A credit counseling agency is sometimes sought out as an alternative to filing for bankruptcy. When you go to a credit counselor, you can expect them to review your financial situation and help you structure a plan to completely pay off your debt. A credit counseling agency will work to set up what’s called a debt management plan that will deposit money into a separate account that is then used to pay your unsecured debts over a certain time frame.
The key to having a successful experience with a credit counseling agency is to first find a reputable one that doesn’t charge excessive fees or have a track record of failed promises. You also want to avoid Credit Counseling agencies that want you to sign up for a debt management plan without giving you the other options to consider. A good Credit Counseling Agency will also have a strong background in working with creditors to reduce interest rates and wave fees, and therefore reducing your total debt load through negotiations.
When choosing a credit counseling agency, you want to avoid organization that charge any upfront fees for information. A good credit counseling agency will also give you a specific quote, offer any promises in writing, and should be licensed in your state if required. The U.S. Trustee keeps a list of approved credit counseling agencies as well, that will aid you in your research.
It’s important to keep in mind that money you pay in fees to a credit counseling agency is money that could have gone towards paying down your debt, so you will want to make sure that you weigh all your options before signing up for a debt management plan with a credit counseling agency. You want to make sure that the option you choose is the most effective at paying back and/or eliminating debt. With this considered it’s a great idea to do your research on credit counseling agencies and bring that information with you to meet with a Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney. Your bankruptcy lawyer may have information that can help you in your search or be able to recommend other debt relief options that are more effective.