Living from payday to payday can be extremely difficult. Whether it’s because of outstanding credit card debt, student loans, automobile notes, or tons of other reasons. In these situations it can be extremely hard to set up and maintain a working budget. Ideally, non-profit consumer credit counseling organizations are there to help out in times of need. Realistically, in addition to the legitimate organizations, there are a lot of fraudulent companies offering to help consumers out through credit counseling. In these cases just because an organization claims to be non-profit, that does not guarantee it offers free services. Most of the time these services can be extremely expensive and can even sue the consumer or take leans out on their homes if payments are not given.
There are a few simple tips to keep in mind when looking for a legitimate consumer credit counseling service. First, always try to go through local services. While most companies only offer phone and internet advisors, there are some who use local universities, military bases, and credit unions for local advisors. Inquiring about organizations legitimacy can also be done through your financial institution, friends and family. Secondly, always keep in mind that reputable organizations staff certified counselors that offer you free information, advise on how to manage dept, and help to set up a maintainable working budget. These legitimate institutions will help you develop a personal plan to solve you financial crisis. Most first sessions last a little over one hour, offering follow up consultations. Most importantly, a reputable service will send you free information about their organization. They should also not ask you to disclose any personal information in the first session.
Here are some additional tips to avoiding illegitimate consumer credit counseling services (CCCS).
• Check to see if the company offers a wide range of services and solutions. Also, ask for free information on the organization and its services. All legitimate companies will have these things available.
• Make sure that the organization in question is authorized to operate in your home state. You can do this by calling your state attorney generals office or the local consumer protection agency.
• Inquire as to whether or not the company will help you set up a financial plan to avoid future problems in addition to solving the current situation.
• What are the organizations fees? Always ask this question in addition to checking if there is set-up or monthly fees charged to the consumer.
• You must always have a formal written agreement with the company. This is something you should read over very carefully because you can often recognize illegitimate operations from the contracts they send out.
There can be a light at the end of the tunnel. Legitimate operations help working people out of financial depression everyday. These consumer counseling services can work for you as well, as long as you take the time to research and check up on all possible services.
Quick Reference Note: Comsumer Credit Counseling Services is also known as CCCS.