To put it bluntly, today’s economy stinks. The up and down of the stock market and more and more jobs being cut makes for the worst economy we have seen in decades. There are more individuals and families every day who realize that they have more debt than they can handle. There are help for people in this situation and this help is in the form of credit counselors.
There are many credit counseling agencies and credit counselors out there to choose from, the key is finding an agency and counselor who is qualified to handle your situation. Picking someone who is not qualified can actually make your already bad situation even worse. Granted, most agencies are competent and reliable, however there are scam artists out there who don’t care that they are taking advantage of someone who is down on their situation. Not to scare you, but this could happen to you if you don’t do some research into your credit counseling agency.
Properly and thoroughly educating yourself about any potential credit agency can help you avoid falling prey to a possible scam such as identity theft. You really need to trust the people you are handing your finances over to so be aware that scams do exist and be prepared to investigate the credit counseling agency before signing up and turning over any information they say is required.
One of the first things you should look for is proper accreditation. If your agency isn’t listed with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, (NFCC) or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA) then this is a red flag. Credit counseling agencies need to be accredited from an outside party and if they aren’t you may want to choose another agency. If you have questions about the accreditation of an agency contact the Better Business Bureau and they can provide you some guidance.
If you were going to hire a babysitter for your family you would do a background check and so you should similarly get a background check done on any credit counseling agency you are considering. This can easily be accomplished by phoning or emailing the Better Business Bureau in your state, or contacting the state attorney general’s office. By getting a background check you will be able to check both positive and negative feedback about the company as well as get to explore any claims that have been brought against the company. Getting a background check on your potential credit counseling agency is going to save you a lot of headache and stress so it is well worth the time to do. After all, it is your financial future at stake so it’s best for you to be sure you are handing your finances to an agency that is legitimately qualified. Once you find a promising agency you should email or call them and get a copy of the services they offer as well as any pertinent company information that you should have.
You need to realize that these agencies aren’t going to be able to eliminate all of your debt however they will be able to work with creditors to find ways to lower your interest rates, payments, and to find reasonable solutions to your debt problem. If an agency says they can get rid of your debt fast then this should raise a red flag. Getting out of debt takes time and patience so don’t expect it to be an easy process that can just happen overnight.
More and more people are finding themselves in debt and are starting to worry about how they are going to get out of it. This is where credit counseling agencies can come in and help you find solutions to your debt problems. Remember to be cautious when you choose an agency and take the time to find yourself a qualified and legitimate agency. Finding a good credit counseling agency will allow you start heading down