If you are reading this blog, then chances are you struggling with debt of some kind. Whatever the particular type of debt that you are in or how deeply you are in it, there is little doubt that you want out of it – and fast.
But the quickest routes to debt relief aren’t always the best to take. At least this is true when they are taken alone.
What I mean is that debt settlement, debt negotiation, or debt consolidation can help you get out of debt quickly but none of these debt relief methods teach you much that will help you stay out of debt in the future.
In fact, over half of the people that use these methods of debt relief with success end up falling straight back into debt again. They can fix the problem, but they can’t fix the source.
One method of debt relief that takes some time before it begins to work but that has long-term benefits is credit counseling. Just as its name implies, credit counseling is a debt relief method where you are actually counseled on your credit and financial health. It is a method of education so that you don’t make the same stupid mistakes time after time again.
Better yet, credit counseling can be paired with one of the three debt relief programs mentioned above for even better results. At the same time that you are consolidating your debt, say, you are also going to credit counseling and coming up with a long-term plan to help you stay out of debt.
But you don’t want to pay all that money and give all that time to credit counseling if it is going to be a waste. You want to get as much out of it as possible. And that – getting the most out of credit counseling – is what is discussed below.
Follow these three tips and you’re sure to reap the rewards of this particularly effective brand of debt relief.
Go for the Right Reasons
Credit counseling is not something to rush into. It isn’t something that you should do just ‘because.’ It is a form of debt relief that is highly effective but that also requires someone who is highly motivated.
You shouldn’t go into credit counseling solely because you want to get out of debt. You should opt for it because you want to get out of debt and because you want to learn how to be healthier in terms of money.
Luckily, I’m guessing that most of you guys are already looking into credit counseling for the right reasons. I mean, chances are that you wouldn’t be reading up on it online if you weren’t serious about it.
Find the Right Company
The United States is filled to the brim with credit counseling services. Not all of them are the same.
It is essential to find a service that genuinely wants to help you. Many companies operate under the guise of credit counseling but will attempt to sell you debt consolidation loans in the process. Avoid these.
At the same time, it is good to work with a credit counselor that will talk to you about things like debt consolidation loans. They do work for some people (very effectively, actually). Your credit counselor should be willing to discuss such options outside of their own company with you. You don’t want to work with a credit counselor who won’t talk to you about services that aren’t their own.
Finally, you should find a counselor that will offer you multiple options. Rather than forcing you into one, they should discuss several and leave the choice up to you. At the end of the day it is your personal decisions that are going to help you get the most out of credit counseling.
My recommendation is to talk to several credit counselors before deciding on one. In addition to the characteristics talked about above, they should be someone that you feel comfortable and confident around. Be sure to check them out online at websites such as the Better Business Bureau.
A credit counselor’s job is hard enough without dealing with a client that is unprepared. When you go into a meeting without the proper documents and paper work, you’re not going to get the most out of credit counseling.
The stack of papers that you bring to your credit counselor should be similar to the stack that you bring to an account during the tax season. A few of the things that you must bring include:
- Every bill
- Every bank statement
- Every other financial document that you can scrounge up
Your credit counselor will need as much information as possible to help form a clear picture of your financial life. Doing this will then help then analyze your problems, offer suggestions, and set up a specific budget for you.
So there you go! That’s all there is to it. Follow the tips above and you’re sure to get the most out of your credit counseling. With any luck it should make your financial problems a whole lot easier to handle.