Choosing a Credit Counseling Company

When your credit gets out of control, it might be necessary to seek credit help to get back on track. Although you have many options available, credit counseling is a good choice because it can give you the tools you need to get your credit back under your control and maintain your good credit in the future. When you are concerned about managing credit cards, personal loans or other debts, you need to start looking into counseling companies that can give you some assistance.

Read Reviews about the Company

At, we know it can be tempting to use the first service that you find. The problem is that different companies do not offer the same services. The best company for your needs might not always be the first option that offers services to your local area.

Before taking any measures to select a company you should read reviews from other customers and legitimate business sources. The reviews will help you determine if other clients are happy with the services they were provided, possible problems that might arise and the legitimacy of the company.

If you are concerned about the legitimacy of the credit counseling company, then you should look up information through the Better Business Bureau. The ratings and reviews on the BBB will give you details about customer complaints, how the complaints were handled and whether the business is legitimate. You can also look up information through local public records if the details are not available through the BBB.

Contact the Company for Details about Services

Before you get credit help from a company, you should be able to find out information about the services that are provided. A credit counseling company will usually offer an information packet or a free consultation to help you determine if the services will meet your needs.

Although you should expect some counseling and assistance creating a budget, further services will vary. Companies might offer negotiation services, loans to consolidate your credit or programs to help you work out an alternative payment plan with your creditors.

By contacting the company to find out the details of the services they have available, you can determine if the program will help. Credit counseling companies do not always have the appropriate services for your needs or financial goals, so you might need to contact a few companies to narrow down your options.

Ask About Fees

When you need helpful services to get your credit back on track, you should always find out about the fees and expenses you might be required to pay. The amount will vary and some companies might offer waivers or a sliding scale based on your situation.

Fees are often calculated on a monthly basis, but some companies might have an upfront fee that pays for all of the services and other companies might charge only after you have received assistance. The exact method of billing and amount will vary, so you should discuss this factor before entering the program.

The best time to discuss the fees is when you contact the company to find out the details of the services they have available. The company representative should tell you the fee amount or the method of calculating fees if it is based on a percentage of your debts or similar factors.

Read the Contract

You should always use caution when you are signing a contract, particularly if you are planning to get help from a credit counseling company. Although many companies will have short-term contracts and services that are designed to help you get back on your feet, some companies will give a long-term contract that might add up in high expenses by the time your debts are repaid.

The best contract for credit help should focus on your needs rather than the amount of money the company will require. It should offer short-term services that help you get started on reaching your financial goals and should have clear details about the costs involved in the process.

Contracts are required to fully disclose any information related to the costs, services and length of time you need to continue services. If any information is left out, then you should bring it up with the company or look for an alternative option for your needs.

Look for Educational Programs

Companies that offer credit assistance should also have educational programs available to customers. Your ultimate goal in seeking help is learning the skills you need to maintain good credit and avoid getting into a challenging situation in the future. Educational programs that are offered by the company can help, but only if it is appropriate for your needs.

The best companies will always offer a wide array of programs and educational options to help you learn the skills you need to regain your confidence and avoid the possibility of problems in the future. You should look for a program that offers individual financial counseling, several educational programs and customized planning options.

Opt for Individual Plans

When you are looking for credit assistance, you will want a customized plan of action. The sign of a good company is that the representatives listen to your situation, ask questions about your financial goals and then help you create a customized plan that will help you repay your debts and avoid problems with your finances in the future.

Recognize the Limitations

Getting help through a counseling company does not guarantee that your finances will turn around. The company has limitations that you should recognize before entering any program. The plan created by the representatives of a company are a guideline that can help, but you must follow the plan and keep working on maintaining your finances to get out of debt.

Credit counseling is a helpful program when you are struggling to pay your debts. Choosing the right company for your needs will require a little research to learn about the services, programs and limitations of a company. You should always wait to make a final decision after learning about the company and comparing your options to get the services that meet your financial goals.

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