Credit Counseling: A Strategic Guide for Paying Off Debt

Jeanne McTaggartCredit Counseling

Credit Counseling

If you are thinking about receiving credit counseling to deal with a debt burden that’s too heavy for you to carry, consider working with trained counselors who know how to help you change. According to an article by forbes.com, there are steps you can take so you aren’t enslaved to debt. When you deal with a reputable Christian credit counseling agency, you know any actions you take aligned with your core values and beliefs. For many Christians, it is important to pay what they owe. Debt consolidation lets you pay what you owe so you don’t have past obligations holding you back from your future. The U.S. Federal Reserve reports that most Americans carry about $15,000 worth of credit card debt. Living paycheck-to-paycheck has a negative impact on your psychological well-being, career, physical health and relationships. It is exhausting to owe money you can pay back to creditors. However, you can follow a step-by-step plan to a debt-free life.

Face the Financial Facts

One way to motivate yourself and make a change is by facing the facts and dealing with your financial reality. If you don’t choose 100 percent transparency with a spouse or relative, get real with yourself. You will likely feel comfortable laying out all of your debt as you engage in credit counseling with a trained and non-judgmental counselor.

List all of your Bills

In addition to facing the facts of how much money you owe in terms of credit card debt, you also need to know about your monthly financial obligations. List all of the fixed expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, phone, cable and insurance. Make a list of all your flexible living expenses including food. As part of credit counseling, you use the information to formulate a realistic budget and debt management plan.

Lower your Interest Rate

When you sign up for a debt management plan, you end up with allies who go to bat to lower your interest rates on credit cards. The reason debt consolidation works so well for thousands of people is because you can pay off your credit card debt a lot faster with a lower interest rate.

Choose a Payment Method

You can choose different methods for paying off debt. The advantage of debt consolidation is you benefit from the psychological and emotional satisfaction of getting out of debt 80 percent faster than other methods. Also, you feel good knowing your fulfilled your promise to pay back what you owed. If you declared personal bankruptcy or chose debt settlement methods instead of credit counseling, you would likely feel like a failure or person lacking integrity.

Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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