If you are seeking help to eliminate debt and improve your financial situation, you may have considered credit counseling. Credit counseling is a great way to get out of debt and regain control of your finances. But, you may be unsure about whether credit counseling is the right option for you. Here are some benefits of credit counseling that should help you to make an informed decision about handling your debt.
Three Benefits of Credit Counseling
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. A counseling session involves an analysis of a consumer’s financial situation, evaluation of debt reduction strategies for paying off or managing debt, and education about money management. Credit counseling is designed to help consumers who are struggling with debt to better control their financial lives.
Here are 3 benefits of credit counseling:
1. Working with Certified Credit Counselors
One benefit to credit counseling is that you will no longer be alone with your finances. When you seek credit counseling from a non-profit credit counseling agency, you will speak with a certified credit counselor for a full evaluation of your current financial situation. This analysis includes a detailed review of your assets, debts, and expenses. As everyone’s financial situation is unique, your counselor will help you come up with a personalized plan that works for you. Together, you’ll establish a reasonable budget while still being able to pay off your debts at the same time. In most cases, consumers are able to pay off their debts in 5 years or less.
2. You’ll Make A “Get Out of Debt” Plan
A major part of credit counseling is helping consumers come up with an actionable plan to get out of debt. Your counselor will help you look at the pros and cons of different debt relief strategies including credit card forgiveness, debt management, and more. Keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” debt solution. These discussions will help your counselor to create a comprehensive picture of your situation, from which your counselor will make a recommendation.
For example, if you pursue credit counseling with an agency like American Consumer Credit Counseling, your counselor will evaluate whether you qualify for a debt management program, or DMP. A DMP is just one approach to debt relief that helps clients ultimately get out of debt faster. If you qualify for the program, advisors will work with creditors for possible reductions in finance charges, late or over-limit charges, monthly payments, and overall debt payoff time.
3. Gaining Financial Education
In addition to creating a plan, credit counseling sessions are also designed to educate consumers. Even if you decide not to pursue a course towards debt relief, one of the benefits of credit counseling is having access to a number of financial resources. Credit counseling sessions themselves are designed to help consumers see how they’re doing financially and how they can improve. For example, you and your counselor will discuss topics like budgeting, cash flow, income, and more. Plus, ACCC provides newsletters, articles, and a website full of tools as additional resources. If there’s ever a time to gain clarification on any questions you may have, take advantage during a session. In a larger sense, financial education can help you better manage money and stay out of debt in the future.
There are many benefits of credit counseling. Whether you’re seeking help to create a budget, or if you want to eliminate debt, credit counseling may be the best next step. By simply researching your options, it’s a good sign that you are already on the right path.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.