How to find a reputable credit counselor?

No body can deny the reality of Credit card debt as it is a part of life for many people, and it becomes even more if the economy is getting weak. Wise use of credit cards make them invaluable lifeline for the users all the way through tough times of their private or business lives, particularly balance transfer and low interest credit cards.

For people who are overwhelmed with credit card debt, consulting credit counseling agencies is a best option to help them out as these agencies provide all type of services including consultancy, information, assistance and advice. These agencies offer to help their clients in negotiating interest rates, consolidating their debt, laying out a budget or payment plan and many other valuable services.credit counseling

But unluckily, similar to all other professions, there are also many unscrupulous agencies working out there not deserving the respect they are getting and obviously can do more harm than good. Therefore, reaching a trustworthy credit counselor demands some effort and time. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while preferring any agency.

Professional Credit counselors can do much more except simply consolidating credit card debt. A good credit counseling agency should include many valuable offers other than providing simple services; they should give expert advice on money and debt management, complete guidance in developing a budget, free reading materials and besides all these they should also arrange for credit card debt management classes for their clients.

A good credit counselor will deeply go through your entire financial position and carry out collaborative approach with you in order to draw a personalized plan so that you can comfortably pay off your credit card debt.

You will meet many credit counselors promising to eliminate all of your debts completely or laying some other big claims that sound too good to be true; these are the same we talked earlier about, so beware of them.

Though, it is possible that credit counselors can negotiate the amount of your debts or interest rates, but remember there is no any credit counseling agency out there which can legally eliminate your whole credit card debt.

Professional credit counselors will provide you free information regarding their agencies and services they are specialized in, not asking you to sign up for these offerings. You should be allowed to determine their services’ accuracy from other private or government authorities as you need this consent in getting them verified with your state’s Attorney General, local consumer protection agency and Better Business Bureau.

Keep in mind credit counseling agencies can only provide their services in the states they are licensed for; therefore hire the one that is licensed in your state. Moreover, credit counselors should necessarily be licensed by not more if then at least one nationally recognized association like The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For getting more info on that, you can visit the National Consumer Protection Week 2009 website.

Although many credit counseling agencies may include some additional billing of some type, you don’t need to pay extra bucks for this type of service. As well as some counselors do work with their predetermined fee structure and some allow clients to pay just what they can afford on their own free will. It should be clear to you that you are hiring credit counseling services to manage your credit card debt load, so increasing that load by agreeing on paying a high fee each month is not a wise thinking.

By keeping these things in mind, I hope you will successfully reach a good and reputable credit counselor in your area.…

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Own your money

When it comes to money, I’m definitely the nerdiest guy in my office. I’m not obsessed (anymore), but I do enjoy a good money read if I feel the author knows what he or she is talking about and the topic is pertinent to my interests. As much as I enjoy learning it for myself, I take great satisfaction in passing the best principles along to my interested friends and anyone else who cares. Depressingly, this is a very small number. But you’re here reading, so you care more than the average person, and I’m glad you do!
There are several different things you need to do right away to take back your paycheck. I’ll cover three big ones here. You know these, but every one of us not only needs to be reminded of them, but also encouraged to make progress. So put on your big kid boots and let’s go…

Stop Taking On Debt….IMMEDIATELY!

And I mean now. Not tomorrow, not after payday, not next month. Now. Duh, right? Wrong. I’m not just talking big ticket “wants” like cars and big kid toys. I’m talking “needs” like that $30 dinner you’re planning to put on your credit card, and that $50 buy-in poker night you know you’re going to win. Stop it.

Start Paying Off Old Debts

A big mistake often committed by well-meaning people trying to break the debt cycle is this: rather than paying off debt aggressively, they choose to make minimum payments and put as much as possible into savings. It’s not a lack of effort, just a lack of info. I’m here to help solve the latter. You’ll never earn enough interest in savings to outpace what you’re paying in interest to lenders. Won’t happen. And don’t even try the investment argument. If you’re in debt, you have no business tying up money in investments. There’s no way you’re going to find an investment that will come close to paying you more than that 18% credit card is charging you in interest. Start smallest to largest and pay those debts off!

Make a Difficult Cut

Seriously, get rid of the $30,000 car. If you want to exercise your financial muscles and build some equity in your life, you have to break bad habits today. Shed the flabby extras and streamline your operation. Look at your finances as your own little business, and protect that business from competition! You can’t afford to make those payments while taking back your paycheck, so take the plunge, make the cut, shed a tear if necessary, and move on.

These are only three of at least a dozen or more points I could rattle off in my sleep. And no, I didn’t invent this stuff. Dad and mom taught me. Just like someone else taught them. And on and on it goes. These principles are age-old, and I fully intend to keep them alive as long as someone will listen. There’s a lot more to cover, so check back for future articles!…

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