The general assumption is that credit counseling is only for people filing for bankruptcy. While it is a requirement in most states for bankruptcy filers, anyone can benefit from the resources credit counselors can provide. However, the process requires active participation and can be as successful as you make it.
Get To Work
Credit counseling agencies offer a wide range of resources from simple budgeting and money management, to developing your own debt reduction strategy or investments. In order to get the most from your credit counseling experience you need to participate. This means being an active listener, taking notes and putting the skills learned into practice. Whatever your reason for seeking help from a credit counselor, know that the most important tool of the process is you.
If you sought credit counseling to learn about debt reduction strategies it is important that you carefully review all of your options before implementing a plan to reduce your debts. Not all debt reduction strategies are equally beneficial, especially if your financial situation is unique. The idea is to closely examine your financial situation, review your budget to determine what your needs are and outline an individualized plan to meet your goals. This may require additional assistance or further training at a credit counseling agency.
Even if you aren’t suffering from a financial hardship or overwhelming debt, chances are you could still use room for improvement in your finances. Becoming a smart money management takes planning and practice. You may not succeed right away, but having a clear idea of your short and long term goals can keep you on track. Develop a list of goals you want to accomplish each month, like paying 20% more than the minimum payment on a debt or saving at least 15% of your gross monthly income. You also need a list of long term goals, like paying off at least one credit card within the year or making an extra mortgage payment. Whatever your goals, write them down and keep track in order to stay on the path to financial freedom.