If you are in dire financial straits then it is important not to panic.
Take stock of your situation and then you might want to think about sitting down and discussing what is happening with a qualified credit counselor.
A credit counselor is an individual who is able to help people in terms of creating a budget and learning how to follow it.
Credit counselors can also advise you on how to properly use credit.
They can also help you come up with a solution that is right for you if you have a lot of debts and do not know how to pay them.
There are some credit counseling agencies that are non-profit and will provide counseling for free whereas others will charge you a fee for their services. Take the time to research your options over the Internet before you decide which agency to turn to for help.
Finding a Good Credit Counselor
If you are in the market for a good credit counselor then you need to find an agency that has a solid reputation that reflects the positive and is in good standing with a state and/or national credit association. You also might want to check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure that there are no unresolved complaints about the agency showing on their records.
In the same way, take the time to find out if a credit counseling agency is licensed in your state. There are a number of states that deem it necessary for an agency to have a license before they are able to offer any type of credit counseling or to arrange debt management plans. Only choose a licensed agency.
Experience of the Counselor
The experience and qualifications of a credit counselor are important. What type of education does the individual have?
What about their training?
How many years of experience have they had working in their field?
A person can become a credit counselor without any special type of training; many do have training that has provided them with the necessary skills to help their clients to the best of their ability. Some are accredited or certified by the company they work for whereas others obtain such from an outside source.
Finding the latter is the better choice of the two.
The fees you will pay should play a role in which credit counseling agency you decide to seek assistance from. Some agencies (and in some cases even non-profit agencies) will charge both a set-up fee as well as monthly fees. In addition, some charge a fee for the application, a membership fee, etc.
It is essential that you are privy to all of the fees you will be charged before you sign anything. It is wise if you ask for a price quote of every fee in writing before you make a final decision.
If the fees are too expensive for you to afford, inquire if the agency is willing to waive or reduce a percentage of them for people who find themselves facing trying financial circumstances as you find yourself in.
If the agency is unwilling to assist you because you cannot afford to pay the fees that they charge then you need to walk away from them and look at what other credit counseling agencies have to offer.