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When To Use Credit Counseling

when to use credit counselingHow are your finances? Have you been struggling or curious about getting some professional financial advice? You may be a candidate for credit counseling. This service is more than just talking about credit or debt. Find out when to use credit counseling for your personal finances.

When Should I Use Credit Counseling?

First, let’s dig into what credit counseling actually is.

A credit counseling service is designed to help you identify and adopt strategies to reach your financial goals. The biggest of these goals is usually paying off credit card debt. Credit counselors assess your current financial situation. Next, they create a plan that works for you. Beyond just a plan, you will gain financial literacy skills so you will be better equipped to manage your finances in the future. Finally, they can help you with budgeting and savings goals.

As your financial knowledge and habits improve, so will your credit! Remember that changing behaviors is key to successfully improving your finances and reaching your goals.

Think through the following questions:

  • Do you want to start budgeting but don’t know where to start?
  • Do you have more debt than you can manage?
  • Is your credit score continually dropping?
  • Do you have any savings in the bank?
  • Are your student loans dominating your finances?
  • Have you thought about bankruptcy?
  • Have you checked your credit report recently?

A person can use credit counseling whether they are in debt or not. A non-profit agency, like ACCC, can help anyone create a budget and evaluate their finances. Additionally, if you are near bankruptcy, ACCC can help you either avoid it through a Debt Management Program (DMP), or enroll in bankruptcy counseling and walk you through every step.

How to Choose A Credit Counseling Agency

When choosing a credit counseling service, it’s important to look for an agency that is a non-profit and has been in business for at least seven years. Here are some other criteria that your debt relief agency should have:

  • Licensed in your state
  • Charge no minimum fees and are prepared to waive your fees if you simply cannot afford to pay them
  • All the counselors should be certified
  • Member of one of these organizations: the NFCC or AICCCA

If you are unsure if you need to use credit counseling, just go for it! At the least you make a phone call and see that your finances are on track. On the other hand, you could get a world of help to get rid of debt and more.

To speak with a certified credit counselor about managing your finances, call ACCC today at 800-769-3571. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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