Debt counseling programs are designed to help you reclaim your financial health. They offer a variety of solutions for debt. The best debt counseling programs are the ones that are accredited, have certifications, and have a reputation for low-cost solutions.
When Should I Consider a Debt Counselor?
If you have consumer debt that amounts to 15-49% of your annual income, you may want to consider a debt counselor. You should also have a reliable income and believe you could pay off your debt in five years with a lower interest rate.
Many programs do not allow you to open new lines of credit while on their plan, so you should be confident that you can get by without new lines of credit until you repay your debt.
Not all debt qualifies for debt counseling. If you have credit card debt, personal loans, collections accounts, medical bills, or other unsecured debt, you may be eligible for debt counseling. Mortgages, car loans, IRS tax debt, student loans, and payday loans do not qualify.
What Options does a Debt Counseling Program offer?
Debt consolidation puts all of your debt into one monthly bill with a lower interest rate. This option is best when your debt is less than 50% of your income, your credit is good enough to qualify for a low loan, your income is consistently sufficient to cover payments, and you have a plan to prevent new debt.
There are many benefits to debt consolidation including ending collection calls, eliminating or reducing interest rates, and reducing your monthly payments into one payment. Usually, debt consolidation will not hurt your credit score. If your credit score is low, debt consolidation may help.
Debt settlement is different from debt consolidation. An attorney or debt arbitrator should negotiate a debt settlement. This process involves negotiating with the creditor to reach a more manageable amount of debt. Generally, this works because when an individual files for bankruptcy, the creditor will receive less than if they settle.
Some of the benefits to debt settlement include reducing your debt balance, avoiding bankruptcy, and becoming more financially independent. Debt Counseling programs like the Christian Debt Counselors will negotiate your case with an experienced law firm to provide more desirable results.
How to Find the Best Debt Counseling Program:
To find the best debt counselor, you should make sure they are certified and accredited. Below is more information about the qualifications of the debt counselors at Christian Debt Counselors:
#1 Certification and Accreditation
It is incredibly important to work with a debt counseling program that has certifications and accreditation.
Christian Debt Counselors are accredited by the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA). IAPDA is the gold standard for consumer debt relief professionals. It was created in 2000 to educate companies and ensure they adhere to a standard of excellence and customer protection.
An important certification for debt counseling programs is the National Association of Certified Credit Counselors (NACCC). The NACCC is an organization that educates its members to provide the best service to their clients.
#2 Reputable Reviewers
As with any service you pay for, it is always a good idea to check out the reviewers for the company and their services.
One of these reviewers is the Better Business Bureau (BBB) because they are the highest standard for a business’s reputation management.
eKomi is another trusted review company that is used by Fortune 500 businesses because of its reputation for secure follow-up and accuracy.
TrustPilot is another reputable reviewing platform for services including debt counseling. They are an independent third party platform that allows companies to improve by engaging with customers.
Another third-party review platform that is easy to check is Google Reviews. They allow customers to measure the competency and credibility of any business, regardless of the category.
#3 Security and Privacy
When you are managing finances, it is essential to keep your information safe and secure. Companies that are collecting any financial information should use a secure and encrypted connection such as a verified Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection. This way, you know your information is given only to those who should have it.
Everyone has unique preferences about how they want to receive services regarding their money. Some people want to talk on the phone. Others would prefer to meet in person or use a website.
Before you sign up for a debt counseling program, you should check how much it will cost. Each agency and state have different rates, and your fees may vary based on your financial need. Remember that educational materials and credit reviews should seldom cost money.
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Christian Debt Counselors can Help
Christian Debt Counselors provide a variety of services depending on your needs including debt consolidation programs, debt settlement programs, credit counseling programs, FDCPA violation reviews, non-profit debt management, financial literacy programs, and bankruptcy consultations.
You can submit your information online for a free quote or give them a call. Christian Debt Counselors are accredited, certified, and work with lawyers when it is necessary. They have a five-star rating from eKomi, TrustPilot, and Google Reviews, and an A+ rating from the BBB. Christian Debt Counselors can help you eliminate your debt quickly at a low cost.