Trying to pay down an overwhelming amount of debt on your own can be stressful. High interest rates, late fees, and juggling other bills and financial commitments can be discouraging for people trying to become debt free. It may feel like the payments just never end. However, you don’t have to go it alone! There are plenty of resources for those looking for help with credit card debt.
How do you know if you need help?
First things first, how do you know if you need help with your credit card debt? Can you only afford to pay the minimum on your credit cards? Are you missing payments? Are most or all of your cards maxed out? Do you have more credit cards than you can manage to keep track of? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may want to start looking for help.
It can be embarrassing to admit that you have financial issues, but ignoring the problem is even worse. Unfortunately, credit card bills don’t just disappear if you avoid paying them. Instead, they pile up and the interest starts to accumulate, which creates a bigger problem. Plus, missing payments on your credit cards can seriously hurt your credit score. This makes it more difficult for you to apply for new credit when you need it or even apply for a new apartment if you’re moving.
So, how do you find out who can help you dig yourself out of debt?
Who offers help with credit card debt?
There are many different companies that claim to help with credit card debt. It is important to thoroughly vet any company before you commit to a plan with them, because not all of them are reputable. These companies may call themselves by different names. These names include debt settlement company, debt relief agency, credit repair agency, debt consolidation company, or credit counseling agency. All of these organizations offer to help with debt in some capacity. This is why it is important to read the fine print before agreeing to any form of debt relief with them.
The basic traits that you should be looking for in a company that is helping you pay off your debt include:
- Nonprofit status
- Be in business for several years
- Have a state license
- Charge no minimum fees
- Be a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
Additionally, the best thing to do is use common sense. If a company is offering something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It’s a good idea to check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau and also look at reviews on Facebook or Google to see what other people are saying.
Chances are, your best option for reliable help with credit card debt would be a nonprofit credit counseling agency.
How can ACCC help with credit card debt?
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling agency with nearly 30 years of experience in helping people get back on their feet financially. ACCC is licensed in all 50 states and has helped clients from Maine to Hawaii! Additionally, ACCC has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Those who struggle to pay off debt and are unsure of what their next steps are can call our certified credit counselors free of charge. Credit counselors listen to the situation and will assess income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. From there, they are able to present the client with the best options moving forward. These options may include enrolling in a debt management program, referrals to legal assistance, or bankruptcy.
ACCC’s Debt Management Program
ACCC’s debt management program is ideal for clients who are seeking help with credit card debt. In 2018, the average client seeking ACCC’s services had nearly $20,000 in unsecured credit card debt. It typically takes clients around five years to pay off their debt in the debt management program.
Here’s how our debt management plan can help you pay off your debt. First, you’ll work with our highly trained credit counselors to evaluate your financial picture and make a budget that you can live with while you pay down your debt.
Next, we’ll change the way you pay your bills. Instead of making monthly payments to multiple creditors, you’ll make one easy payment to us and we’ll pay your creditors on your behalf.
This is important for two reasons:
- It simplifies management of your finances, helping to reduce your stress and making it easier to stay current with payments.
- It also puts us in direct contact with your creditors, allowing us to seek reductions in interest rates, finance charges, late fees, and over-limit fees. In this way, a debt management plan can actually reduce the amount of money you owe and shorten the time it will take to pay it off.
We also provide free educational resources to help you become more financially literate. By the time you’ve paid off your debt through the debt management program, you’ll understand financial concepts like rebuilding credit, dealing with a secured vs unsecured loan, and much more.
What are you waiting for? Don’t put off those credit card bills any longer. Take control of your financial life and start paying off debt today! Don’t forget, ACCC is always happy to lend a hand.
If you struggle to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Call 800-769-3571 today to speak to one of our certified credit counselors!