If you are drowning in debt, and cannot seem to develop a way out, you understand that the problem is beyond your understanding and ability to control. You seek the advice of a credit counselor because you know that you cannot resolve the situation by yourself. Only wise people know when they need help. So, consider yourself wise.
Purpose of Credit Counseling
A credit counselor may provide a variety of services, among them the following:
- A realistic look at your income and debt to determine how and if you are able to meet your monthly obligations.
- Development of a budget and a payment plan which will get you out of debt as quickly as possible.
- Negotiation with creditors to lower total debt amounts
- Assistance in seeking a debt consolidation loan if one is warranted
- Education and training in personal finance so the situation won’t recur.
What You Should Ask
- How long will it take me to pay off my debt if I just make minimum payments?
- How do late and missed payments affect my credit score?
- How can I get my credit score back up?
- What affect does debt consolidation have on my credit?
- What affect does negotiation for a lower balance have on my credit?
- How long can I expect my credit to be affected negatively if I have missed or late payments or take steps # 4 and #5?
- Is bankruptcy an option for me?
- What kind of interest rate am I looking at if I get a debt consolidation loan? Over the life of the loan, how much is that really costing me?
- If I follow the budget you have devised, how long will it take to get my debt to a manageable level and/or to get it totally paid off?