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Should You Consider Credit Counseling?

Aug 7, 2008
Our society runs on money, but as we're all aware, it also runs, a great deal of the time, on debt. Many people, at many times, have problems paying their debts. You may find yourself in a situation where you simply can't pay all your bills.

This is an incredibly difficult time. You have grown up believing that honest people pay their debts. You consider yourself honest, but you can't pay your debts. Once the collection agencies get involved, things get nasty. Collection agencies try to make you feel like a bad person. It's their job to intimidate and shame you into paying the debt, no matter what.

Collection agencies are not in charge of deciding who is a good and bad person. You're not a bad person because someone on the other end of the phone says so. You are a good person with a debt problem. This could happen to anyone, and it does happen to a lot of people. Sometimes even huge corporations go bankrupt; it happens.

The focus now is on how you can get out of this situation. You may be able to get help from a credit counselor. This may be a good course for you, if you are having difficulty solving the problem on your own.

Before you sign up with a credit counseling firm, research the firm carefully. Some 'non-profit credit counseling' organizations are not what they seem. Make sure you're working with a real credit counseling firm, and that they have a good reputation. If your creditors won't work with them, they're not going to be able to help you.

The most important thing is to make sure the money you send goes to your creditors, and that your creditors agree to the plan your credit counselor puts together. If your creditors don't agree, you're still on the hook.

You should avoid, at all costs, 'credit settlement' firms. These companies collect payment from you, withhold it from your creditors, and then attempt to make a 'lump sum' settlement. The problem is that during the many months you're paying them, your creditors are not getting paid, and have not signed any agreement with the credit settlement firm. So you can be sued by your creditors and have your wages garnished, while the credit settlement firm enjoys the use of your money. Very few people find these firms useful in overcoming their debt problems.

A credit counselor can help you reach an agreement with your creditors about paying off your debts, and can help you keep that agreement. You pay the credit counseling firm, and they pay your creditors. Your creditors will agree to work with you because they believe they'll be paid, and you have a chance to get back on your feet.

If you're over your head in debt and can't see any way out, consider credit counseling. Find a good, solid organization with a great reputation, and ask them if they can help you. Understand that you will be able to pay off your debts with their help, but you will have to change your spending and debting habits to avoid falling back into the same situation later. If you're prepared to do that, credit counseling can help.
About the Author
Read the blog http://www.zero-out-my-debt.com for the latest tips and information on debt reduction and debt elimination .
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