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It's Your Money. Do You Need Help Taking Control of It?


  Couple Viewing Finances

Have you reached the point where you need help getting your finances on track? Many people do and it’s usually through no fault of their own. If you are thinking about seeking guidance from a credit counseling agency, you should know the signs of a good company.

 

  1. Select counseling with a long track record. A company that has longevity is more stable and has employees with the experience you need

  2. The agency you choose should be a non-profit 501©3 IRS designated agency. A non-profit is more likely to have lower fees and put more of that money back into services for its client and community.

  3. Your credit counseling agency should be a member of and subscribe to the standards of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and accredited by an independent third party organization. Both of these organizations hold credit counseling agencies to high standards. Your credit counseling agency should also be HUD certified to provide housing counseling.

  4. Find an agency that has a clean record. You can check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) or with your state’s Attorneys General’s Office. Check to see that your agency is a member of the BBB and the local chamber of commerce where it has locations.

  5. Your credit counseling should only use certified financial counselors. The certification process ensures that your counselor has proven that they have the knowledge to tackle your issues accurately and thoroughly. While you are looking, take the time to verify the agency is licensed to do business in your state.

  6. The best credit counseling agencies will offer a variety of personal finance educational opportunities like workshops, seminars, and online webinars.

  7. Look for a credit counseling agency with physical locations. Chances are that you will want the convenience of being counseled online or over the phone. However, agencies that have physical offices show their commitment to the communities they serve.

  8. The credit counseling agency you choose should offer a variety of services. Good credit counseling agencies should be able to help you with a variety of needs including; financial counseling, housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling, debt management, and more.

  9. You want an agency that thoroughly reviews your financial situation. Your first financial counseling session should last about an hour and should review your personal finances in depth. You should be provided with a personalized plan and options for moving forward.

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