When you may struggling to manage your credit or you are considering filing for bankruptcy, choosing a credit counselor and completing credit counseling can be the right move for you. As with many industries, however, there are plenty of charlatans out there, and you (and the general consumer) has to beware of the companies that just want to take your money without providing you with:
- Any useful information or education regarding managing your credit and getting out of debt
- Anything that can be used to fulfill the court’s requirement that people filing for bankruptcy first attend a court-approved credit counseling program.
Therefore, to avoid wasting your money and possibly making your financial situation worse, make sure you ask the right questions when choosing a credit counselor. In this blog series, we will highlight some of the more important questions to ask as you are screening and choosing a credit counselor. These questions can help you not only choose the right counselor but also help you get the most out of these services so you can start making some real improvements to your overall financial standing.
Choosing a Credit Counselor: Here’s What You Should Ask…
The following questions are an overview of what the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) advises that consumers ask companies from whom they are considering seeking credit counseling services.
Question 1 – What types of credit counseling services and information do you offer?
Make sure that the company or organization offers a broad range of services, including (but not necessarily limited to) budget counseling services, as well as savings and debt management classes. Avoid any entities that:
- Want to charge you for educational materials that are available for free elsewhere
- Try to push you into agreeing to a debt consolidation loan, a debt management plan or some other offer without having closely analyzed your financial situation.
Question 2 – What about the fees? And are there options for people who can’t afford these fees?
This is a very important question to ask upfront because it can help you quickly weed out fishy, inexperienced or unethical credit counseling services as you are choosing a credit counselor to help you. When asking this question:
- Make sure you get any quotes or special deals in writing
- Be suspicious of credit counselors who do not offer any aide to people who do not have the means to pay for these services.
We will continue highlighting some crucial questions to ask when choosing a credit counselor in a few upcoming parts of this blog series – make sure that you check them out!
Colorado Bankruptcy Lawyers at the Law Office of Jon B. Clarke, P.C.
Whether you’ve completed the credit counseling requirement for bankruptcy, if you are struggling with debt and are looking for a financial fresh start, contact the trusted Colorado debt relief and bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Office of Jon B. Clarke, P.C.
To move forward and unburden yourself from debt, call us at (866) 916-3950 or email us using the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in Denver, we provide people throughout Colorado with the highest quality debt relief legal services.