Christian Debt Management Consultants
The growing number of Christian debt management consultants reflects the growing problem of consumer debt in this country. Unlike past generations, today's consumer often has a buy it now, pay for it later philosophy. The problem is compounded by easy access to high limit credit cards and even the push to take out home equity lines of credit (HELOC) to spend on items other than the house. Overall, we are a nation with a negative savings rate. This is a troubling situation when one of the largest generations in the nation's history, the multitude of baby boomers, is now reaching retirement age. Too many are financially unprepared for their golden years. Instead of relaxing on the golf course, traveling to foreign places, or living out other dreams, too many older baby boomers are forced to continue working because of too much debt and not enough of a nest egg. Many may need to seek the services of debt management consultants to help them out of a bad economic situation.
Many younger people are also drowning in debt. Financial experts note that young couples want to have the same standard of living as their parents, but are too impatient or just don't realize that it took their parents years and years to reach that level. The number of people who jumped into buying a home before being financially prepared to do so is staggering -- and now the monthly house payments on their variable rates subprime mortgages are so high that they are defaulting on the loans. The expertise of debt management consultants may help families facing a possible foreclosure make a prudent decision on how best to handle the situation. Since circumstances can vary, a knowledgeable professional can assist with relevant advice and access to additional resources for the financially-strapped homeowner. The huge number of subprime loans, too freely granted to borrowers without the resources to make the payments, has created a ripple effect throughout the nation's housing market and lessened property values in neighborhoods across the country.
There's an old bumper sticker saying that says, "I owe, I owe, so off to work I go." We chuckle at the little rhyme, but it's so true for numerous individuals and family. Solomon, the wise king wrote that: "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7). Owing money enslaves people to jobs they hate and limits what they can do with their paychecks. Credit card debt is a major problem for many individuals and families. Some people find themselves in the horrible economic position of getting a cash advance on one card to make payments on another. This is a very unwise thing to do, but conscientious people often prefer doing something like this rather than not making a payment or making a late payment. Such individuals are concerned about keeping a high credit score and the fear of any black marks against one's credit history may lead to making financial mistakes. Here again, debt management consultants can provide needed assistance in helping consumers understand that compounding a problem doesn't solve a problem. Of course, the more usual scenario is that credit card debt keeps growing because the minimum payments put scarcely a debt in an account with high interest rates and continual usage. When the time comes that the credit card limit is reached and new offers are no longer available, the consumer has little choice but to seek the assistance of debt management consultants to help straighten out the mess.
When collection agencies and creditors start calling, many consumers just want to throw a blanket over their heads and hide. Just the ringing of the telephone causes tension and fear. It's not unusual for indebted consumers to feel embarrassed, angry, and frustrated. Collectors understand this and can be downright bullies in attempting to manipulate the debtor to provide the account numbers for checking and savings accounts. With that information, the collection agency can take withdrawals directly from the account. Sad to say, but collection agencies are often dishonest in their practices. They may tell the consumer that a certain amount will be withdrawn, but then take out even more than the agreed-upon amount. Consumer advocates usually warn against giving banking account information to creditors. This is an instance when debt management consultants can be extremely helpful. A professional consultant is removed from the emotional feelings of anger and embarrassment. She can contact creditors directly and negotiate lower interest rates or a lower pay-off amount on behalf of her client.
Before contacting debt management consultants for assistance, a person may want to contact his creditors by himself. But this step should be taken before the creditors start calling him. As soon as the situation becomes obvious that monthly obligations cannot be paid, the prudent individual should call the creditor and explain the situation as clearly as possible. The creditor may have processes in place that will help individuals over a rough spot. But if the situation has become so intense that phone calls aren't answered for fear of whom may be calling, then the consumer should not be embarrassed to seek outside assistance. Consumer advocates suggest shopping carefully for reputable debt management consultants so that individuals aren't hit with a financial scam when they are already economically vulnerable. Debt consultant companies should be researched both online and with the Better Business Bureau. Financially-troubled individuals may be able to receive assistance through government programs.
