Reducing debt through credit card counseling
Credit card counseling can be a lifeline for anyone who finds themselves too deeply in debt. The average American household today carries $8000 in credit card balances. For many people, it can be hard to chip away at that much debt. Unexpected expenses like medical emergencies or a vehicle that needs repair just make matters worse.
Credit card counseling services can help by offering strategies, resources, and support. At American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC), we offer free counseling services and low-cost debt management programs that can help you pay off your debt while learning how to avoid debt in the future.
What to expect from credit card counseling
How does credit card counseling work? When you work with a non-profit credit card counseling service, you can meet with a certified credit counselor about your financial situation. During this first free session, the counselor will help you evaluate your situation and identify the decisions or behaviors that helped to create your debt. You’ll also review your income, expenses, and assets in detail as you make a budget that lets you make payments on your debt each month.
Credit counselors are experts at handling all kinds of financial difficulties and can talk you through all the options for dealing with your debt. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of debt management vs. debt consolidation, and about the advantages and disadvantages of debt settlement and bankruptcy. Ultimately, during your credit card counseling session, your counselor will help you decide on a strategy that makes the most sense for your financial situation and goals.
ACCC: free credit counseling, low-cost services
ACCC is a non-profit consumer credit counseling agency dedicated to helping consumers just like you find their way out of debt. Our free credit card counseling services and low-cost debt management plans have helped thousands of individuals to pay off their credit cards and learn to live debt-free. Our certified counselors are professionally trained to offer expert strategies for every financial situation. They can also connect you with educational materials and financial tools to better understand personal finance and develop healthy financial habits.
In addition to credit card counseling, we provide:
- Free credit counseling on a wide range of financial issues, with a focus on finding the best way to deal with your financial situation
- Low-cost debt management plans that simplify your finances, consolidate your payments, and help you pay down your debt – usually within 60 months
- Housing counseling, including foreclosure counseling, reverse mortgage counseling, and homebuyer education and certification
- Student loan counseling to explore all the options for handling student debt regardless of how much you owe
- Bankruptcy counseling, including the pre-filing bankruptcy counseling session mandated by the courts
The benefits of a debt management plan
During your credit card debt counseling session, your counselor may recommend a debt management plan as a way of managing your debt. If you decide this is the best option for you, here’s what you can expect.
- You’ll work with your counselor to create a realistic budget that lets you put money toward debt reduction each month.
- Rather than paying a small amount to each of your creditors, you’ll make just one payment every month to ACCC, and we’ll disperse funds to your creditors on your behalf.
- At the same time, we’ll approach your creditors to ask for reductions in finance charges, interest rates, and fees. We may also try to re-age your accounts, giving you more time to pay off your debt and lowering your monthly payment.
With a debt management plan, you’ll feel less stress about your financial situation. You’ll have just one payment to make each month, so it will be easier to make that payment on time. And by reducing things like interest rates and finance charges, you’ll reduce the total amount of money you, helping you to pay your debt off faster.
Why choose credit card counseling with ACCC?
When you come to ACCC for credit card counseling, you’ll benefit from:
- Expert credit counselors. Our counselors are highly trained and certified by an independent organization.
- A reputable company. ACCC has 30 years of experience in the credit counseling industry. We are a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). And we are accredited with the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.
- Convenient services. The credit counseling service at ACCC is offered six days a week in person and over the phone. Services are available in English and Spanish.
- Free counseling. Your first credit card counseling session with ACCC is free of charge.
- Low-cost debt management plans. Our debt management programs have the lowest effective fee structure in the industry.
- Assistance regardless of your ability to pay. If you’re unable to afford the fees for debt management, you may qualify for waived or reduced fees.
- Superior customer service. Our team provides ongoing support and counseling as long as you need it.
- Free educational materials. We offer access to a wealth of educational tools and materials that can help you learn more about avoiding debt and managing money.
FAQs: What is credit card counseling?
What is credit card counseling?
Credit card counseling is a service provided by certified financial professionals that helps consumers make a plan to pay off their credit card debt and learn to avoid debt in the future.
What are the benefits of non-profit credit card counseling?
Non-profit credit counseling agencies are mission-driven organizations dedicated to offering free and low-cost services to consumers. In contrast, for-profit debt relief firms are focused on making money and may not have a consumer’s best interests in mind. Non-profit agencies recommend sound financial strategies that won’t ruin a consumer’s credit rating, while for-profit agencies often recommend risky strategies that can trash credit ratings, increase debt, and expose a consumer to legal jeopardy.