Tips for consumers: Choosing a credit counseling service
Welcome to Advantage CCS online. If you're a consumer from Pennsylvania, Ohio, or New York, you might be here because you want to learn more about credit counseling services and how they can help you with debt management
You might be wondering, "What can Advantage CCS do for me? How do I know a credit counseling service is reputable, anyway?" We'll tell you how.
Credit counseling services seem to expand in number exponentially every single year. With perhaps dozens to choose from in your area - especially in larger cities like Cincinnati, OH, or Brooklyn, NY - you might not know how to find the best service for you. If you don't choose a reputable agency, however, you will suffer. Fraudulent credit counseling services engage in dirty tricks like requesting hefty upfront fees for counseling services, or sharing your personal information -- like your Social Security number -- with other businesses. If you're already struggling with debt management or have a dismal credit history, you can't afford to choose a fraudulent agency.
What are the three signs that a credit counseling service is legitimate?
If a credit counseling agency has not been in business for at least 5 years, pass it up. In any business, start-ups will need to struggle, and their managers will need to flail before hitting a smooth business stride. By the five-year mark, a credit counseling agency should have a definite business plan, and will have developed a reputation in the industry. This is about the time in a company's history when you can begin to discern whether that reputation is good or bad.
If a credit counseling agency lacks accreditation, it is not an agency worth your time. A trustworthy agency can prove that it has been accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) or the International Standards Organization (ISO). The accreditation must be current, too; these agencies enforce strict standards on an ongoing basis to ensure that consumers are not defrauded by their credit counselors.
3. Good References
The degree of notoriety a credit counseling agency has acquired for being disreputable is wholly dependent upon how long the company has been fraudulent, and just how fraudulent it has been. Companies can get away with scams for years - just look at Enron.
Place a call to your Better Business Bureau and the Ohio, Pennsylvania, or New York State attorney general's office to learn more about a credit counseling service that you're considering. You will find out whether or not that credit counseling service has engaged in shady dealings.
Get the debt monkey off your back - but don't get scammed! Call Advantage CCS today! We provide customers with credit counseling services in: