Find a Credit Advisor

If you're dealing with credit problems, it might help to get proper counseling. Credit card debts as well as poor credit ratings affect millions of Americans. Like any frustrating issue, things may seem to get worse and spiral out of control. Like any frustrating issue, there's also potential solutions and proper, available help. Sometimes the key to getting out of a hole is asking for a boost. Check out some great solutions to boosting your credit score and assisting with credit debt.

Many of our customers come to us seeking lending opportunities because of credit-related financial troubles. Our lenders provide swift access to large sums of money and do not require a credit check. In addition to covering topics, relevant to our customers, we like to inform anyone struggling with credit on finding advice from professionals.

Fortunately, there are many outlets for receiving expert assistance with your credit problems!

Knowing where to look in the first place can be a huge step in the right direction. Unsurprisingly, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) itself can be a helpful resource. Informing the public on potentially dangerous business practices is one of the primary functions of the FTC, and they offer plenty of helpful information on credit advisement. They even offer a helpful PDF on "Choosing a Credit Counselor." Check it out, as it may answer any questions you've got about making the right financial decisions.

Additionally, is run by the FCIC (Federal Citizen Information Center). They compile tons of information from government groups to offer up to the public. Questions relating to laws, regulations, programs and pretty much anything else involving the federal government can be answered through this source.

After reviewing information from helpful resources, many with credit woes will be interested in pursuing assistance from a professional third-party credit counselor. So where can you find a credible service? It isn't easy, and there is no sure-fire way to know if the credit advisor you are relying on can be trusted. However, there is a logical series of steps you can take to substantially lower your risk, and hopefully get the help you need.

'Non-Profit' Credit Counselors

The term non-profit gets thrown around often these days, and like prefacing a movie with that assured phrase, "Based on a true story..." it's just as often untrue. There's a common misconception that any non-profit cannot and will not charge fees or request payment.

The term can be misunderstood or misused by both the service provider and the customer, and is often taken advantage of. There's no assurance that customers will be asked to donate or even charged penalties or fees for services rendered after the fact. The last thing anyone wants to do is end up in more debt after searching out support from a counselor.

One of the most effective ways to discovering the right advisor is to do your homework. There are many ways to spot fraudulent services. Take some time to learn about each one. Remember to keep your eyes open, your ears sharp, and your mouth vocal, because awareness is essential.

Go with the One-On-One

Many of the services you'll look into will offer multiple ways to interact. A big red flag is if you're unable to sit down and meet with someone. If services claim to be credit counselors but aren't willing to meet with you, chances are, they aren't right for you. At this point of the process, you aren't looking for help from a call center, since any basic information you'd be looking for is already accessible. You want professional counseling, which will involve a deeper look at your finances and a personalized plan to fix your credit situation. You're looking for specific financial assistance. Hopefully you can find a counselor you can work with and look in the eyes.

The next best thing would be a referral from someone you do know. You can ask your family, friends, or neighbors if you don't mind having the conversation with them. You can also speak with a local university. Many offer programs where you can contact counseling services through the school itself. Similarly, there are government agencies that can be excellent resources for finding a good counseling service near you. The US Cooperative Extension Service, your local government, or even military programs may be a great place to go for help. You can even talk to the credit unions themselves, because believe it or not, they want you to have solid credit too!

How a Counselor Can Help

If you're looking for another option for dealing with credit issues, a professional credit advisor can be a big relief. They should be able to help you wrangle in debt and get your credit score under control through proper budgeting as well as credit and debt management tactics. There are many steps you can take to improve your finances, but many options are case specific, and each person's finances are unique.

How to Choose

Start compiling a list of potential services you might use. Research them carefully to see if there are any reports of misconduct from consumer protection agencies like the FTC or your state's Attorney General office. Cross reference this with the United States Trustee Program's approved advisors for even better information.

From there, you can narrow down your list even further by speaking with someone at the counseling organization. Here, your good judgement and level of comfort will be some of the final requirements after you've sufficiently pre-screened candidates.

You can inquire as to whether the service:

  • Can assure you of employee qualifications
  • Is properly licensed in your home state
  • Offers financial relief you can afford
  • Provides the assistance you need

Remember to follow up on your questions, and continue researching the organization. If they claim to have accredited counselors, is that group credible? Be sure to be able to back up a service's claims with evidence. Be wary of taking more risk than you want or need to. Remember to be cautious, logical, and as patient as possible. Don't open yourself up to unsafe situations, and if you need further help, seek it out.

Consider All Your Options

Knowing about every one of your potential choices is essential to decision-making. For instance, while declaring bankruptcy is often detrimental for dealing with credit card debt, it might be the best answer for your situation - it completely depends, and there's no way to guess at the best solution. The goal is finding advice you can trust, from an expert who knows your personal financial issue, before making a potentially harmful decision.

Think about negotiating directly with your credit card company, since they want you to raise your credit score to continue using their service. You might be able to clear up mistakes on your statement, get referrals to other credit advisors, or even reach a settlement to help manage your debt. Creditors are often thought of as the enemy, but you might receive the help you've been looking for by reaching out to them.

If you do end up considering bankruptcy, you'll need to get proper pre-bankruptcy credit counseling. Again, check out the FTC's helpful information and other advice before making a significant decision.

You may also wish to discuss your situation with an attorney or accounting expert. Take care in what financial information you give out, what contracts you sign, and what routes you choose to take on your path to credit restitution.

Going Forward

Managing credit is an issue everybody faces. When your finances seem out of hand, you can find the right kind of help if you know where to look and use proper sense. Legitimate credit counseling agencies exist, and they are one of several options out there. Use the resources at your disposal to improve your financial situation safely.

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