Since 1984, Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS), formerly known as Consumer Credit Counseling Services, has been committed to instructing and empowering consumers and families on money management. To fulfill this goal, CCCS offers the following low-cost and free services: individual budget counseling with a trained financial advisor. The advice gained from a personal budget counselor can prove invaluable when it comes to developing long-term financial strategies.
Another service provided by CCCS is debt consolidation. Debt consolidation usually involves taking out one or more unsecured loans in order to pay off unsecured loans with higher interest rates and fees. Many of these loans are older debts that were accumulated through credit card use. In many cases, the consumer credit counseling counselor will be able to negotiate a debt consolidation loan that is specifically suited to the needs of your situation. These monthly payment arrangements may also allow for lower interest rates, which will save the consumer a considerable amount over time.
When looking for a consumer credit counseling service, it is wise to look for a service that not only provides budget and debt management planning, but also educational services. The more comprehensive and educational a debt management plan offered by a counseling service the more likely that the consumer will be able to escape the circumstances that landed them in debt. CCCS offers both standard debt counseling services and specialty debt counseling services. For standard services, a variety of financial education resources are available through CCCS.
The non-profit organizations CCCS works with are designed to give consumers practical financial education and assistance in developing and maintaining long-term financial strategies. Some of these non-profit organizations offer budgeting assistance, educational tools, and general financial education. The goal of many of these non-profit organizations is to provide consumers with information about current economic situations, as well as ways to avoid future financial hardships. Many of these non-profit organizations have extensive networks of local creditors. The consumers can contact these creditors directly to obtain budgeting assistance and other services that will help them pay their bills.
CCCS debt management counselors are certified and trained to provide both financial counseling and budgeting assistance. When contacting a CCCS counselor, it is important to ask questions regarding the level of training their counselors have received. If a counseling service has not received accreditation from either a national or state board, it is best to move along. There are national and state boards that accredit consumer credit counseling agencies. In addition, these agencies offer detailed informational websites that provide valuable information for consumers interested in finding a reputable and fully accredited agency.
If a consumer credit counselor does not offer budgeting assistance or information on finding a reputable agency to work with, it is time to look for another provider. It is also important to inform any potential counselors that they will be required to submit a credit report to the credit counseling agency. A credit report can provide valuable information that will influence a debtor’s decision on whether or not to participate in a debt management plan.