Free credit counseling sounds very tempting indeed, but you must not fall for it. You must check the credibility of an agency before you start dealing with them.
Companies that offer free counseling for credit are few and far between, and they are viewed with an understandable degree of suspicion. After all, who would believe it if a company offers credit counseling and debt consolidation services free of charge?
The truth is that there are many hidden charges that will come up from time to time, but the reality is that if you are in need of such service because of dire financial circumstances, then you do not really have a choice.
Most people do not know anything about financial management, and end up facing a huge burden of debt, which they are unable to get out of. At such time these companies come into the picture. They offer the individual information in the form of debt counseling, also offer service like consolidation and management of debts by negotiating with the creditors.
Credit Counseling Agencies
✦ The very first thing that you need to know is that these agencies must be affiliated to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). These are the committees that have the authority to give these agencies the permission to carry out their function.
✦ If you are in need of a credit counseling certificate, then you will need to get this certificate from an agency that is recognized by the BBB and the NFCC.
✦ Some of these agencies also provide services for bankruptcy, since the completion of such a course is a necessity if you are filing for bankruptcy.
✦ There have to be some agencies that provide these courses, and they also have to be legally authorized by the governing bodies. These agencies post advertisements across various mediums, and you can easily find one that suits your needs.
✦ The most popular agencies are those that provide counseling online. This is done with the help of a variety of tutorials and videos, and each level has a fixed number of hours and lessons that they provide.
✦ Since almost everyone has internet access nowadays, it is easy to provide these sources online.
The Need for Caution
✦ The fact is that there is no agency in the world that can help you erase your debts completely.
✦ Debts are accrued over a period of time, and they must be repaid in the same time frame. It is a slow and conscious occurrence, and credit repair is not something that happens overnight.
✦ If an agency claims that it can solve your debt problems completely with the help of counseling, do not believe them.
✦ Moreover, their services will not be free either. The hidden charges will emerge sooner or later, and this will leave you indebted to this agency as well, in addition to your original creditors.
✦ This is not to undermine the effectiveness of these agencies, as some of them genuinely try to help you out. But, the point is that you should only believe those agencies who do not proclaim services, and also those who give you a true picture of your situation.
✦ These companies can only provide you with advice about what to do, and trusting them with more is a mistake that you should avoid making. Make your choice carefully, and read as many reviews as you can before you approach them.
Some of these companies may land you in further trouble, by involving you in some illegal measures of improving credit worthiness. Don’t fall for this, take the help of the 3 official credit bureaus instead – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The information and services that you may receive from these sources will be more reliable and beneficial for you.