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How To Choose The Right Credit Counseling Agency

Published November 2, 2011

Millions of Americans are debt strapped as the country faces a decade of economic deflation. The debt treadmill is rolling and the prospects of fiscal austerity and runaway inflation proves ruinous for an average household financial stability. Everyday Credit Collection Agencies are targeting the unfortunate debtors, who have maxed out their credit cards or have piled up unpaid bills.

People seek promising solutions that would assist them to erase the debt related calamities and offer financial cures. No matter how bad your debt is, there are ways that can help you to crawl out of the volatilities. Credit counseling services help you in desperate monetary situations and support you in setting up a workable payment plan.

Deciding Credit Counseling Agencies in Accordance with FTC

The American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has laid some basic guidelines in the proper selection of a credit counseling agency for the debt-laden citizens, who seek debt help. Many credit-counseling agencies are nonprofit and work to develop a budget management plan for you.

Federal Trade Commission also highlights the facts about fraudulent agencies and offer precautionary measures, which would help you to select the right counseling service for your debt problems.

Selecting the Right Consumer Credit Counseling Agency:

A reputable credit-counseling agency will offer free authentic information about its services and a reliable solution for your debt problems. Here are a few basic rules, a glimpse of FTC recommendations, which will help you to select the most legitimate credit counseling organization that is right for you:

Millions of Americans are debt strapped as the country faces a decade of economic deflation. The debt treadmill is rolling and the prospects of fiscal austerity and runaway inflation proves ruinous for an average household financial stability. Everyday Credit Collection Agencies are targeting the unfortunate debtors, who have maxed out their credit cards or have piled up unpaid bills.

People seek promising solutions that would assist them to erase the debt related calamities and offer financial cures. No matter how bad your debt is, there are ways that can help you to crawl out of the volatilities. Credit counseling services help you in desperate monetary situations and support you in setting up a workable payment plan.

Deciding Credit Counseling Agencies in Accordance with FTC

The American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has laid some basic guidelines in the proper selection of a credit counseling agency for the debt-laden citizens, who seek debt help. Many credit-counseling agencies are nonprofit and work to develop a budget management plan for you.

Federal Trade Commission also highlights the facts about fraudulent agencies and offer precautionary measures, which would help you to select the right counseling service for your debt problems.

Selecting the Right Consumer Credit Counseling Agency:

A reputable credit-counseling agency will offer free authentic information about its services and a reliable solution for your debt problems. Here are a few basic rules, a glimpse of FTC recommendations, which will help you to select the most legitimate credit counseling organization that is right for you:

1. Identifying the Services of the Agency

A big budget-counseling firm does not necessarily mean that they are the best. A good credit counseling organization is one, which provides a range of services including budget counseling, debt management, and saving options on which the customers can rely on.

FTC states that you should avoid agencies, which compel you to opt for debt management as the only option, without properly scrutinizing your financial data.

2. Accreditation of Credit Counseling Agency

After you have searched about the functioning of the credit-counseling agency, it is the time to know if the agency is certified or not. The licensing of the counseling agency is a requisite by many States. Therefore, make sure that the services, the agency has listed down are conforming to the requirement of your State. Double check the documentation of the firm and search them over the internet to get the realistic picture.

3. The Source of Funding Behind the Agency:

Make thorough research about the funding of the agency. There are many companies, partially backed by contributions from voluntary creditors who are also the participants of Debt management plans. To gain detailed insight of your credit-counseling firm, find out the sources of funding they receive as well as who regulates and audits their operations.

4. Counseling Fees and Percentage Amounts

Another important factor is the amount charged by your counseling agency against the services. The FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibits the for-profit credit counseling firms from any charge or collection of fees before the settlement, reduction, or alteration of the debt.

Counseling firms that charge you the percentage of the amount you save, instead of claiming flat rate fees, should be your preference, as they are completely motivated to provide you with the best possible deal.

5. Compliance with Consumer Support Acts:

Look into your rights as a customer before you sign any contract with the counseling agency. The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects the customers by safeguarding their credit report information. Under the act, no credit-counseling agency can erase your credit history and the maintenance of the accurate information about your accounts on the credit reports is obligatory.

6. Signing the Service Contract

Take into account that you get the price and any other contract in writing. Verbal promises are “meant to be broken,” so put all the terms and conditions on a parchment, and go through it before signing any deal.

7. Personal and Financial Privacy Support

Never share your personal and financial information with an untrustworthy firm. Make sure that the chosen counseling agency respects your concerns for privacy and recognizes your need for appropriate protection and management of your financial information that you may submit to them.

8. Credibility of the Counseling Firms:

A trained and certified counseling firm can place you back on the track of financial stability. Make sure that you utilize the services of trained counselors, who can provide you with proper guidance about the appropriate tools you need to achieve financial security and will educate you to make proficient financial choices for the future. You can contact Local consumer protection agency and Better Business Bureau offices to inquire about the credibility and services offered by the credit counseling agency which you want to hire.

If you cannot assure that the agency is keeping the information, you provide, confidential and secure, then it is better that you look elsewhere.

Various other things are also necessary to consider while choosing the most suitable Credit Counseling Agency that is consistent with your requirements. However, the above-mentioned factors will give you a clear picture of the agency so that you can confidently make a satisfactory decision.

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