How to Choose a Credit Counsellor: 6 Steps
If you have taken the decision to seek some support and guidance to help you get out of debt and take back control of your financial situation, you have made a step in the right direction. Debt counselling services will help you move forward.
However, not all credit counsellors are created equal, and you will want to work with a trained and reputable money management expert. Here is how you can choose the right credit counsellor to provide you with the debt counselling services you need.
1. Shop around
Ask people you know if they have debt counselling services to recommend you. Pay attention to ads in your local newspapers, or go online to search for credit counsellors working in your area.
When you have found at least a few options, learn more information about each of them, and get in touch with them to ask them some questions. This will help you compare their qualifications, their services and their fees.
2. Research their reputation
Before you contact a credit counsellor, take a moment to learn more information about them to make sure they have a good reputation. Check if any consumer complaint has been filed against them, and if they have online reviews from satisfied customers.
Unfortunately, there are some debt counselling services providers who are only trying to make money off their customers. Find a few reputable credit counsellors, and get in touch with them to ask them a few questions.
3. Ask about their qualifications
Ask about their qualifications, their certification and their experience. Ask them to explain you their background and their training, and to talk about the kind of situations they have been helping other customers with.
Your credit counsellor will be in charge of your finances, so you have to be able to fully trust them and to know they are qualified to do their job.
4. Ask about the debt counselling services they provide
Before you talk about your financial situation, ask them about the kind of debt counselling services they can provide you with. Beware of a counsellor who will present you with a debt-management plan without even discussing your situation and your options.
Some counsellors will provide you with a budgeting session and will try to educate you about your finances, while others will recommend you debt consolidation right away.
5. Ask about their fees
Some counsellors offer debt counselling services for free, while others will charge fees. Before you choose your counsellor, be sure to ask them to clearly explain you their fees, and make sure you can afford them.
After all, you need their help to get out of debt, not to accumulate even more debt. Find a counsellor who will provide you with the debt counselling services you need for free, or for a reasonable and affordable price. Even the counsellors who charge for their services will often offer you a free budgeting session.
6. Make sure it will be easy to stay in touch with your counsellor
The counsellor you choose to work with should be someone qualified that you can trust. They should also be ready to take the time to listen to you and to your concerns before providing you with advice. Before making your choice, ask how you will be able to contact your counsellor.
A counsellor might be reputable and qualified, but if they never return your emails or your phone calls when you are in need of some advice, you might want to choose someone else. They should be available to work with you until your financial situation has improved.