Each month you seem to sink deeper into debt. Balancing your checkbook has become a nightmare and it's getting more difficult to pay your bills with each passing week. You would like to consolidate your debts but have no idea where to begin or what debt consolidation plans are right for you.
If what you just read sounds like something you've been thinking recently, you really need to consider utilizing the services of a reputable consumer credit counseling agency.
The best agencies hire professionally certified and trained credit counselors who can sit down with you and pore over your finances in detail. The goal of any reputable agency is to educate and empower you with the financial knowledge to budget your money, pay your bills on time and reduce your debt. These agencies can also provide you with a wealth of information on debt consolidation plans that may fit your own specific needs.
You will want some assurance that the advice and information you're being given by an agency is sound. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends you check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB), any local consumer protection agencies or your state Attorney General for any complaints on file against credit counseling agencies you are considering working with. Avoid any agencies that have complaints against them on file.
A lack of complaints is no guarantee of satisfaction or affordable service, however. Some agencies may try to charge you a hefty fee for the information and services they provide. Even utilizing the services of a so-called nonprofit credit counseling organization will not provide you with any guarantee of reduced rates or free services.
Before you decide to work with any credit counseling agency you need to find out the various fees they may charge for their services. As a general rule of thumb, you should stay away from any agencies that want to charge you for information. The best agencies will give you free information with no strings attached and will put any promises, guarantees or service quotes in writing.
Credit counseling agencies can be an exceptional resource you can use to help work through financial difficulties and debts that are becoming too overwhelming. As long as you keep in mind what to look for and what to look out for in an agency, you'll be taking the first step towards getting back on track financially.