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Credit Counseling Questions.

 When you find yourself thinking about using a credit ... service, you need to be ... You need someone who will help you, not just some pushy sales ... who ... to s

 When you find yourself thinking about using a credit counseling service, you need to be very
careful. You need someone who will help you, not just some pushy sales associate who wants
only to sign you up for their service.
The debt industry has grown dramatically as the American consumer has taken on an increasing load
of debt. This increased competition for the debt dollar has attracted some charlatans to the industry.
You need to be very careful you know with whom you are dealing.
You are about to place your financial life in someone else’’s hands. Make sure you have the answers
to some questions before you do. Then make sure you like the answers to your questions. Here are
some for starters:


    Is the counseling agency affiliated with major industry groups?
    There are two major debt industry groups, The National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    and the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.
    Affiliation with one of these is no guarantee you have a good agency but these groups do
    have a set of standards which need to be followed, so it is a start.
    Are there large up front fees?
    The credit counseling agency will usually charge a small fee to set up your account. They then
    will charge a fee to administer your plan each month.
    If a large fee is required to begin your plan, watch out. Some companies have charged large
    up front fees and then disappeared with the clients money. You need to be sure the money
    you are paying is going to your debts and not being syphoned into the pocket of your credit
    counselor.
    Can you really do that for me?
    Some credit counseling agencies make unrealistic promises. If statements made seem too
    good to be true, you need to pin them down. Settling your debts for little money or without
    harming your credit rating are not realistic.
    If they insist they can, ask for the promises in writing. Chances are they will not be willing to
    do this if they cannot deliver. If they do put it into writing, at least then you will have
    something to use for evidence if legal action becomes necessary.
    Which of my creditors have you worked with in the past?
    You have a list of your creditors. You want to compare it to the creditors they have worked
    with in the past. Have they been successful working with your creditors in reducing
    payments,lowering interest, and eliminating fees?
    You need to know not all creditors will work with credit counselors. If all, or most, of your
    creditors have, or will, you should investigate these services further. If not, credit counseling
    won’’t do you much good. To protect yourself, ask for a list (in writing) of any of your
    creditors they have worked with in the past.
    Will my creditors be paid on time each month?
    Two things come into play here. What are the due dates of each creditor and when during the
    month do you get paid? Nothing defeats the purpose faster than paying a creditor late, after
    you have set up a new payment schedule.
    Some credit counseling services use a set date each month to make payments from the money
    you have given them. If they don’’t have your creditors change the due date you could be
    socked with late fees each month. Find a service that adjusts the due dates of your bills to
    work around the days you get paid.
    How do I pay you each month?
    The credit counselor can’’t pay your creditors until you pay them each month. Will they
    remove money, each month, from your account with an electronic transfer or are you required
    to send them a guaranteed check or money order? You want to make it as easy as possible
    for this plan to work. Look for a service that will withdraw funds from your account
    automatically each month.
    When and how often will I get statements of my accounts?
    Just because you have turned over a portion of your financial life to someone else to run, does
    not mean you don’’t need to keep track of what is going on. Your statements should break
    down your payments so you can see where the money is going. How much is going to
    interest, how much to the principal balances, and how much is being paid to the credit
    counseling service.
    Who can I call?
    When you have a problem or question can you speak with someone on the phone? Are
    you able to speak to the same counselor each time? If notArticle Search, how long does it take to return
    phone calls?
    Do this up front. Make sure you can live with the answers you receive. Then test the service
    to see if they live up to what they have said. Check their service out before you sign on the
    bottom line. If you find that you can’’t get questions answered or telephone calls returned
    look for another service. Going through credit counseling is stressful enough without any
    added problems.
    These questions will give you a good idea what kind of service you have found. There are other
    questions you may ask. If you think of any do not hesitate to ask and don’’t stop asking until you get
    the answers you need. It is your money.

    Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR


    David Wilding has for the past ten year worked with groups and individuals to rid themselves of debt. Visit his website http://www.debtattack.com for ideas, tools, and strategies to live debt free.



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