Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) provides budgeting help, financial education, and Debt Management Plans (DMPs) to their over 5000 agency members. All CCCS offices are fully-staffed except for administrative and secretarial support. All CCCS members are encouraged to attend credit counseling sessions. CCCS also provides debt management education to those in need of such training. Many people turn to credit counseling agencies for financial guidance after having an economic hard time.
In addition to budget counseling, credit counselors give individuals and families financial tools to use after they have been self-employed, or during a transition period after being jobless. Budget counseling usually takes the form of a debt management plan (DMP). The DMP is designed to take control of an individual’s out-of-pocket financial resources, such as income from employment, loans, stocks, life insurance, auto loans, and/or other assets. Debt Management Plans (DMPS) usually take control of out-of-pocket funds such as paycheck cash allowances, retirement savings, credit card savings, and other planned expenses.
There are several ways to get started with credit counseling. One way is to contact a local credit counseling office. These agencies generally require that you complete a short application. If you are eligible, a credit counselor will meet with you to review your information and help you develop a personal debt management plan. A credit counselor will help you determine how much credit card debt and other unsecured debt you have, the best way to repay it, and how you can improve your credit score and debt relief options.
Nonprofit credit counseling agencies also work with students. When students find themselves in overwhelming debt, they may turn to non-profit counselors to help them consolidate their student loans, pay for a housing counseling service, or receive advice about finding employment after graduating. In these cases, the agency contacts the school officials and the student to inform them of the student’s problem and obtain permission to contact the schools. Some nonprofit credit counselors can even defer payments on student loans while the students work toward repaying them.
Some other types of debt relief services offered by professional credit counseling agencies include debt management plans (DPMPs), which allow the agency to consolidate a debtor’s debt into one payment. Non-profit certified credit counselors can also offer debt management plans to consumers with federal loans and student loans. These plans typically include lowering monthly payments, eliminating interest fees, freezing interest rates, and reducing the length of time to repay each installment. However, not all non-profit certified credit counselors work with federal government debtors or student borrowers.
During a certified credit counseling session, your primary goal will be to discuss your current financial situation and obtain answers to questions about how you can manage your debt while avoiding future financial challenges. The session will help you develop strategies to improve your current financial situation, set realistic goals, develop budgeting skills, learn new money management techniques, and learn about managing your debt. Your counselor may provide information about consolidation programs, financial management plans, or other ways to deal with your current financial situation. After the discussion, you will likely be able to develop a course of action that will help you manage your finances more effectively.