Confused about what credit counseling is? Not sure how it can help you? You are not the only one. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recently took a poll of US consumers and it turns out that many people have misperceptions about credit counseling. This can prevent people from seeking and getting the proper help.
The NFCC survey revealed the following examples of some of the confusion associated with credit counseling:
• Respondents did not know which agency to turn to for assistance.
° Consumers should definitely be smart and do their homework when choosing a credit counseling agency. You should look for an agency that is not for profit, is associated with a membership organization such as the NFCC, and always check their status with the Better Business Bureau and the State Attorney General’s office.
•Many people thought that credit counseling was expensive.
° Counseling through a non-profit NFCC member agency is either free or low cost.
• Some people believe that credit counseling would hurt their credit score.
° Typically credit counseling agencies don’t report to credit bureaus. Actually, with a Debt Management Plan, most scores improve as you begin making consistent payments.
• Some thought that debt settlement or bankruptcy were better options.
° Debt settlement and bankruptcy are serious financial decisions. They have negative consequences for your credit report and could also have tax implications. While these options may be right for some, they should only be considered after all other options have been reviewed.
CCCS of Rochester understands the confusion related to credit counseling and choosing someone to help with finances. People are bombarded with so many options every day. For-profit companies advertise on radio and TV and claim to be able to help or try to steer you away from credit counseling. One such commercial will tell you that credit counseling agencies work FOR the credit card companies. This is untrue in the case of CCCS of Rochester. We operate independently and are not owned or affiliated with any bank or credit card company. CCCS of Rochester is a non-profit agency. We have been helping people since 1970 and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. CCCS of Rochester does work closely with banks and credit card companies, though, in order to get concessions for you such as lower interest rates and waived fees. Our true client is YOU!
Schedule an appointment today to have one of our advisors take a look at your income and expenses. The initial credit counseling appointment is always free! If you choose to join a Debt Management Plan there is a low monthly fee of $35. CCCS of Rochester can typically save you more than that amount through budgeting and concessions from your creditors. If you are struggling with your debt, do yourself a favor and at least check us out. Appointments can be done in person or over the phone so you never even have to leave your home if you prefer. You have nothing to lose!