Consumer Christian Counseling Credit Services
Consumer Christian counseling credit service organizations are available nationwide, locally, and through the Internet for individuals who desire a relief from their debt in the form of debt reduction counseling and application. These companies are typically not-for-profit and the fees they charge for the assistance (if any) are nominal compared to any other financial counselor. Good consumer counseling credit services will require that a debtor provide all relevant employment, income, and indebtedness information available. This important information is used to develop a strategy for debt consolidation and repayment within a short time. Through these firms, many people have discovered that there are healthy ways to use debt in their budgets. Consumer counseling credit services offer the debtor an alternative to bankruptcy and will teach the debtor how to refrain from getting into debt over his heads again. The freedom that comes with a debt free lifestyle is one that cannot be surpassed. When the financial burden of debt is relieved, the debtor can release anxiety and stress that are so commonplace with uncontrolled finances.
A consumer counseling credit service acts as third party intermediaries to speak on behalf of the debtor in the arrangement of a repayment plan with multiple creditors. The clients agree to a developed repayment plan, and as long as the funds for repayment are provided in a timely manner by the client, the funds are dispersed evenly to all creditors. The debtor makes one low monthly payment to a special savings account as per the agreement. The time frame for complete payoff is usually 2-5 years, at which time, the debtor retains a zero balance with all creditors.
It is important to note that caution should be taken when selecting consumer counseling credit services. There are fraudulent organizations that claim to serve borrowers but they do not disperse the money they receive and the debtor can end up in a worse situation than before. It is recommended that when searching for a trustworthy company, the applicant checks with the BBB or Better Business Bureau. The BBB rates all businesses according to previous customer reviews, complaints, and compliments. Those that have the highest ratings should be contacted for further information. A debtor should continue to research the chosen consumer counseling credit services' previous relationships with debtors and creditors to be assured of a satisfactory experience. As Christians, God expects us to act wisely in all areas of our lives, including our finances. Psalm 115:3 tells us, "Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased." We need to get with His program, not bring our messes to Him and ask Him to help us find our way. For the person who has managed his money unwisely, all he needs to do is confess his sin to the Lord and ask God to help him manage his money wisely. Perhaps using a consumer counseling credit service is part of that plan.
Consumer credit counseling service can be very helpful for those whose finances are out of control, or for those who simply want to take a proactive approach to improving their financial records. However, one problem people run into is getting scammed through these services. While most agencies are legitimate and seek the good of their client, people need to keep their eyes open for those agencies that are not.
When looking for help to improve one's finances, people should know to never pay a large amount of upfront fees. As those who work at legitimate agencies will say, they are working for the client, and will get paid when their client has seen results. However, everyone that is seeking help from a consumer credit counseling service should expect to pay at least small fees at some point. Whether a person chooses to use at non-profit or for-profit agency, they can expect to pay a reasonable upfront fee and possibly a monthly fee to cover administrative costs. Some of the services covered in the fees may include one-on-one counseling to set up a plan for paying debts, communication with creditors, and establishing a plan to stay out of debt once the debt elimination goals are met.
While it is good for people to want to get out of debt, most people really need an entire lifestyle makeover in order to become truly financially free. Counselors can offer step-by-step guidance for clients with a detailed plan of how to get the debt paid off without having to do something drastic like sell their house or file for bankruptcy. In addition, consumer credit counseling service will help people discern why they are in debt in the first place. Finally, the counselor can assist people in changing or rearranging their financial priorities in a way that works and in a way that is honoring to God: "Honour the Lord with thy substance" (Proverbs 3:9).
Financial counselors contend that the biggest problem with people's finances is that the average person spends 10% more than they make. While it may not sound like a lot, it can be if this amount is charged to a credit card and not paid. Therefore, when working with credit counseling services, people need to look at what they can cut from their spending, as well as how costs can be cut in areas of necessities, such as a phone bill or car insurance.
After working with a consumer credit counseling service to create a plan, people will need to discipline themselves in order to stick with it. Some people suggest keeping a journal of all the money spent each day, and reviewing it at the end of the week see how it fits into the proposed budget. In the early weeks of this new budget is an excellent time to make any changes. For instance, when people find themselves short with gas money for needed trips, first see if you can carpool, but also see where a couple dollars can be pulled from. Where there is a will to be financially free, there is a way.
