These companies who actually do no real counselling have given the industry a bad name to be sure.
However, on the plus site, there are plenty of legitimate credit counselling agencies in business ready and willing to help you.
A reputable agency will evaluate your finances and help you come up with a long term plan to help you get out of debt and avoid financial problems in the future.
Congress knows how important credit counselling can be as they included a provision in the overhaul of the bankruptcy laws that calls for anyone filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy have credit counselling prior to actually filing.
Reputable credit counselling agencies will: 1.
Review your budget They will do this to ensure that it is realistic and will suggest areas where you may be able to improve or make additional cuts.
If you haven't put a budget together, they will work with you to do so.
Assess the condition of your finances They will review your financial situation and after doing so, will have a frank discussion with you on where you are financially.
Are you about the same as others, on the verge of having to filing for bankruptcy protection or somewhere in between.
Help you determine how you will be able to keep up with your debts They will review your budget and perhaps make adjustments so that you'll have more cash flow each month so that you can meet your payment obligations.
Or, they could suggest that you participate in a debt management plan in order to lower your monthly debt payments.
They may also suggest you meet with a bankruptcy attorney if they feel that would be in your best interest.
Help you set viable long and short term financial goals The will also help you with financial education if they feel that would be in your best interest.
This education could include things like workshops and seminars on a wide range of money management topics they feel you'd benefit from.
They'll also be able to provide you with various workbooks and brochures you can read through at home.
The bottom line is that dealing with a reputable credit counselling agency can do wonders in terms of your financial future.
If you are starting to get the feeling you are in over your head, put your pride aside and pay a visit to one.
Better to do this at the first hint of trouble, rather than waiting until the only option you have left is to file for bankruptcy protection.