Choosing the Right Credit Counseling Agency
Credit counseling agencies can operate in different ways – particularly nonprofit credit counseling agencies versus for-profit credit counseling agencies. While all credit counseling agencies provide debt management programs, they often offer different resources and tools. In addition, the debt management services may have different fees that you should be aware of before choosing an agency.
Consolidated Credit is a nonprofit credit counseling agency that’s dedicated to helping consumers get on the right financial path. While our services can’t help everyone, they’ve helped over five million Americans find the necessary relief from credit card debt. If you want to know more or you’re ready to get started, contact us today at 1-800-320-9929 to speak with a certified credit counselor or complete a request for a Free Debt Analysis online and a counselor will contact you.
For-profit versus nonprofit credit counseling agencies
The biggest distinction between different types of credit counseling agencies is whether an agency is for-profit or nonprofit. A for-profit credit counseling agency will provide consumers with financial advice, although you may be required to pay for the consultation. They also run debt management plans for consumers. These programs typically have a setup fee and a monthly maintenance fee the consumer must pay, and they may also have proprietary tools and resources to help a consumer improve their financial outlook. Usually, you can only access these support materials after signing up for the program.
By contrast, a nonprofit credit counseling agency is required to provide free financial advice, tools and resources to consumers with or without enrollment in a debt management program through the agency. The first credit counseling session is free, so you can review your options and get the advice you need without incurring another bill. A nonprofit credit counseling agency still runs debt management plans for consumers, but the setup and maintenance fees are almost always lower in cost than for-profit programs. The nonprofit agency can do this because their organization is supported by community outreach programs and corporate financial literacy programs, which brings a lower cost to you as a consumer.
Finding the right credit counseling agency
The decision to use a nonprofit credit counseling agency or a paid service really comes down to finding a reputable agency with the services and resources which will help you the most. The following tips can help you choose the right credit counseling agency to fit your needs:
- Always check the BBB. Whether a credit counseling agency is for-profit or nonprofit, the agency will have a page on the Better Business Bureau website. Look at the company’s ranking as well as the complaints and any government action taken against the company. If a company has a large number of unsettled complaints that were not addressed or any action by a federal or state Attorney General’s office, you should look into other companies.
- Read customer reviews. Credit counseling is all about providing services to consumers, so you want to know past customers are happy with the service received from the company. Read testimonials on the company website and visit independent third-party review websites as well. This will help you get a clear idea of how satisfied past customers have been with a particular credit counseling agency.
- Look at the agency’s resources and support tools. A debt management program will function the same way, regardless of which agency you choose. However, the additional resources and tools offered by each company can be widely different. Choose an agency that provides the financial resources and tools that will help you achieve a brighter financial future.
We're Here to Help
If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to too much credit card debt, you need to quickly find a way to regain financial control in order to avoid further damage to your financial outlook and credit rating. If you’re ready to get started, we can provide a free debt analysis with no obligation to sign up for any programs. Call Consolidated Credit today at 1-800-320-9929 to speak with a certified credit counselor today or take the first step online by completing a request for a Free Debt Analysis.
- 05/21/2013 - Managing finances during a divorce
- 12/07/2012 - Who Should You Turn to When Faced With Credit Card Debt?
- 08/20/2012 - Should you consolidate your debt?