Consumer Debt Counseling Programs
The 15 Debt Counseling Questions You Must Ask!

Review consumer debt counseling, American debt counseling and non profit debt counseling programs, 15 questions you must ask. Learn to choose the right free debt counseling agency. Are You Debt Wise?

Debt counseling websites are all over the internet and it can sometimes seem almost impossible to find useful information on debt counseling.

Are you debt wise? There is no doubt that information on debt elimination programs can save you a lot of money and trim years off the time it will take you to pay off your bills.

No matter how overwhelmed you feel, you must believe there is hope, and a way out, if you are living:

  • Living paycheck to paycheck?
  • Worried about debt collectors?
  • Can't seem to develop a workable budget, let alone save money for retirement?
  • Need a debt counseling program?

If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider the services of a debt counseling company. Many debt counseling programs are nonprofit and work with you to solve your financial problems.

But beware just because an organization says it is nonprofit doesn't guarantee that its services are free or affordable, or that its services are legitimate.

In fact, some debt counseling organizations charge high fees, some of which may be hidden, or urge consumers to make voluntary contributions that cause them to fall deeper behind.

Most offer services through local offices, the Internet, or on the telephone. If possible, find an organization that offers in-person non profit debt counseling.

Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service operate nonprofit credit counseling programs.

Your financial institution, local consumer protection agency, and friends and family also may be good sources of information on debt elimination and referrals.

Choosing a consumer debt counseling company!

Reputable debt counseling organizations advise you on managing your money and bills, help you to develop a budget, and usually offer free educational materials and workshops.

Their counselors are certified and trained in the areas of consumer credit, money and debt management programs, and budgeting debt elimination. counselors discuss your entire financial situation with you, and help you develop a personalized plan to solve your money problems.

An initial American debt counseling session typically lasts an hour, with an offer of follow-up sessions.

A reputable consumer debt counseling agency should send you free information about itself and the services it provides without requiring you to provide any details about your situation. If a firm doesn't do that, consider it a red flag and go elsewhere for help.

Once you've developed a list of potential consumer debt counseling agencies, check them out with your:

  • State Attorney General,
  • local consumer protection agency,
  • And The Better Business Bureau.

They can tell you if consumers have filed complaints about them. If they don't have complaints about them, it's not a guarantee that they're legitimate. It may be pending. Then, it's time for you to interview the final consumer debt counseling candidates.

Questions to ask to help you find the best consumer debt counseling company for you.

  1. What services do you offer?

    Look for an consumer debt organization that offers a range of services, including budget counseling, and savings and debt management classes. Avoid organizations that push a debt management plan (DMP) as your only option before they spend a significant amount of time analyzing your financial situation.

  2. Do you offer information?
  3. Are educational materials available for free?

    Avoid organizations that charge for information.

  4. In addition to helping me solve my immediate problem, will you help me develop a plan for avoiding problems in the future?
  5. What are your fees?
  6. Are there set-up and/or monthly fees?

    Get a specific price quote in writing.

  7. What if I can't afford to pay your fees or make contributions?

    If an organization won't help you because you can't afford to pay, look elsewhere for help.

  8. Will I have a formal written agreement or contract with you?

    Don't sign anything without reading it first. Make sure all verbal promises are in writing.

  9. Are you licensed to offer your services in my state?
  10. What are the qualifications of your counselors?
  11. Are they accredited or certified by an outside organization?

    If so, by whom?

  12. If not, how are they trained?

    Try to use an organization whose counselors are trained by a non-affiliated party.

  13. What assurance do I have that information about me (including my address, phone number, and financial information) will be kept confidential and secure?
  14. How are your employees compensated?
  15. Are they paid more if I sign up for certain services, if I pay a fee, or if I make a contribution to your organization?

    If the answer is yes, consider it a red flag and go elsewhere for help.

By, becoming fully informed about the different consumer debt counseling organizations, debt elimination programs, systems, debt elimination software and courses available today, you will be well on your way to complete debt elimination!

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