet. Search for “credit card debt counseling” on the search engines and you will come across a host of agencies which offer reliable debt counseling programs. You will also find debt relief networks that qualify the counseling organizations. Through these networks, you can ensure that the debt counseling agency you are choosing is legitimate.
However, before you select a credit card debt counseling organization, you should keep in mind the following points:
1. Profile and services: Check the profile of the debt counseling agencies and know about the services they provide. They may claim to have some lucrative offers. Some of them, for example, claim to relieve 100 per cent of your credit card debt, which is neither feasible nor practical. So do not get carried away by such offers and assurances.
2. Background check is important: Try to know about the credit card debt counseling agency’s background and record of their business. Dig out if there are any disputes or lawsuits against them from any of their clients or creditors. You can find about them via search engines and on other databases on the Internet.
3. Check testimonials: If you get customer’s testimonials, they are the best to start with. You will know about the trade practices of the debt counseling agency, whether it is in the interest of consumers or not. You can know how the credit card debt counseling agency has handled cases and customers are satisfied with them or not.
4. Terms and conditions: Before signing with debt counseling firm for a debt relief program, go through the term and conditions of the deal. If you find any doubts and jargons, do not hesitate to get them clarified. Contact the agency and ask in detail until you are satisfied with their answers.
5. Counseling fee: Check the fees for the credit card debt counseling agency. If you are sure that the agency can help manage the debt, bargain with them to reduce fees. A genuine firm would provide you debt management guidance and counseling and not force you to join it at any cost.
6. Go through a reference: Ask your friends, neighbors and colleagues to know about top/effective debt counseling companies. Ask them about their credit settlement agencies, if they have any. If they are satisfied with them, you can contact one of the organizations. As you will be going through a reference, the company may charge a lower fee for you.
However, before doing all these works to select a credit card debt counseling organization you must analyze your problems and what your objectives are. See your personal record and the reasons of the current woes. If you track out your mistakes behind all these troubles, try not to tread on them again.