If you’re overburdened with debt, you can rely on your credit counselor to manage your credit cards. Credit counselors can help to reduce your debt burdens in various ways. Ranging from money management to budgeting to consumer credit to debt management to bankruptcy consultancy, you can count on credit advisors to improve your credit score.
Who is a Credit Counselor?
A credit counselor’s definition is an advisor who can avoid bankruptcy and conduct negotiations with your creditors on your behalf to lower fees and interest charges.
However, you should be careful when choosing among the different counseling agencies in Memphis, TN. Avoid getting trapped in any scams and always work with only legitimate financial solution providers.
Tips on how to search for a credit counselor
Here are some tips to select a credit consultant in Memphis who is best suited to your needs.
Assess your financial needs
Before you start searching for credit counseling agencies, you may want to identify your biggest financial challenges. Are you looking to pay down your debt? Do you want to avoid interest charges? Is your goal framing a budget?
Although your financial position seems overwhelming, evaluating your financial needs beforehand helps.
A certified credit counselor can guide you with basic budgeting. And also help you with debt management or student loan counseling or home-buying tips or even bankruptcy consultation.
Before signing any contract with a credit management services company, you must check whether they have been accredited by the certifying bodies. These include the Financial Counseling Association of America and the National Federation for Credit Counseling.
Additionally, if a company is not affiliated with the FCAA or NFCC, you must check if it has the accreditation of the Council on Accreditation (CoA). A not-for-profit organization, the CoA has the authority to approve organizations that benefit consumers.
The next step is to check whether the stipulated wealth management companies have good standing. You can approach the Better Business Bureau to know about any customer complaints and gauge the company’s credibility. In addition, you can contact the local customer protection groups and state attorney general to check its local record. Avoid agencies having a history of complaints to be on the safer side.
Besides reviewing the credit management agencies to know if they have secured these certifications, you can ask them directly for their credentials too. Always talk to a few counselors before you begin shortlisting, so you can be sure you’re making the right choice.
Schedule a preliminary meeting
Following the initial screenings, you must proceed towards scheduling preliminary discussions. Most credit counseling firms offer first meetings free of cost. During such meets, you can inquire about the number of years that the counselors have been in business, their ways of working, and the related costs.
While your sessions are free in some cases, other finance management experts may charge a small fee for their services. Many credit counselors are associated with non-profit agencies. Even so, others could charge a small fee for rendering their time and services.
Whatever may be the case, you must ensure to get written agreements. Ask for a quote in writing. Also, the contracts should mention the number of sessions and monthly payments. Study all the clauses thoroughly before signing on the dotted line.
In addition, you must keep asking questions until you’re clear about the entire process. If the credit counselor does not clarify your doubts, move on to the others on your list. Also, in cases where you feel pressured to register for their services or do not understand the agreement terms, you must walk away.
Finding the right credit advisor that meets your needs is never easy. Nonetheless, you have two resources for finding credit counselors. First, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling can help you locate specialists who match your financial needs. Second, the US Department of Justice uses search tools to find credit counseling agencies that offer bankruptcy and other financial services.
More importantly, be wary of companies that make big promises. Other than that, do not work with businesses that offer quick-fix solutions. Never be in a rush, too. Instead, take your time to choose the right credit counselor.