If you’re like one of the many American households struggling with debt, you might want to consider credit counseling. Credit counseling organizations are typically nonprofit groups that offer counseling with certified counselors who can help you budget your finances better, as well as provide education on managing your finances.
To get a good idea of how a credit counseling organization can help you, here’s a breakdown of services they generally provide:
Budgeting: When you make an appointment with a credit counselor, they’ll usually go over your household expenses (as well as any debt) and spend time helping you create a budget. During this time, they’ll also review your credit report. At the end of your session, your counselor will make recommendations based on your financial situation, like enrolling in a debt management program.
Debt Management Plan (DMP): If you’re struggling to pay back debt on any unsecured loans, like credit cards or personal loans, your credit counselor may recommend enrolling in a debt management plan. This will allow your counselor to work with your lenders/creditors to consolidate your unsecured debt into one affordable monthly payment and will generally reduce your interest rate—all to be paid off in three to five years.
Bankruptcy Counseling: For a small fee, most credit counseling organizations offer bankruptcy counseling if your debt is considered too high or unmanageable. They may recommend speaking with a bankruptcy attorney, as well as offer pre-filing counseling and pre-discharge education, which are both required components of filing for bankruptcy.
Housing Counseling: Whether you’re buying your first home or struggling to make payments on an existing home, housing counselors can help you make a plan, so you’re secure in your investment.
If you’re struggling with debt or need counseling for budgeting or other major financial life decisions, credit counseling organizations can help. Depending on the specific organization, you may be able to meet by phone, video, or in person, giving you options depending on your needs and schedule.
Benefits of Debt Management
One monthly payment | lower interest rates | no more debt collector calls
Make your no-obligation - FREE - counseling appointment now