If you have found yourself overwhelmed with credit card debt, you are not alone. Millions of Americans have accumulated credit card debt, many of which who do not know how to reduce or eliminate it. You have several action steps to consider that can remedy the situation, including budgeting, debt consolidation loans, debt settlement, bankruptcy and credit card counseling. Which option is the best option for your financial situation? Before you take any drastic financial steps, consider counseling services offered by non-profit educational organizations, as you may be able to solve your credit card situation without the negative impact of charge-offs or bankruptcy which can cause long term damage to your personal credit report.
What is Credit Card Counseling?
Credit card counseling is a service offered to consumers who have accumulated an excessive amount of debt as an alternative to filing bankruptcy. Counseling firms can either be for profit or non-profit. One of the primary roles of these agencies is to provide valuable education for the consumer. Budgeting and proper credit card management are among some of the skill sets taught to participants in credit card counseling. Once you have completed the counseling session, you should have a strong working knowledge of how to manage your household budget, a plan of action for paying down your credit card debt and a list of resources in the event that you have questions along the way. In some instances, additional services are required, including enrolling in debt management programs where other credit alternatives such as debt settlement or bankruptcy will be evaluated.
Should you Consider Credit Card Counseling?
If your personal financial situation is strong and you are current on all of your credit card accounts, credit card counseling is likely not needed. If you feel that your interest rates are too high, working proactively with each of your credit card accounts to reduce your rates is likely a possibility. Simply call each of your current credit card companies to request their most competitive interest rate. Let each card company know that you are actively shopping interest rates and that you have full intention of completing balance transfers, moving funds to the companies offering the most competitive rates. In most cases, your current credit card companies will lower your rates without any additional steps required.
If you cannot pay the minimum amounts due on your credit cards monthly, you are regularly late on one or more of your bills, you are being contacted by creditors and/or collection agencies and you have not been successful negotiating with your creditors, you may want to think about contacting a credit counseling agency.
Contacting DCC to Speak with a Counselor
If your credit card debt has become unmanageable, it may be time to reach out for help. The professionals at DCC, a non-profit educational credit counseling organization, can work with you to provide education, debt management programs and resources, all designed to help you get out of debt and back on your feet financially.