Sometimes it helps to receive a fresh perspective on your finances. This is where consumer credit counseling can come in handy. These agencies employ financial professionals that have a wealth of experience in helping you find the solutions to your monetary goals and problems. With this in mind, here are five occasions where you may need the services of a consumer credit counselor.
You Are Preparing a Household Budget
If you don't have much experience in developing budgets, it's a good idea to seek assistance; this is where a consumer credit counseling service can help you. They will sit down with you to prepare a financial plan. As part of this plan, they can help you find ways to save more money and pay down debt quicker. In addition, after setting up your plan you can meet with them regularly to ensure you are meeting your goals and if for some reason you are not, they can help you make adjustments to your budget.
You Are Past Due on Bills
If you find yourself falling behind on credit payments or even utility bills, a credit counselor can help you. Most offer a debt management plan where they will work on your behalf to consult with your creditors. Often, these certified professionals negotiate with lenders to lower interest rates, refund some late fees and settle on a monthly payment amount based on your budget. Once you enroll in this plan, you make a payment to the counseling agency and they disburse your payment to your creditors for you. It's important to note that you may have to pay a small monthly fee to enroll in this plan, but when you factor this in with what you could save in lower interest rates, it's well worth it.
You Are Planning to Buy a Home
When you are ready to buy your first home, it's important to become educated on the buying process. Many credit-counseling agencies offer first time home buyer sessions where they will explain in detail the step-by-step process of buying a home, which includes everything from how much you can afford monthly on your mortgage to home inspections.
You Are Behind on Your Mortgage
If you are a homeowner and are struggling to make your monthly mortgage payments, credit counseling can assist you. They do this by learning more about your situation to determine what the best course of action may be. Along the way, you'll discover ways to save more money in your budget, which may help you make up the delinquency. In certain cases they will work with your lender to try to devise a plan to help you catch up.
You Are Considering a Reverse Mortgage
Reverse mortgages have grown in popularity as of late, but they can be difficult to understand. If you are thinking of doing one it is best to consult with a credit counselor first. They can help you learn more about what a reverse mortgage encompasses, what fees they entail and how it fits into your finances. Armed with this information, you can determine whether this is the best course of action for you.