Christian Credit Counseling Certification

Christian credit counseling certification provides an individual with the necessary knowledge to advise consumer's who are having financial difficulties. They can help them to develop a plan to get out of debt and to discontinue the unfavorable behavior that put them into a financial crisis to begin with. Some people just need a little help in learning new behavior so they can manage their finances better. To become certified and obtain credit counseling certification an individual will need to find a company that provides comprehensive training on debt management services. Companies online that advertise these services provide a continuing education course for the individual who is interested in helping others with debt management. Some courses last as long as twelve weeks and individuals can get part of their training by working directly with a debt management company.

A training manual may be provided during the beginning of training for credit counseling certification. On site training will include talking to interested customers over the phone about how to learn to manage finances and what services are offered to those who are interested. A written exam may also be part of the training required before a trainee can acquire certification. The exam will include the information that is contained in the manual and will include questions on how to handle specific situations with customers. Some of the important information that needs to be learned so that the counselor can work successfully with customers include how to live on a budget, why it is important to have a plan and a strategy to pay off debts, and how to read a credit report and dispute errors on the report. "Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt" (Matthew 18:27).

Professional guidance is more than just having a conversation with a customer about what they need to do to be successful with managing finances. This is one reason why it is so important to become knowledgeable about debt management. A person with credit counseling certification understands the importance of actually working with the customer and teaching him or her steps necessary to be successful. This can not be accomplished with one telephone conversation. For actions to become habits they must be done repetitively and most people learn better by actually doing something themselves than having someone do it for them. Professional guidance means working with a client for an extended period of time and being there for them whenever needed.

Customers who are interested in employing a debt management company to help them to pay their debts will most likely have to pay an initial fee upfront and a monthly service fee for as long as services are needed. The individuals who work for many of these types of companies need to have education and knowledge about laws of the state and the rights of the consumer. A person who is looking to use this type of service should inquire to see if the company uses counselors who have credit counseling certification. Customers should ask about the fees that will be charged for services and if the person working with them has the knowledge and the experience to help them to be successful in catching up any past due accounts as well as learning to pay their creditors on time each month and learning how to live on a budget and keep track of all expenditures.

Debt management companies normally offer assistance to customers with unsecured debt such as credit card debt, personal loans, lines of credit, student loans, medical bills, past due balances on utilities, and any other type of unsecured loans that have unpaid or past due balances. Some companies will work on secured accounts that involve household items or furniture as well. A person with credit counseling certification will be able to tell a client exactly what types of accounts are included in a debt management program. The professional will be able to help the customer develop a budget and a plan that will include paying secured debt but they will not normally negotiate for a customer on secured loans such as a mortgage or automobile loan.

Counselors must uphold a code of ethics and understand what those ethics are in order to obtain credit counseling certification. They should have the knowledge to advise a client based upon their unique financial situation. A professional will understand how important it is to obtain the client's financial history and what their present situation is with creditors. The customer will need to provide the professional with a list of all creditors and how much owed each one including how much their monthly payment usually is. They will need to know how much income a customer has and how much other expenses total including groceries, fuel, supplies, and so on.

Living on a budget is vital for any consumer who has debts that he or she can not afford to pay. Sometimes the problem is spending money daily on little stuff or inexpensive stuff. Making daily trips to the store can add up over the period of a month. This can be a big problem if the entire family is unaccountable for small expenditures. Living on a budget means becoming accountable for every penny. A professional with credit counseling certification must help the customer understand the importance of keeping track of all money spent. The customer may have to do without some of the things he or she really enjoys like eating out everyday or spending money in the candy machine everyday. Being accountable can make a difference on how well a budget works.

Christian Credit Counseling Organizations

The need for reputable credit counseling organizations has never been greater. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, identity theft and other issues indicate that more and more people are struggling with financial issues on a daily basis. Many legal procedures such as bankruptcy require consumers to obtain qualified counseling before their cases can be closed. But the potential client should beware. Not all credit counseling organizations are equal. Some are stretching the boundaries of non profit status and others are guilty of price gouging. There is also a myth that seeking help from financial counselors can actually lower an individual's credit score. This is not necessarily true. Anyone who seeks help and advice from these providers for the purpose of creating a usable budget will not see any change in financial scores. The goal of counselors is to help borrowers get back on track and begin to pay off debt. In addition to taking advice from a trained counselor, enrolling in a debt repayment plan will not adversely affect financial scores.

There are generally a variety of programs and services that are offered by credit counseling organizations. These programs could include personal credit instruction, educational services, debt management, real estate lending issues, and bankruptcy. Budgeting advice and a personal financial analysis may be features that are offered as well. Meeting in person with a qualified counselor is the norm with some providers, but online classes and contact via telephone are also widely available. For many consumers, financial problems have grown to an overwhelming point before they reach out for help. Professionals in the field can help to take the mystery and confusion out of simply living within an individual's means. Issues such a charge account consolidation, credit reports and bankruptcy alternatives are also generally explained. Debt reduction programs can help clients work out an affordable plan for eliminating debt and getting back on a healthy financial track. Turning to reputable credit counseling organizations might mean the difference between eventual bankruptcy and solvency for many clients.

When finances seem to be veering out of control, seeking help from credit counseling organizations can be an important first step toward fiscal stability. Divorce, health issues, unexpected job loss and any number of concerns can mean that personal finances will take a hit. Overwhelming debt can begin to feel like a runaway train. Trained counselors who can lay out a viable plan of action can have a positive emotional as well as financial impact. When personal finances have gotten seriously out of hand, professional credit counseling organizations can help individuals work out an effective debt management plan. These plans involve an evaluation of the client's current financial situation that is generally followed by the development of a workable plan for repayment and future spending. Counselors will also work with creditors to negotiate a plan of action that is fair and achievable for all parties concerned. In difficult times, wise guidance can be a very valuable thing. The Bible talks about the guidance that God can provide to believers. "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." (Psalm 16:11)

Anyone who is facing foreclosure is also facing a great deal of stress and emotional loss. Many credit counseling organizations will work with their clients and the lending institutions involved in coming up with a plan that avoids foreclosure and helps get mortgage payments up to date. Clients who are interested in any kind of real estate related financing might also benefit from the advice of a trained counselor. Whether the client's interest is in a reverse mortgage style of financing, counseling for potential home buyers, finding and purchasing a home, or negotiating a real estate purchase when a client is a first time home buyer, most providers can lead the client through the process from start to finish. If the issue of bankruptcy is looming, trained counselors can generally help individuals explore any and all alternatives before moving forward. A one on one assessment can take the individual's situation into consideration and come up with a workable plan. If bankruptcy is the only way out, most counselors can help to explain the process and the negative effects on credit to a client. Since such counseling is mandatory before a bankruptcy case can come to a close, most providers will offer a certificate of completion to clients who have met all requirements of participation. Understanding the possible alternatives to bankruptcy as well as any property that may be protected under the law is very important for clients who are facing this difficult financial decision.

In some instances, the services offered by Christian credit counseling organizations may not be all that reputable. There are, unfortunately, some providers who are guilty of less than honorable activity. These scammers may be using a fraudulent tax exempt status to avoid consumer protection regulations that apply at the state and federal levels. A consumer would be wise to be aware of a few indicators that might betray an unscrupulous organization. Does the agency offer solutions that seem too good to be true? Does the agency's schedule of fees seem inappropriately high? Does the counselor point toward education and understanding of the situation at hand rather than some kind of miracle cure? Does the fee schedule contain any kind of "voluntary contribution"? Is this an agency that creditors are willing to work with? Is the organization approved by the Better Business Bureau?

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