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Consumer Credit Counseling

When you are like most single parents, struggling with credit card debt comes with the territory.  If your credit card debt has become out of control or just completely overwhelming, you are probably wondering if there are an financial help programs out there for single dads (fathers).  Maybe you have noticed the advertising for credit counseling services but, didn’t know if that was for you.  Can these things be worth some of your precious time?  Are these things just a scam that will just prolong your debt?  There are some out there that are very handy but, you need to educate yourself on these programs before you dive right in.


The first and most important thing you should know is exactly what to expect when you enter a relationship with these types of companies.  A main service that these companies offer is showing and helping you create a workable budget that will help alleviate your current debt and what steps you can do to avoid any future debts.  Another thing that they can do for you is they can discuss some new terms with your creditors on your behalf to try and lower your interest rates and possibly a new payment plan.  You can do these types of things on your own but, as a single parent you may or may not have the time to spend doing this when you could be spending time with your kids.


One thing to be aware of is, just like everything in life these services are not free.  Even the organizations that are non-profit will still charge you for their services.  Sometimes you will have to pay them up front while other times it may be some sort of a percentage of the money you save after you have completed their service.  Even though you have to pay the money is not used to turn any sort of profit.  It is used for operating costs of the service.
There may be circumstances where a credit counseling service may not be enough for you to help you overcome your debt and better your financial situation.  You may want to consider using a credit counseling agency.  One thing of note is to choose carefully.  There are a lot of companies that will pose as consumer credit advocates but, their only interest is to make some money off of your misfortunes.


Choose an agency that is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. These two organizations provide a measure of protection for the consumer, and finding a company with membership to them will help ensure you are getting good help. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau and your state's Attorney General's office to see if any consumer complaints have been filed against the company you are considering. If they have a good reputation and are a member of either NFCC or AICCCA, then you have probably found a good company to help you work your way out of debt.


Find a company that is part of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.  Organizations like these will help provide some insulation of protection for you.  Using one of these companies will make sure that you get the best financial help and advice that you can get.  Another way to do some research on these companies is to contact the Better Business Bureau and you local state’s Attorney General’s office to find out if there is any history of dissatisfied customers.  If any company is a member of the two groups list above and you cannot find any complaints then you will be in good shape to partner with them to help free you of your debt as a single parent.

 

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