We get a lot of counseling these days. There’s individual therapy, group therapy, organizations for like-minded people, couples’ counseling, you may be surprised to find out there is even counseling for your finances. Your relationship with your finances is important and can be just as linked to your overall mental and physical health as anything else in your life that causes you stress. Credit counseling exists as a way to tackle that stress like anything else: tackling the root of a problem.
However, if you are filing for personal bankruptcy, credit counseling is a requirement.
Part of the bankruptcy process includes credit counseling, however, anyone can benefit from being advised on the best ways to handle their money and ensure thy stay on budget. This isn’t counseling to make sure you invest right, it’s to make sure your day-to-day relationship with your finances remains healthy and manageable.
Below are some facts about credit counseling and how it can assist you to have a more relaxed and stress-free lifestyle.
What Is Credit Counseling?
Credit counseling is a way to help you understand your money and your debts. It can assist in budgeting and management therein as well as offer workshops on how to best manage your money without a budget. Typically, credit counselors are certified in consumer credit, money management, and budgeting and offer a variety of tools to make money management and adhering to a budget as simple and easy as possible for you.
How Do I Find a Credit Counselor?
Plenty of organizations exist to help you with your credit and budget needs. One place to start looking is the Financial Counseling Association of America or the National Foundation of Credit Counseling, both of which can point you in the direction of certified credit counselors.
If you are filing for bankruptcy your bankruptcy attorney will have recommendations. You can also speak to your current financial advisor to see if there are any referrals you can get for a credit counselor.
What Questions Should I Ask My Credit Counselor?
First, you’ll want to make sure your counselor is certified if you haven’t gone through an officially recognized agency. Make sure to find out what services they offer and exactly what type of counseling they do. Ask about educational materials or workshops and ask about past stories of success they may have had with previous clients.
What will credit counseling cost me?
You’ll need to talk with your counselor about the exact fee and how they process payments, what you’ll need up front, and what the fee schedule is. Most credit counseling service are nonprofit and will be able to assist you with payment needs.
Will this hurt my credit?
Credit counseling will not hurt your credit score. It is possible for the score to take a hit as a result of some of the actions your counselor asks you to take, overall it will be a benefit.
If you are overwhelmed in credit and personal debt, personal bankruptcy is an option you may want to consider. The Bankruptcy Attorneys at Hines Law Offices can help. We specialize in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Filings as well as aid our clients with supportive and compassionate advice when it is required most.
Our Full-Service Legal Firm handles all types of personal debt relief matters and we have several locations throughout Massachusetts. Call us today for a Free Consult!