For those who are living paycheck to paycheck credit counseling services are a real lifesaver. Most of these services run their operations as non-profits and should offer you a free consultation. The best way to consult is in person, so that should be your first goal in credit counseling. Visit universities, credit unions, military bases, or your financial institution to get a consultation or get more information or referrals to solid services. Be aware that just because most credit counselors operate under non-profit status this does not mean their services are free, affordable, or in some cases even legitimate.
What A Counselor Should Do For You
Credit counseling services should be focused first and foremost on educating you on how to be more responsible with your money. They will provide this education through educational literature and workshops. The main goal is to help you manage your finances and debt better and assist you in creating a solid budget plan for yourself. An initially counseling session should last about an hour, and they should offer to follow-up with you.
How to Choose The Right Counseling Services
First things first, you should be able to get all of the information about an institution regarding the services offered without having to divulge any information about yourself or your situation. If this is not the case with a certain institution you are talking with, this should be a red flag for you.
Once you have compiled a list of potential agencies that you will go to for help from referrals and research, look into each of these businesses with your local consumer protection agencies and your state Attorney General. If complaints have been lodged against a particular institution, you will be able to find out all about it.
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