Debt management counseling isn’t for everyone. Consumers that can create a personal budget that’s focuses on paying down debt exponentially probably won’t require the services of a counselor. If a family has difficulty creating a budget that focuses on eliminating debt, then a debt counseling service might be a good option.
Eliminating Credit Card Debt
Paying down or eliminating credit card debt and other unsecured loans can seem like an impossible task. Credit card debt in particular can be difficult to eliminate, especially if the minimum payment is made each month. Since the minimum payment is reduced as the balance is lowered, it can take 20 plus years to eliminate the debt just making the minimum payment.
The trick to paying off credit card debt is to create a budget that allows a payment that’s above the minimum. As the balance is reduced, the minimum payment will also be lowered. Stick to the budget and make the same monthly payment each and every month, regardless of the minimum payment amount. The discipline of making the same payment each and every month is the key.
Debt Management Counseling Service
A debt management counseling service can help with a personal budget if the family has difficulty creating one. A financial counselor will assess the family’s financial situation and give advice as to the steps that should be taken to reduce or eliminate debt. The debt counselor will normally create a workable personal budget that focuses on eliminating debt. If the counselor feels that the debt is insurmountable, they may recommend enrollment in a debt management plan.
Looking for a Debt Counseling Service
The best type of counseling service is one that will work with the consumer in person, face to face. If possible try to find a service that a family member or friend has used with good results. Other good sources are credit unions, financial institutions, universities and local consumer protection agencies. Be aware of services that
- charge high up front fees
- ask for credit card or loan account numbers
- make sales pitches
- use email spam or solicit on the phone
- guarantee to eliminate debt
- won’t send you free information
A debt counseling service may claim that they are a non-profit organization, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t charge a fee. Great care should be taken in choosing a counseling service. There are many illegitimate companies that will take advantage of consumers looking for financial help.
The main key to getting out of debt is discipline. Whether a debt management counseling service creates a budget or the consumer creates their own, they must have the discipline to stay within the budget. Sacrifices will have to be made, but if a plan is constructed that focuses on debt reduction and it’s strictly adhered to, it’s just a matter of time before debt is reduced.