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Choosing a Credit Counseling Organization for Debt Management

November 26, 2012

When choosing a credit counseling organization for debt management, there are several factors to consider. An organization that offers a wide range of services, including debt management classes and budget counseling, with trained and certified counselors in budgeting, consumer credit and money management will likely be effective. Any counselor should take the time to review and discuss your financial status and develop an individualized plan to help solve financial problems and to avoid money problems in the future.
debt management services
The upfront counseling session typically lasts an hour with an offer of follow-up meetings. Companies that push to have you sign up for a debt management plan without spending time analyzing your financial situation should be avoided. A debt management plan should always include customized advice regarding your specific financial problem. If for any reason you were working with an organization that closed down, you can ask the new organization what they can do to help you retain the previous benefits.

There are many states that require credit-counseling organizations to have a state license to offer financial services. Hiring an organization that has met the specific state requirements ensures their credibility. Organizations that charge for information about the nature of their services should be avoided. A reputable organization will be happy to share this information at no charge. Even though there will be phone discussions about the plan offered, never fully commit to a plan over the phone. All verbal promises and contracts should be in writing. All of the documents should be carefully reviewed before signing. If there is pressure implying that you must act right away in order to be eligible, it is better to seek out another organization that does not use pressuring tactics.

Keep in mind that it is beneficial to use an organization whose counselors are not affiliated with any of your creditors. This way, you can be sure to get a financial plan that is best for you and not the creditor. It is beneficial to ask the organization if there counselors are trained by an outside company.

Once you’ve found a credit counseling organization that meets your needs, verify their reputation with the Better Business Bureau, a local consumer protection agency and your state attorney general. These verifications will alert you to any excessive consumer complaints about them. An absence of complaints does not ensure the credibility of the organization, but it is still worth doing.

Always get a detailed price quote in writing and specifically inquire whether or not all fees are covered in the quote. If for any reason you cannot afford to pay the fees, ask for a reduced or waived fee. There are credit-counseling organizations that are willing to work with what you can afford and make special allowances to better fit your needs.

Rescue One Financial, is upfront with our pricing and the details of your debt management plan to ensure our clients are well informed.

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