Having trouble making payments? Unpaid bills, credit card anxiety, and the sense that you’re drowning in debt does not equate to a strong quality of life. If this describes you, it’s time to seek help. Starting with credit counseling can help set you on the right path quickly and efficiently.
What should you expect when meeting with a credit counselor?
It’s a credit counselor’s mission to help you reach your financial goals and help you get out of debt, so show up prepared. Make sure you’ve compiled a list of all your expenses, including your monthly income and credit card statements. Your credit counselor will go over all your expenses and your existing budget. From there, it’s all about developing a plan of action.
Once you’ve moved on from analyzing your expenses, your counselor may be able to offer you educational materials and information on upcoming workshops that will help further you on your path to financial wellness. A credit counselor can also help you make a budget to help you pay bills on time and begin clearing out debt, which is all a part of building your customized repayment plan.
Debt Management Programs (DMP)
Some of the suggestions your counselor will make may lead to additional services, such as a debt management program. If you decide to enroll in a DMP, your counselor will work with your credit lenders to consolidate your loans into one affordable monthly payment and a lower interest rate. DMPs are designed to help you pay off debt in three to five years, so that you can quickly recover from financial struggles.
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a report released in 2016 strongly supports the benefits of credit counseling. Findings showed that 73% of participants in credit counseling now pay their debt more consistently, while 70% have improved their overall financial confidence.
Change starts with you, but deciding to seek credit counseling is a good first step toward recovering financial well-being.