Debt Elimination

Getting started with credit counseling

Credit counseling is often a difficult and painful subject to approach. Many people do not like to admit they need help with their finances and unfortunately many people allow too much time to pass before seeking such help. Even after the decision to seek help is made, however, it is important to choose the right firm to handle the rebuilding of your credit and your financial reputation.

The vast majority of credit counseling and debt reduction firms are honest and upstanding, but the existence of a few highly publicized bad apples has sullied the reputation of the industry. There are some classic warning signs that you are dealing with an untrustworthy credit counselor. Watching for those signs, and avoiding those firms, is the best way to get the credit counseling you need and avoid any potential problems.

Some signs of a poor quality credit counseling firm include things like:

  • Promising too much. A firm that promises to eliminate all your debt, or promises that you can pay back only pennies on the dollar, is probably over promising and will be unable to deliver.
  • Employing hard sell tactics. A credit counselor who insists that you sign paperwork on your first visit, before you have had time to shop around, is to be avoided. A good credit counselor will not be afraid to allow you time to shop the competition and make a wise decision.
  • Giving you blank forms to sign. A credit counselor who gives you incomplete or even blank paperwork to sign is to be avoided. It is important to read all documents presented to you before signing any type of agreement.
  • Not offering budgeting or personal finance classes. The best credit counseling services do more than get you out of your current financial mess. They actively assist you in avoiding such financial problems in the future. They do this by offering classes on such important subjects as making a budget, using credit wisely and protecting your credit score. Be sure to look for such classes when evaluating credit counseling and debt reduction firms.

It may not be easy to find the right credit counselor, but it is an important financial decision. Getting out of debt the right way is essential to your long term financial health, and a quality credit counseling service can help you do just that.

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