Dealing with Debt

Credit Counseling – What Questions to Ask

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Credit Counseling can be the answer to many of your financial troubles. Advantage CCS offers stress-free credit counseling to people in need of professional advice, all of which is offered by an experienced and certified credit counseling agency. By analyzing your current financial situation, a certified credit counselor will be able to recommend a plan of attack that may lead you towards financial stability. Listed below are suggested credit counseling questions that many people find helpful to ask during a credit counseling session. These questions are designed to inform you of the services and actions that may be offered by credit counseling services and certified credit counselors.

1.       What are some of the services provided by credit counselors?

Different credit counseling services offer a wide variety of useful services that can help anyone out of their financial struggles. Some types of services may include programs to properly manage your debt, counseling to purchase a new home, reviews of your credit report, bankruptcy advising, budget advising and many more specialized services.

2.       What are the benefits of using a credit counseling service?

The use of a certified credit counselor can become one of the best decisions you have ever made. Debt can often feel very overwhelming and having someone on your side to help you through these trying times can be invaluable. Your credit counselor will begin to analyze your situation and then provide you with a helpful game plan. This plan will leave you feeling more organized and lead you onto a path of smart budgetary planning. You may see your debt begin to decrease, and the harassing calls will begin to stop. A certified credit counselor will also help you plan for the future and how to avoid falling back into debt.

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3.       How much do credit counseling services cost?

Cost should be considered an important factor when choosing the credit counseling service that is right for your financial needs. Choosing a non-profit agency can help minimize your total cost of credit counseling services. To review a credit service for non-profit status, look for Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code at http://www.irs.gov/charities and choose “Search for charities.” Knowing exactly who is funding the service you choose is a good thing to be aware of, allowing you to recognize the interests your potential provider has in mind. The initial credit counseling session should always be free of charge. There may be some small fees associated with going on a debt management plan, make sure you ask your credit counseling agency about any and all fees before signing up with them.

4.       By whom are you accredited?

Making sure the credit counseling service you choose has proper accreditation is an important step when choosing a service that is right for you. Ensuring you are working with a certified credit counselor can save you hassle and assurance that your services are reputable. Look for accreditation by a legitimate and independent third party association, such as the Better Business Bureau and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

5.       Is your credit counseling team certified?

All legitimate certification comes from independent third party organizations. When considering a credit counseling team, look for relevant educational backgrounds as well as professional credentials and experience.

6.       How can your financial plan improve my credit rating?

Pay close attention to how the credit management team plans to help boost your credit rating. A good, certified credit counselor should be able to provide you with good advice and help you take the beginning steps to a better credit rating. Once you start paying your creditor on time each and every month, you can begin to see progress with your credit score. You’ll be paying on time and reducing your debt, which has a nice impact on credit scores.

7.       Will your credit counseling agency help stop the pesky calls from creditors?

In many cases, following a payment plan set up by your credit counseling service will help to put an end to phone calls from creditors as well as stop any legal actions. It’s important to communicate with your credit counseling agency if you are still receiving calls and/or letters. The credit counseling agency has to know about these things so they can help put a stop to it.

Advantage CCS offers 3 convenient ways to access our team of certified credit counselors. You can use our quick and easy Online Credit Counseling system, you could contact us by phone at 1-866-699-2227, or visit us in-person at one of our six locations.

Author: Lauralynn Mangis
Lauralynn is the Online Marketing Specialist for AdvantageCCS. She is married and has two young daughters. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, cooking, video games, sewing, and gardening. Lauralynn has a degree in Multimedia Technologies from Pittsburgh Technical College.