Tips For Choosing the Right Credit Counselor

By Michele Lerner
Mortgage Credit Problems Columnist

Americans, particularly those with reduced income because of unemployment or partial unemployment, are overloaded with debt problems. Consumers who are able to make all their monthly payments on time may still feel they need help dealing with credit problems, especially if they have been unable to pay more than the minimum payment each month on their bills.

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If you are applying for a home loan you may find that you need to apply for a bad credit mortgage loan. Find out if you can qualify for a home loan by entering your information on this page. If you would rather work first on credit repair, gather your bills and enter your information to get debt help.

Consumers can search online for help repairing their bad credit, but they should be sure they are working with a legitimate credit counselor. A common scam is to for companies to present themselves as credit counselors and then charge exorbitant fees to consumers without reducing their debt.

Initial credit repair counseling sessions should be free or very low cost, no more than $50 for one hour of counseling about your debt problems. If you sign up for a debt management plan there should be a low monthly fee to participate.

High fees are a warning sign that the company may not be legitimate. Other warning signs include the suggestion that you stop paying your creditors or too much pressure to participate in a debt management program.

Three tips for handling credit problems with a credit counselor:

1. Search for a credit counselor to help you with your debt problems at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. Only legitimate counselors can join these groups.

2. When you find an agency you want to try, check with your local Better Business Bureau for accreditation.

3. Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints against the company.

If you are struggling with debt problems, you may want to enter your information on this page to reach out to bad credit lenders and to lenders who may be able to help you with debt relief.



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