What is Debt Counseling?
Debt counseling, like other forms of counseling, utilizes individual attention by a trained professional to help people improve their lives and solve various problems. With debt counseling, the advice and guidance offered to the client is limited to money management issues like spending, saving, budgeting, etc.
There are also legal and technical issues a counselor can help with. The typical consumer can’t be expected to know all of the ins and outs of mortgage refinancing regulations, or terms of various consumer protection laws. A counselor should be knowledgeable enough to answer a client’s questions about these issues.
We teach consumers how to better manage their personal finances, pay down debt, and save for the future.
For many of us, sound advice and education don’t go far enough—we have questions, we run into obstacles, and we need extra help. That’s where debt counseling can help.
Debt Counseling Advantages
There are several advantages of debt counseling:
- Professional one-on-one counseling that addresses debt issues is confidential. As long as the debtor uses a credentialed counseling organization, consumers can feel secure that they’re getting the best possible service. (See “How to Know if a Credit Counseling Agency is Legitimate.”)
- Using a counselor means getting personalized advice and guidance that you can’t get from a web site, book, or radio call-in show. Only a certified counselor will take the time to understand your unique situation and offer you assistance that is targeted to your circumstances.
- Counselors are non-judgmental and professional. Debt counseling has been around for over 50 years; experienced counselors have seen more kinds of circumstances than you can imagine, and they know that criticizing or judging their clients is not a worthwhile counseling strategy.
- Counselors are certified. A knowledgeable, trained and experienced counselor will have answers to your questions and advice based on their expertise and personal experience as a counselor. You might find people sympathetic to your situation that will happily offer advice, but a true debt counselor will have the professional credentials needed to offer sound guidance.
Learn More about Debt Counseling
Debt counseling includes a wide variety of services designed to help consumers better manage their finances and address many different kinds of debt. As long as consumers seek the assistance of legitimate nonprofit counselors who are properly certified, there is no risk to the consumer. Part of the initial counseling involves determining what solutions would help a particular client in their particular situation, so a debt counseling session is a great place to start for those who have any concerns about repaying their debts.
Try out our calculator below to see what you can expect when paying off your credit cards.