Credit Counselors Detroit MI

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Choosing a debt counselor by Scott Bilker

Scott Bilker


I am interested in finding out about credit overview of what it entails and how to choose a person or organization. Questions to ask and what to look for. I need outside, ongoing help with changing my habits in regard to money. Your help is much appreciated.



Choosing a to use credit counselor is serious decision. I always recommend self-help, however, I do understand that this course may not be possible for everyone. My feeling is that even if you are successful with credit counseling you will be left with your finances to deal with on your own.

It is true that there are some good credit counseling services, but it's also true that many can be trouble! They may be able to get better rates from your creditors, but not always. If you decide to use credit counseling you have to monitor them frequently to make sure that they're doing their job. (See Chris Peruzzi vs. the Debt Counselors .) 

Red Flags
1) Upfront payments and high fees. Costs of more than $50 per month. Of course, it's fine to pay fees for counseling IF they can get results that exceed their costs! 
2) Be sure that "voluntary" fees are really just that. 
3) Hard sell. If they're reading from a script and aggressively pushing counseling. 
4) No written plan. Your counselor should create a detailed plan for your approval prior to starting their services.
Finding a good counselor 
1) Check with the Better Business Bureau .
2) Ask for references. 
3) Remember that "non-profit" status does not guarantee quality service. And I, as well as the IRS, question many of these companies so called "non-profit" status. 
4) Ask about privacy. Make sure your information isn't sold or distributed to anyone. 
5) Shop around. Talk to 2 or 3 agencies before signing up. 
6) Don't sign up until you know that the counselor has contacted all your creditors and what the deal will be when the counselor is working with them. This should all be in writing. 
7) Ask about how credit counseling affects your credit report or score. Some creditors do disclose to credit reporting agencies information about a customer's participation in a debt management plan, this won't necessarily have a nega...

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