Non Profit Debt Management
Getting into debt is easy - it's getting out of debt that has so many Americans frustrated! With nearly $2 trillion in national debt, we've got a long way to go as a country before we can finally declare ourselves debt-free. And while sometimes all it takes is a good honest look at our household budgets, and perhaps some guidance from debt relief software...sometimes it takes a bit more. Sometimes it takes help from trusted, knowledgeable credit counselors to see us through everything from debt consolidation to bankruptcy - and all the steps in between.
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As you look for these trusted credit counseling agencies, no doubt you will stumble upon non-profit debt relief agencies. But what are they exactly? And how can they help you? Let's take a closer look.
Non-Profit Agencies: Are They Right For Me?
Non-profit credit counseling agencies work exactly the same way as their for-profit counterparts. In fact, the only difference is usually in how they are marketed. That being said, it's here that you need to be careful, because "non profit" doesn't necessarily mean better - it also doesn't always mean cheaper, or even represent a "good" decision.
Often, non-profit agencies are simply divisions of financial institutions. These divisions are less concerned with bringing in additional profits, since their parent company handles for-profit matters. So when you speak to a representative at a non-profit agency, be wary of hidden fees and pressures to make "voluntary" contributions in order to secure a higher level of service. These are just ploys to get more of your money - steer clear and look for a more reputable agency.
How do I know if a non-profit agency is the right one for me?
Like any major decision, finding a good non-profit credit counseling or debt management firm takes time and research. When you meet with a representative, ask the following questions and look for answers that you're comfortable with:
- What range of services do you provide?
- Are you able to give me materials that will help me understand money management better?
- Do I need to make contributions or pay fees to retain your services?
- Once we eliminate my debt, do you have programs in place that will help me stay out of debt?
- What does it take to become a credit counselor here - what qualifications are necessary?
- How does your company rank with the Better Business Bureau?
What should my non-profit credit counseling agency do for me?
Any good debt consolidation firm is going to help you reduce your debt by restructuring it on better terms than you are probably currently facing. This type of debt management differs from debt settlement, which is chiefly concerned with settling your debt and having you pay it off in one lump sum as quickly as possible.
Credit counselors will work with your creditors and make proposals requesting lower credit card interest rates and asking that they waive fees and penalties, making it easier to pay off the balances you owe without having to worry as much about just servicing interest.
Non-profit Debt Relief: A final thought
As we said before, take your time and do your homework when it comes to choosing the right agency to work with. Having a good relationship with your credit counselor will make all the difference, and put you on the path towards getting back on your financial feet and living debt free!
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