Money Minute: What is Credit Counseling?

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When people hear the phrase “credit counseling”, often they will picture more traditional psychological counseling.  They may imagine someone sitting on a couch disclosing their financial woes while a specialist listens and takes notes.  In reality, credit counseling is much more of an interactive process that is beyond just listening.  It seeks to create real, custom solutions for each individual’s unique situation.

What Credit Counseling Is

When you connect with an accredited agency for credit counseling (known as “comprehensive financial review” at Apprisen), you’re assigned to a financial specialist who will help guide you through the process.  Your trained specialist will take an in-depth look at your finances and debt to determine the best next steps for you to take.  Your financial specialist will provide personalized recommendations to help you start addressing your financial situation immediately.  This review is provided to you free of charge, regardless of whether you choose to further use Apprisen’s services.

 

How Credit Counseling Can Help You

As part of the session, your financial specialist will evaluate your fit for a Debt Management Program (“DMP”).  This restructured payment plan reduces your interest rates, and in many cases, your monthly payment. The DMP makes it possible to pay off your debt more quickly and effectively.  It’s not a loan, so you don’t borrow any additional money. You also don’t have to go past due on any of your payments to qualify.

Bonus #1: Custom Budget Recommendations

As part of your financial review, your financial specialist will make suggestions for areas you may be able to reduce expenses or increase your income.  Having someone else look at your budget can help you to see blind spots you may have missed.  Our specialists are familiar with the average costs of most household expenses.  They also have experience analyzing household budgets.  They can help make suggestions to adjust your spending.

Bonus #2: Connection to Community Resources

If you have a non-financial need that Apprisen cannot fulfill, we can refer you to relevant local resources.  This can be especially helpful for households that are in a budget deficit (more going out than coming in each month) who may not qualify for a debt management program. Apprisen creates holistic solutions and empowers clients in all areas of their lives, not just finances.

Credit counseling is so much more than just a sympathetic ear. It connects you with an expert who can provide customized solutions for your unique financial situation.  If you’re interested in getting started online, please check out our secure online tool IRIS  or call us at 1-800-355-2227.

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Financial health happens when you partner with IRIS! Securely submit your financial information to IRIS and receive a free, comprehensive financial plan within hours! This plan is reviewed by one of our live Certified Financial Specialists. It's the first step on your journey to financial health!