Pittsburgh Debt and Advantage Credit Counseling
Financial Help For Pittsburgh Residents: Free and Easy Options Are Available
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — affectionately dubbed “The Steel City” — has come a long way from its blue-collar industry roots. Many of its workers now hold down high-profile, white-collar jobs. There are lawyers, bankers, technology specialists, physicians, and more. Thanks to world-class employers like UPMC, Highmark, and BNY Mellon, many of these individuals earn stable middle-class incomes. Some work 60-plus hours a week to make those incomes. Even with our workforce in stable condition, Pittsburghers are not impervious to debt troubles. Believe it or not, some of them need financial help, credit counseling services, or debt management plans.
If you find this fact hard to believe, consider this quote from an Associated Press wire story: “53 percent of middle-class people said they had to cut spending because money was tight. Nearly one in five, or 18 percent, said they had trouble getting or paying for medical care while 10 percent reported they had been laid off or otherwise lost their jobs.”
Pittsburgh professionals aren’t immune to credit card debt and bad debt management strategies. The more people earn, the more they can afford to spend and reckless spending gone unchecked can get people into serious financial pickles. Time is another major factor. Many of these time-strapped professionals are ordering lunch and dinner out and coffee too every day. Their shopping decisions are dictated by convenience, and not by economics.
There’s more: As companies cut benefits packages, more and more Pittsburghers must fund health services and retirement from their own pocketbooks. Unthinkable scenarios – the 20 something technical writer who visits low-income clinics for checkups because her company can’t insure her; the middle-aged lawyer who will work until age 75 because he can’t afford to retire; the banker who needs her teenage son’s help in contributing to household expenses – happen in Pittsburgh, PA and everywhere else in the nation. And if the economy worsens, layoffs – especially in financial sectors – will be rampant and more families in Pennsylvania will be affected.
Consumer debt has forced many Americans to live in poverty or just slightly above it. Many people are living an uncertain and insecure existence despite having adequate employment and the appearance of a comfortable life. For these individuals the payments on the debt they owe is preventing them from having an emergency fund, it keeps them from enjoying any of the leisure activities they would like, and it encourages financial insecurity. These families are often only one small emergency away from losing their vehicle or home or having their utilities turned off.
The Cycle of Debt –
Nearly every adult in the United States has some form of debt. This is how people obtain homes, cars, and a higher education. The problem is not necessarily the amount that people owe, but the ratio of what they earn to what they owe. When the debt ratio becomes too high it is difficult for people to manage. Reoccurring bills that are paid late lead to additional fees that make the next payment even more difficult to make. Credit card companies charge late fees and raise interest rates when customers are slow to pay. Banks charge fees if minimum balances are not kept and additional ones if a check is submitted without the funds necessary to cover it. Many of the customers who are charged these fees are already living on as tight a budget as possible and these additional costs will only put them further in debt. Debt is a vicious and seemingly never-ending cycle!
The Search for Help –
Free financial help is available for anyone. There are companies that offer free credit counseling and debt management plans, but these options don’t always work for everyone. Sometimes people are so far in debt that bankruptcy is really their only option. A certified credit counselor can help you understand that and let you know what your debt relief options are. People truly in the middle of an unmanageable debt problem typically have low credit scores. The high interest rates they are charged make the payments unmanageable and that is assuming they could actually obtain any type of financing. The best opportunity available is with a credit counseling agency. They can review your current financial situation and let you know what options make the most sense for you and your family. Credit counseling from a reputable Non-Profit agency is always 100% free and there’s no obligation.
The Assistance of Credit Counseling –
Anyone choosing this avenue to financial freedom should opt for a trusted non-profit credit counseling agency. For-profit businesses such as debt settlement have been notorious for causing more debt and/or problems for their clients. A non-profit makes certain the money their clients pay is solely spent on eliminating their debt. Credit counselors review their client’s finances including all income and debt. They create a workable budget for their clients and teach them how to do the same for themselves in the future. They help each person to learn about how debt works and how to avoid the pitfalls that cause people to fall behind. They work with the creditors to create a plan to get the debt paid. This process helps to encourage creditors to eliminate late fees, lower interest rates, and accept a lower set monthly payment.
It is important to note that credit counseling does not work for everyone. It all depends on your unique current financial situation. It is not a miracle cure that works overnight to eliminate all of your debt. People cannot walk into their office or contact them online and suddenly be free of their bills. Anyone that uses this service must be dedicated to following their advice and instructions, and they must stick to their set payment plan. The payments to the credit counseling agency need to be made on time every single month so that the creditors can be paid on time. Extremely high amounts of debt or an income that is not livable may make success impossible too. One of the additional services credit counseling offers is letting their clients know when they have run out of options and when they should consider bankruptcy. Your creditor counselor will advise you to speak with a bankruptcy attorney if that’s the case. Consumer credit counseling is free for everyone and you’ll never be asked to pay for a counseling session. There’s no risk or harm in going through a credit counseling session to see what your debt relief options are.
If you are a time-strapped Pittsburgh professional with financial woes, you should consider Advantage CCS’s online credit counseling services. You won’t have to worry about driving or taking public transit to our Pittsburgh headquarters or any of our other 10 office locations throughout Pennsylvania. Just sign-up online and start your free credit counseling session from the comfort of your home.
Our online credit counseling services can help you with debt management. Our certified counselors will analyze your current financial situation, compare the debts you owe to the money you make, create a workable budget for you, and help you formulate a plan for getting out of debt. There’s no hassle – and there’s certainly no shame in seeking credit counseling.