Christian Debt Management CounselorSitting in front of the debt management counselor for over an hour, it became obvious to her that the couple she was counseling was in denial and it was not a river they were in. The husband was an avid fisherman and owned a twenty thousand dollar boat and trailer and needed a large SUV to pull it in and out of the water. The wife has amassed a small fortune in dolls from around the world that she had collected as a hobby. The couple had over fifty thousand dollars of credit card debt plus two car payments but was unwilling to unload any of their stuff. The result was that they ended up arguing almost daily about having no discretionary money because of massive monthly credit debt payments. A marriage counselor might be in order later to deal with how they talked to each other, but for now, a debt counselor was exactly what the two needed.
Marriage experts are quick to point out money is the number one reason for marriages breaking up. Almost all would admit that daily communication is at the root of so much hot button marriage friction, but in many cases it's money problems that begin the communication breakdown. But a debt management counselor or coach is not just for couples. This professional is also needed for anyone who is struggling with how to manage mounting piles of choking credit payments and a distinct case of income stagnation. And since it is estimated that seventy percent of all Americans are living pay check to pay check, there is a very real chance that borrowed money repayment is a primary reason why.
Any counselor, including one from the credit management ilk must convince the client that the plan being drawn up for self-improvement really is the best plan for his welfare. This is especially true for a debt management counselor because financial stability and success cannot occur without a long term scheme in place. And long term means hard core commitment to a daily routine much different from what was practiced for so long. In the case of the couple not willing to give up their toys, the debt counselor would have to recommend a more drastic measure, credit account consolidation. Those who hang on to possessions may be revealing the shallowness of their lives. Jesus made it very clear that what is down in the well comes up in the bucket when He said, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:24)
When a person agrees to counseling, it can be a very big step forward. After all, if Mary Jane has to drag her husband Big Jim to a debt management counselor what chance does the counselor have of succeeding? One of the real foundational steps in going to counseling is finding the right coach. If Big Jim finds out that the counseling professional is a Jets fan like himself, there may be some hope for a real connection to occur. Consequently, Mary Jane will have to be very aggressive in researching to find the professional that will ring her husband's chime. That search will also entail finding someone that others have recommended. Attila the Hun will probably not ring Mary Jane's chime either.
A trusted debt management counselor will provide several options for her clients. Since profitability is in the credit account consolidation business, the temptation for the counselor will be to push that option first. Lots of counseling companies are non-profit but even they, through offering debt management solutions with agreements among creditors make a profit for their services. However a debt management counselor with a true interest in the client will also offer classes and educational opportunities to enhance a client's awareness of successful financial planning and re-prioritizing. An early sign of encouragement to a potential client would be the willingness of the professional to offer alternatives to borrowed money account consolidation which is a very close relative of chapter thirteen bankruptcy proceedings.
Your friendly neighborhood debt management counselor will more than likely not have training in actual clinical counseling methods. Many websites touting credit counseling call their counselors certified. The clear meaning of that term means the counseling person has been trained by the company to espouse the company line. This training will not include gaining expertise in dealing with certain personality disorders or marital problems so leave the discussion about the merits of Prozac and dealing with a nagging husband at home. But if a person is having trouble sleeping at night worrying about the bills, or if a husband and wife aren't talking because credit has choked out all the passion from the marriage, the credit counseling can deal with the heart of the problem.
Christian debt consolidation that a counselor will probably offer is a method by which the client's creditors agree to much lower interest rates, usually on credit card accounts and other revolving accounts. Some installment loans may also be subject to lower interest rates agreements but the good news is if a client stays with the program for the full term of the program, all debts can be dissolved within five years. The downside to this plan is that fewer than fifty percent of all clients stay with the program and eventually slide back into high debt spending habits. A good debt management counselor will stay in touch regularly with each client to head off any inclinations to end good money practices. Oh yeah, the couple with the boat and dolls? She got mad and went to stay with her mother.