Christian Consumer Credit Card CounselingConsumer credit card counseling is available through debt management services when debt has spiraled beyond a cardholder's ability to repay. The easy-to-use consumer credit card has caused a nationwide indebtedness of over $360 billion dollars. "Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts" (Proverbs 22:26). Although people are called by God not to accept interest, this is just how creditors make their money. Because families use the consumer credit card like a mini-loan for bills that are difficult to pay, creditors make millions. Fortunately, counselors can help an adult resist the habit of paying tomorrow what should be paid today. Credit card counseling also exposes the dangers of high interest rates and reveals how debt ultimately becomes a greater burden than a convenience. This kind of counseling is especially important in a society that relies more and more on the convenience of being "cashless".
Most counselors will quickly counsel clients with some hard, fast rules about credit. Yes, they'll say, consumer credit cards give up-to-date financial statements, one convenient payment for many varied purchases, and a handy way to manage cash when traveling. However, for those seeking advice, odds are that they are in a black hole of debt. Some people may have believed advertising that there is an "acceptable" level of debt. For instance, in a recent study, college students carried an average consumer credit card balance of nearly $3000; two years previous the average was closer to $2000. Truthfully, by adding up the cost of an item, plus the interest on every single dollar, it may be that the actual expense of "buying now, paying later" is far more money than the shopper really wanted to pay. Most shoppers need to seriously rethink their spending habits.
Consumer credit card counseling will advise cardholders to do everything possible to pay off the balance monthly, at least to make more than minimum payments. At the very least, cardholders should pay the interest each month and stop charging the card until funds can be freed up to pay on the actual balance. Otherwise, the interest payment will accrue faster than the debt reduction. Credit cards with a high interest rate should be traded for those with low introductory rates as long as cardholders can pay off the loan during that time. Counselors may also recommend taking out a home-equity loan with a tax-deductible interest rate to break away from the repeating cycle. When seeking advice, be prepared for some significant changes. You won't be alone; numbers indicate that more than 3 million Americans contact financial counselors each year. Consumer credit card counseling demands more responsibility in spending, but the freedom of being debt-free is worth the hard work.
Consumer credit counselors help clients get control of their finances by determining the root cause of the debtor's financial problems and offering solutions such as consolidation and debt negotiation. If a debtor is in a situation where they are making only the minimum payments on a credit card and never feel like they are getting ahead, it may be wise to sit down with a financial professional. Debtors will find consumer credit counselor services in almost any town, and if there isn't one in the local area, debtors can always contact a professional via the phone or the web. When sitting down to speak with the consumer credit counselor, the client will be asked to disclose their financial situation so, once all the facts are on the table, the counselor can start addressing the debt problem.
Debt professionals may begin by seeing if it is possible to put their client on a budget that will pay the debt down in a number of months. If the situation is so out of control that the debtor literally has more bills than income, the consumer credit counselor may suggest consolidation of all loans. Consolidating payments means the client will find one lender who offers a low-interest rate loan, and use that loan to pay off all the other lenders. Consumer credit counselors may also suggest ways to reduce the amount of debt. Often these experts can eliminate some of amounts by asking the lender to agree to a lesser amount if it is paid off instantly (by the low-interest lender.) After the professional has spent time determining what the client's debt load is, how long it will take to pay off and if there is any chance of getting the amount reduced, the consumer credit counselor will teach the debtor how to avoid debt in the future.
These Christian professionals are trained to teach consumers how to manage money. They will show their clients how compound interest works and how difficult it is to get out of debt once it begins to accrue. Consumer credit counselors will instruct their clients to charge only what they can pay off at the end of the month, and to have debt only for things that are an investment or that build equity, such as college, or a house. Computers and cars even fall within this category because clients would need a car to get to work, and computers are necessary to many jobs and certainly to students. If a debtor is having a difficult time with debt, he or she should contact local consumer credit counselors to get help before feeling overwhelmed and out of control. "Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee." (Exodus 18:19)