Setting Expectations for Your First Credit Counseling Session
A good credit counseling session offers consumers a way to learn exactly where they are with their money and how they can get to a better place financially. While you may feel nervous or intimidated talking to someone about your financial situation, it can provide the expert advice you need. In addition, you can gain peace of mind knowing you’re making the right choices for your money.
The information below will help you better understand what to expect from your first credit counseling session and what to expect after your session if you decide to enroll in a debt management program. Once you read through the information provided, you can get started on your own path to financial recovery by calling us today at to speak with a certified credit counselor. You can also get started online by completing a request for a Free Debt Analysis.
What to Expect from Your First Credit Counseling Session
A credit counseling session can go a few directions, depending on which method you use to contact the credit counseling agency. Although you can meet with a certified credit counselor in person, most consumers choose to do their session over the phone or online. This saves you the time and hassle of driving out to meet with a counselor at their office and allows you to use national credit services, instead of being limited to local providers.
The following chart provides a list of the benefits of calling to speak with a credit counselor directly versus taking the first step online:
|CONTACT BY PHONE||CONTACT ONLINE|
|Credit counselor will walk you through the process, so you have less uncertainty.||You can provide the information needed on your own time and at your own pace.|
|There may be more transparency with what the credit counselor is looking at in your finances and how the analysis works.||You have time to gather the information needed without someone waiting on the phone, so you may be able to provide more accurate numbers for the budget analysis rather than estimating.|
|You meet your credit counselor at the outset, so you can start building a relationship with the counselor that will be helping you out of debt.||You don’t have to complete the debt analysis in one session, so if you have limited time you can complete the analysis in a way that works for your schedule.|
|You can complete the analysis immediately, so you can rest easier knowing that you have a plan in place to address your debt.|
In either case, your journey through credit counseling starts with a credit counseling session that analyzes your debt and budget to help you determine the easiest and most effective way out of debt. Whether you provide the information directly to your credit counselor over the phone or you complete the information online first, you can expect the following:
1. The credit counselor will analyze your debts.
This allows the credit counselor to determine what types of debt you currently have and what debts are causing the problem for your financial outlook. If you complete the call for your first session, the counselor will go through each of your debts over the phone; if you start online, you will be prompted to provide this information on the form.
2. The credit counselor will evaluate your budget.
This allows the credit counselor to see where your money is going and how much free cash flow you have available to eliminate debt. They will also assess how much of your income is being used on debt payments to see if debt consolidation could help. If you call to speak with a counselor, he or she will walk you through each part of your budget and ask you to estimate your expenses; if you complete the form online, you will be prompted to provide the information required.
3. The credit counselor runs a credit check to determine your credit rating.
This allows the counselor to see if your issues with debt have caused any problems with your credit rating. In addition, if you have excellent credit scores, you may be able to use do-it-yourself debt consolidation to address your financial hardship. This credit check does not affect your credit scores, although it may appear on your credit reports.
4. The credit counselor will review your options and help you find a way out of debt.
The credit counselor will let you know which debt relief option is right for you so you can have an expert opinion on your best path back to financial stability. If you started the debt analysis process online, a credit counselor will contact you once the information you provided has been reviewed.
5. If a debt management program is your best option, you can start the enrollment process.
In many cases, the best option is a debt management program because it allows you to consolidate credit card debt and other unsecured debts, regardless of your credit rating. During your session, the credit counselor will be able to tell you exactly what you’ll pay each month and how many months it will take to complete the program so you can pay off your debts in-full. Then you once make the decision to enroll, you can even complete your paperwork electronically so you can start getting relief without delay.
What to Expect Once You Enroll
Each month, you pay the credit counseling agency a single monthly payment, and they will distribute the payment amongst your creditors on your behalf. In addition, the credit counselor will negotiate with creditors to lower your interest rates and remove any penalties or fees that have been applied to your account.
During your program, if you have any questions or need additional resources to help improve your financial literacy, our staff is at your service to help you find the tools and information your need. In addition, if you have a change in your situation and will have trouble making your monthly payment, the staff can assist you in making special arrangements so you can stay on track.
If you’re ready to get started, call Consolidated Credit today at to speak with a certified credit counselor. You can also get started online with a Free Debt Analysis, and a counselor will contact you once they’ve had an opportunity to review the information you provide on the form.