Gaining back control through credit counseling
In the same way that marriage counseling can save a rocky marriage, credit counseling can put a stop to your credit troubles. Contrary to popular belief, it is actually very easy and applying for it in the early stages of your financial difficulties could save you from more serious miseries.
Credit counseling guides consumers in discovering ways to gain back control of their finances – in the end, perhaps even allowing them to gain back control of their lives. They basically help consumers stuck in debt in repaying them by diligently budgeting and managing their funds. They negotiate with the creditors to perhaps stretch the pay-off period and they do almost anything they can to negotiate an arrangement that would be agreeable both to the creditor (because the loan will ultimately be paid) and to the consumer (because the payment terms will be changed to fit his resources better).
What normally happens is that the credit counseling agency handles all the paper work and requirements for the settlement of all debts saving the consumer a lot of time, money, and effort. It provides the consumer with a detailed system on how to pay their debts and how to maintain a sustainable budget. Good counselors also provide concrete strategies to free up cash and this usually involves a subsequent streamlining of the consumers’ lifestyle.
The services provided by credit do indeed extend far beyond paying up debts. It doesn’t only facilitate settlement of debts but it oversees management of all other financial issues as well. Think of it this way: Debt payment is only the short goal, the long-term agenda is financial independence and viability. In fact, as many have already said and written about, being stuck in debt is merely a symptom of a bigger problem. It could be a result of problems leading to an excessive lifestyle or a product of simple ignorance. In order to provide real help, the root of the problem must be identified and addressed. Simply covering a consumer’s debt, though good enough for every one, would not really suffice.
Credit counseling is usually provided by non-profit groups that are funded by charities and at times, even the creditors themselves – something that would probably puzzle you. Why on earth would creditors pay additional money just to get back money that was theirs to begin with? Well, there really is a simple reason for that. Creditors would lose more money if their debtors didn’t pay at all rather than if their debts were mitigated and systematically restructured through credit counseling. And because money received now is worth more than money received ten years later, the creditors would also want to get their money back as quickly as possible so they can channel it to more productive uses, which probably includes the possibly lending to other people who are more likely to pay their dues. Additionally, donating money for non-profit credit counseling is widely considered as a sign of goodwill and it allows the creditor to enjoy certain tax cuts.
Throughout the years, credit counseling has become very important in helping a lot of people get back on their feet. This is especially so because it offers great help to people who are not that well-informed about managing their own finances. If you find yourself losing control of your debts and your finances in general, don’t be afraid to ask for credit counseling. It helps and getting it would probably be one of the best decisions you will ever make.