Does it seem that your paycheck is not stretching as far as it used to? Are there bills piling up on your table or counter? Are collectors starting to call or visit your house? If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t worry you are not alone. We are going through some very tough times in the economy these days and more and more people are finding that they are struggling financially.
Getting out of debt is a lot harder than getting into debt-just ask any one of the millions of people who used the services of a non-profit credit counseling agency in the past year alone. That’s right-over eight million people in the US signed up with one of these agencies because they were drowning in debt and didn’t know what to do to help themselves. So, if you are facing this problem, you certainly are not alone. Considering the way the economic situation is leaning now, you will have plenty of company should you decide you need the help of an agency.
So what exactly is a non-profit credit counseling agency going to do to resolve your debt problems? First of all, when you meet with an agency they will usually go over the statistics of your case free of charge (although some may charge you a small fee). During this consultation the credit counselor will ask you questions about your situation so that they can get a better grasp of what you will need from them. This initial meeting is important as it allows the counselor to gain insight into what your issues are and can help them think of some solutions that may work for you.
The non-profit credit counselors will need a list of all your debts, as well as a statement of earnings. They will carefully go over the debt statements to see how high the interest rates are, how much you owe in total, and whether or not fees are being charged if you pay late or go over your pre-set credit limit. These charges can add up to a substantial amount over time, and are another waste of good money. After a thorough examination of your financial status, the credit counselor can then discuss what options would work best for you to get out of debt. In some cases you may be able to manage your debts by being extremely careful and keeping a close eye on every cent you spend over a period of time.
Many times, the first thing a credit counselor will do with you it to create a budget so that you can begin tackling your debt. Living on a budget is something that many people have never had to do so it can be a bit overwhelming. Remember it will only work if you are agreeable to sticking to a strict non-spending plan-that is, limiting your expenditures to your bills and absolute necessities. Other options that a credit counseling agency may offer is handling your debt (meaning you pay them and they pay your creditors) or getting your bills consolidated into one. No matter what options you choose, your credit counselor will be there with you every step of the way.
The goal of the non-profit credit counseling agency is to teach you how to avoid the pitfalls of credit problems, and at the same time assist you with certain debts by working with your creditors to get interest rates lowered. At the same time they want to make sure you also have enough money to pay your utilities, buy food for your family and keep a roof over your head. Take their suggestions seriously, and make every effort to follow the plan the counselor sets up for you if you want to get out from under the heavy load of financial obligations.
An honest, reputable non-profit credit counseling agency will not turn you away if you cannot afford the modest fee they charge to assist you. Getting free from debt may seem like a long and arduous process, but the end result will be worth everything you had to do to be financially free
Getting out of debt is hard as many people have found out. Seeking help from a non-profit credit counseling agency can help ease the hardship and offer you some solutions to becoming debt free. If you are in some financial woes, I would highly suggest looking into a credit counseling service.