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What is credit counseling?

If you've been looking for ways of eliminating or reducing credit card debt and other unsecured debt, you may have heard about credit counseling. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about what credit counseling is and what it can do for you.

What is credit counseling?

Credit counseling is a financial service designed to educate consumers about how to pay off their debts and how to avoid debt in the future. Credit counseling may involve analysis of a consumer's financial situation, evaluation of debt reduction strategies for paying off or managing debt, and education about money management.

Who is credit counseling intended to help?

Credit counseling is intended for anyone trying to pay off debt, repair their credit rating, or learn how to manage their finances more effectively. People of all ages and all income levels can benefit from credit counseling.

What is credit counseling's role in debt negotiation?

Credit counseling is different than debt settlement or debt negotiation services. Credit counseling is more about education and helping consumers find the best path out of debt. Debt settlement and debt negotiation are typically offered by for-profit companies, and sometimes can leave the consumer deeper in debt or with a damaged credit rating.

What is credit counseling's cost?

The cost of credit counseling depends on the type of credit counseling agency and the services it offers. Nonprofit credit counseling firms will tend to cost less than for-profit agencies, and some may even offer free credit counseling services.

What can credit counseling do about helping me pay down credit cards?

If you have a lot of unsecured credit card debt, credit counseling can help you make a plan to pay it off over time. Your credit counseling agency will likely review all of your options for dealing with credit card debt, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and help you create a budget for yourself that will allow you to pay down your debt each month.

What is a good approach to choosing a credit counseling firm?

When choosing a credit counseling agency, it's best to look for a non-profit firm, as their priority will be helping you get out of debt rather than making money off of services they provide to you. You'll also want a credit counseling agency that has been in business for at least seven years, and one that is accredited with one of the major credit counseling associations.

What is American Consumer Credit Counseling?

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit debt relief center that serves thousands of individuals and families nationwide. Founded in 1991, we are dedicated to helping consumers pay off their debt and learn how to avoid debt in the future. We offer free credit counseling services, and our fees for debt management services are among the lowest in the credit counseling industry.

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit organization providing free credit counseling, low-cost debt management services and homebuyer education to first time house buyers as well as those re-entering the housing market. Available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices, ACCC's online home buyer course provides help for first time buyers and the certification required to close on certain loans. ACCC's online home buyers course provides everything buyers need to know about purchasing a home – from working with realtors to preparing for closing. In addition to a first home buyers course, ACCC also offers counseling for consumers considering reverse mortgage solutions, with information about qualifying for a reverse mortgage and answers to questions like "How do reverse mortgages work?"

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