personal debt tips

Expert personal debt tips to guide you with your money.

Use Credit Counseling for Better Debt Management

If you can't manage the debt you have then, consult an expert about taking control of your finances. Debt management services and specialists focus specifically on managing and eliminating debt. These debt professionals will look at your particular financial situation and offer methods of managing, restructuring and ultimately paying off your debt. They will likely suggest a variety of options such as refinancing your home loan, taking out a low interest home equity line of credit, applying for a debt consolidation loan or reinvesting funds that you have in other assets. There are debt management services available locally and on the internet that can help you eliminate the debt. Use the resources available to you and take control of your financial future.

Professional Credit Counseling

Credit is as simple or as complicated as you make it. You can rule your own credit or you can easily get into a situation where it rules you. Good credit can make home ownership possible while bad credit can eliminate the possibility and even endanger your ability to buy a car or get approved for even a cell phone.

If your credit is suffering and you have no idea how to fix it, then you need professional credit counseling. The industry has been built by the needs of everyday consumers in situations just like yours. Professional credit counselors know what to recommend for credit repair and they know what habits and patterns to look for in helping you conquer your debt.

Is it worth is to pay a Professional Credit Counselor?. Money is obviously tight already, but regaining your financial health is going to cost a little more money in the short term for the long term results you want.

Consumer Credit Counseling Benefits

If you are a good consumer, you may also be a great debtor. Young people often succumb to the consumer drives of America and use credit on designer labels, cars they can't afford and a lifestyle that is beyond their means. They often get into debt before they see it coming.

Can you identify with that trend? Consider seeking consumer credit counseling. They can help you alter your spending habits and discover smart, long term goals for repairing your credit and managing your debt. It is better to start early -- don't wait until you are in trouble to call a consumer credit counseling agency.

Some consumer credit counseling is fee based, depending on some improvement in your situation. If they don't get you the promised results, they get no fee. If they do succeed, the fee is small enough that it will be worth it by improving your credit score.

How Do You Find a Consumer Credit Counseling Service?

First, if you know someone who has had financial problems or has struggled with debts, they may be able to give you a referral to a consumer credit agency that helped them. Referrals are a great way to start a valuable relationship with a consumer credit agency.

You can use the internet to search for a consumer credit counseling service that may meet your needs. Confirm that they have no negative reviews from websites like BBB Online (Better Business Bureau Online). You'll be able to trust them more and know you are getting good advice if you confirm that they have a good reputation.

Do You Need Credit and Debt Counseling?

Do you need credit and debt counseling? Here are some tips to help you discover if you need some assistance from debt management professionals:

  1. Do you have several debts from various creditors? You may need advice on consolidating debt and spending habits. Don't be afraid to ask for help and find some solutions. You’ll simplify your life and your finances.
  2. Have you been turned down for a car loan, mortgage loan or even a cell phone? You need to find out why. You should analyze your credit report, looking at your FICA score and pursuing the help of a consumer credit agency. In the future, you'll be able to get the loan you want at the rate you deserve.
  3. Are you falling behind paying your monthly bills on time and in full? You may not be earning enough, you may lack self discipline or organization, or you may have too many bills. No matter your predicament, you can improve your situation.

Speak To a Credit Counseling Specialist If You Are Worried About Identity Theft

If you are concerned that you've been a victim of identity theft, get help from a consumer credit agency that will be able to suggest solutions. Identity theft can cost you thousands of dollars if your credit score is damaged. It is fairly simple to confirm identity theft after it happens, and a consumer credit company can help you. Professional credit counselors have the information, contacts and processes to help you battle identity theft. They can eliminate any potential blemishes or long lasting effects on your credit. If your credit has been damaged through no fault of your own, a consumer credit counselor will be a great asset to your credit.

Consumer Credit Counseling for Senior Citizens

Senior citizens have different financial management issues. Perhaps they are planning for retirement or learning to live on a fixed income. Consumer credit counseling specifically for senior citizens is available. A few reputable sources are:

  • AARP has incredible resources. You can see what the AARP can offer by going to their website here
  • Search the internet with Google, Yahoo or MSN for senior consumer credit counseling. If you aren't comfortable choosing a company from a random web search, check for online referrals and references.
  • Ask family and friends for referrals. Also ask your accountant or financial advisor.

    Select a reputable company that you feel you can trust.

Concerns about Debt Management Credit Counseling

Consumer Affairs is a great source for advice on choosing agencies for consumer credit counseling. They offer facts and resources to help you select the right credit counseling agency. It’s critical to have confidence in the agency you select and that you eliminate any concerns.

There are only 17 states in the United States that have established guidelines for credit counseling companies and debt management services, leaving 33 states with no mandated guidelines and many opportunities for scams.

  • Avoid a credit counseling agency that advertises on television, uses telemarketing or sends out spam emails.
  • Being “non-profit” means nothing.
  • Do not give any personal or financial information over the phone.
  • Beware of high fees or companies that keep your first month’s payment
  • No one can remove or eliminate of your debt. If an agency promises this, they are lying.

BBB Tips on How to Choose a Consumer Credit Counseling Service

How do you choose a reputable credit counseling service? Use consumer representatives like The Better Business Bureau (BBB) to help you find the right credit counseling service. Some tips from the BBB can help you choose the right company:

  • All fees and services should be revealed immediately. Compare costs from similar service providers to confirm that their costs are reasonable.
  • Ask if they provide services beyond debt management planning and debt consolidation loans.
  • Ask if you will receive a free counseling or budgeting session Ask if there are other free educational resources.
  • Find out the fee structure for any additional services.
  • Is the consumer credit counseling service independently accredited through a third party? Are the telephone counselors certified? If they are not certified, what kind of training have they received?
  • Call your creditor directly and negotiate lower payments or alternative schedules before you contact a consumer credit agency.

Credit and Debt Counseling for the Average Guy or Gal

If you're an average American, chances are you have decent credit, which means you can get car loans or mortgages. But you likely also have had or currently have some issues managing your debt. Even though you don’t have credit problems, a consumer credit counselor may be able to teach you how to manage your money more effectively and improve your credit score.

Finding debt and credit counseling is easy today on the Internet. Get a free assessment of your current credit situation and may be able to get some valuable advice about ways to improve. The worst that can happen is improved financial freedom.