How to get help with debt from a credit counseling service
When you feel like you’re drowning in debt, a credit counseling service can be a lifeline. More than 9 in 10 Americans carry some kind of debt. But as debt continues to rise, it gets harder and harder to make a dent in it. Sometimes it can feel like all the money you’re paying toward your debt each month is simply covering the finance charges or interest and not actually reducing the principal amount you owe.
A credit counseling service can help. By offering free and low-cost access to consumer credit counselors and debt management programs, credit counseling services help consumers get the knowledge, tools and resources they need to make a plan to live without debt.
You’ll find highly effective credit counseling services at American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC). We’re a non-profit agency that is helping individuals and families nationwide to regain control of their finances and plan for a debt-free future.
What to expect from a credit counseling service
A non-profit credit counseling service is all about education. When you meet with a credit counselor, you’ll learn about all the options available to you for managing your debt and the pros and cons of each approach. Many consumer credit counseling companies offer free educational materials and financial tools that can help you manage money more easily and pick up strong financial habits to avoid debt in the future.
Most nonprofit agencies will provide a free credit and debt counseling session where you can get credit counsel with no strings attached. Nonprofit firms aren’t interested in selling you on the benefits of one particular plan – they just want to help you find the approach that works best for you. Nonprofit credit counselors know the world of credit and debt inside out, and they can walk you through all the available resources as you determine your own best path out of debt.
Typically, when you first visit a nonprofit credit counseling service, the credit counselor will help you get a clear picture of your situation, documenting your income, expenses, assets, and debts. They may help you create a reasonable budget that sets aside a certain amount of money each month for paying down your debt. And they’ll suggest a variety of options for getting out of debt based on your financial goals.
ACCC: a leading credit counseling service
Since 1991, ACCC has been educating consumers on financial management and helping them take control of their finances. As a nonprofit organization, we offer a variety of services to assist consumers in all aspects of their financial lives and to help them achieve their financial goals.
Our certified credit counselors are trained and independently certified through a third-party organization. They have worked with individuals and families at every level of financial stress and have deep knowledge about all the strategies for dealing with debt.
In addition to explaining the pros and cons of bankruptcy, debt settlement, and debt consolidation, your ACCC credit counselor may discuss a debt management plan with you. This is a strategy that has been effective for many ACCC customers. Under a debt management plan, you’ll consolidate all your monthly payments for unsecured debt and make a single payment to ACCC. Our team will disperse those funds to your creditors, making sure everyone is paid regularly and on time. We’ll also seek potential reductions in finance charges, interest rates, and fees to reduce the amount you owe. And we may seek to re-age your accounts to give you longer to pay them off. Under a debt management program, you’ll simplify your finances, reduce financial stress, and finally have a plan for getting out of debt – usually in less than 60 months.
Why a non-profit credit counseling service makes sense
When choosing a credit counseling service, it’s wise to look for a nonprofit debt counseling agency rather than a for-profit company. Nonprofit credit counseling services are mission-driven organizations dedicated to helping consumers get out of debt. For-profit agencies, on the other hand, exist primarily to make a profit and may not have the consumer’s best interests in mind. While non-profit agencies offer free or low-cost services, for-profit companies charge steep or exorbitant fees for their services. Non-profit companies advocate practices and programs that allow consumers to pay off their debts over time, while for-profit companies tend to advocate strategies that carry more risk for the consumer. In fact, when the tactics of a for-profit company are unsuccessful, consumers may find themselves more deeply in debt and facing legal trouble. Finally, a nonprofit credit counseling service will offer free educational services that can help consumers better understand how to manage money more effectively and to live life free of debt.
Why choose credit counseling from ACCC?
When you take advantage of credit and debt management counseling services from ACCC, you’ll be working with a company that has a 30-year track record of success in the credit counseling industry. You’ll get expert advice from trained and trusted counselors, and you’ll pay nothing for your initial counseling session. If you enroll in a debt management program, you’ll find our program fees to be among the lowest in the nation, and we offer help regardless of your ability to pay.
One of the benefits of working with ACCC is the access you’ll have to a wealth of educational materials and financial tools. With information on everything from budgeting and college planning to saving for retirement and managing tax debt, you’ll have the knowledge you need to manage your money more effectively.
At ACCC, we strive to provide superior customer service and support throughout your journey out of debt. Our services are conveniently provided over the phone and in person, and we offer an online chat feature that lets you get answers to your questions quickly and confidentially. Bilingual services are available for Spanish speakers.
ACCC is accredited through the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, and we are a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).
FAQs: What is a credit counseling service?
What is a credit counseling service?
A credit counseling service provides guidance to consumers about managing credit and about the best way to get out of debt. Credit counseling services can help individuals to understand their financial situation, what they can do to improve it and how they can avoid getting into debt again in the future.
How do I choose a credit counseling service?
While there are many credit counseling services available to consumers, not all are reputable companies who have the consumer’s best interest in mind. When choosing a credit counseling service, look for a non-profit organization that has been in business at least 7 to 10 years. The service you choose should offer free or low-cost credit counseling and debt management services, and they should be willing to waive their fees for financial hardship. Reputable credit counseling services should also have a strong rating with the Better Business Bureau and be a member of a national association in the credit service industry.