- Personal Finance
Does High Credit Card Debt Have You Stressed Out? Credit Card Counseling Services Can HELP!
If you are overwhelmed due to high credit card debt….do not worry, you are NOT alone! Times are tough; therefore, more and more people are pulling out the credit cards just to make ends meet. Hopefully, the economy will soon turn around and managing your money (and debt) will become much easier. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to take control of your finances. After all, it can be an incredibly daunting task. If you are at your rope's end and really need help, don't worry…that's what credit card counseling services and debt consolidation are for! See, I told you there was a light at the end of the tunnel!
So what exactly are credit card counseling services and what do they do? Well, first of all, it is very important that you work with a REPUTABLE credit card counseling service....but we'll get to that in a minute. In a nutshell, a credit card counseling service can help you develop a budget and figure out the best way to deal with your existing debt. Most reputable services are non-profit organizations. They hire trained and certified credit counselors. Did you get that….TRAINED AND CERTIFIED!! Those are two very important words when it comes to determining which counseling service is best for you! Unfortunately, there are companies out there that hide behind the words credit card counseling service and will charge you an astronomical amount of money to repair your credit. Unfortunately, half of the time, they don't deliver on their promise. It is very important that you are on the look-out for fraudulent companies so that you don’t end up deeper in debt and worse off than when you started.
What A Good Credit Card Counseling Service Will Do For YOU!
First of all, if you are interested in working with a reputable credit card counseling service…congratulations. You are taking the first step towards debt free – financial freedom! You should be proud of yourself as I know how hard it can be to admit that you are "over-your-head" and in need of financial counseling! Trust me, even the most financially responsible people need a helping hand every now and again! So how do you find a reputable credit counseling service? Well, there are several things to look for!
A good credit card counseling service WANTS to help you. They not only want to help you with your existing debt…they want to help you prepare for the future as well. After all, if you don't set future financial goals…you will most likely end up back in debt and that my friends…is not a good thing. Not only will a good counseling service help you set future financial goals…they will give you a mini financial education as well. This may include financial management workshops and seminars as well as plenty of money management books to add to your personal library.
One of the first things that a GOOD financial counseling service will do is review your current financial situation and budget (if you have one…if you don't…trust me, you will soon!). Developing a budget is VERY important! Though it can often be difficult to stick to a budget it is of the utmost importance that you do! A good credit card counseling service will teach you all you ever wanted to know about budgeting your money!
Along with planning a personal budget for you and your family….a credit card counseling service will also do a complete assessment of your current financial situation. Once the assessment is complete they will honestly tell you where you fall in the world of finances. For example, they may tell you that while you have a lot of debt…it is manageable. Or, they might tell you that your financial situation looks bleak and bankruptcy may be the only option. No matter what the news may be…don't worry. You have taken the first step to debt free living! Things will get better!
Finally, the credit card counseling service that you work with will figure out what the best road to financial freedom is for you. This includes a financial plan that will allow you to keep up with your current bills while lowering your credit card balances at the same time. There are several different debt management plans available. For example, your financial counselor might suggest a revised budget so that you have more cash flow in order to pay off existing debt. They may also recommend a debt consolidation plan which would lower your monthly payments. Whatever they recommend it is important that YOU ARE COMFORTABLE with the plan that is presented to you! Don't be afraid to ask questions…the financial counselors are there to HELP YOU!
Yes, I do believe that a life without credit card debt is best. However, I also understand that when used CORRECTLY, credit cards can be very beneficial. There are many cards out there that offer WONDERFUL rewards and point programs. If you are able to pay off your credit card each and every month…congratulations, you are ahead of the game. If, for whatever reason, you find yourself in severe credit card debt…don't worry. There ARE REPUTABLE credit card counseling services out there that are ready to help! Good luck!