Anyone seeking help with their finances, debt relief or are filing for bankruptcy can benefit from the information offered by a credit counseling agency. However, there are a fair number of companies out there operating that may not be offering the best, or even legitimate, services. Here is what you need to know:
Ask questions — Many people aren’t aware that they have the right to choose from any number of credit counseling organizations. Even in bankruptcy, you are free to choose which company you receive your competition certification from to provide to the court. It is up to you to find out what services they offer, what prices they charge and whether or not they are qualified. Basically, you want to find a company that offers a variety of services, from courses on budgeting and saving, to debt negotiation help.
Look for accreditation — This is one of the most important aspects to finding a reputable credit counselor. There are several different types of accreditations that can be satisfactory when looking into the qualifications of a credit counseling agency. The Council of Accreditation (COA) is an organization that conducts regular audits to ensure that credit counselors are operating on a truly nonprofit basis. The BBB is another good place to find out whether a company is legitimate or not. The U.S. Department of Trustees also offers information on their website as to how you can find an approved agency.
For more information visit, http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm