Sunday, February 19, 2006

Credit Counseling. The first step toward a debt free future.

What is credit counseling? In a nutshell, credit counseling is debt counseling. Trained, certified credit counselors work with those who are experiencing financial hardship. Should you find yourself in this situation, a counselor can design a customized, confidential debt management plan just for

They can suggest a budget and a spending plan, as well. They have the ability to negotiate with each of your creditors and can consolidate all of your un-secured debt into one affordable, LOWER, monthly payment. you. By working with a credit counselor you will will see your debt shrink at a much faster rate and will no longer be plagued with credit collection calls.

Un-secured debt includes but is not limited to the following examples. Credit cards, personal loans, signature loans, medical bills and accounts that have been turned over to collection agencies. Mortgages, auto loans and student loans are secure loans, therefore NOT eligible to be included in a debt management plan.

Credit counselors are able to put a stop to late fees and over-limit charges, lower or eliminate finance charges and re-age past due accounts. Many credit counseling agencies offer some type of credit education program, after completion of your debt management plan. Taking part in a program such as this will help to ensure that you do not find yourself in a financial hardship again.

Currently, there is a bankruptcy reform bill under review by members of Congress. If this bill passes it will require all those filing for bankruptcy to go through a credit counseling program BEFORE their petition can actually be filed. If you are thinking about going the bankruptcy route, consider speaking with a credit counseling service first. They will do their best to assist you in solving your financial dilemma without the black mark of bankruptcy, on your credit file.

Unfortunately, there are credit counseling agencies out there that aren't on the “up and up.” These agencies take advantage of consumers dealing with financial hardships by charging very high fees and/or not making scheduled payments to lenders, as the debt management plan stipulates.

Take the time to research several different credit counseling agencies. Ask questions. Check references. (A good place to start is the Better Business Bureau.) Ask those you trust for a possible referral.

When you make the decision to enroll in a credit counseling program you are taking the first step toward a debt-free future.

For more info:

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Overspenders Anonymous. Help if you need it.

There are a number of wonderful organizations that can help you if a problem is causing your credit problems. If you have credit problems due to compulsive overspending. If you suffer from a gambling problem, there are a number of charitable organizations that can help you overcome the addiction. If you have accumulated debt as a result of these sorts of specific problems, you will not really be able to fix your credit rating unless you deal with the problems behind the bad credit. Many good groups and therapists out there can help you.

Find a recommendation for a good one from your family doctor or a trusted friend or family member. You will be glad that you did.

Ken Dawson