Does A Consumer Credit Council REALLY Contribute Anything?

As with any business that does not offer a physical product, many people question the value of going to a consumer credit council. The assumption often made is that they aren’t going to learn anything new, that they are going to be charged an arm and a leg to be told useless information. Before we can begin to know whether they are worth the effort, we first need to understand exactly what it is a consumer credit council does.

The Purpose of a Consumer Credit Council

Generally speaking, a consumer credit council seeks to advise and educate clients regarding their credit and finances. Some might focus specifically on counseling people about bankruptcy, housing, or credit, but they all serve the same general purpose. Economics are vastly more complicated than many people realize, and this is exactly why these organizations exist.

What Can They Do For You?

Many people have an unjustly negative view of consumer credit councils. A counseling agency won’t be able to crunch a few numbers and make your bad credit history disappear, or manage your personal banking (unless they have brokerage services, which isn’t the same as consumer credit counseling). Sometimes, especially for those heavy in debt, the best immediate course of action they can advise is, “make more money, pay off your debt.”

What they can do though is advise you in ways of making more money, provide resources for higher paying jobs to maximize the income from your particular skills, and educate you to prevent future financial issues. They aren’t going to do everything for you, and they can’t always tell you how to fix financial problems overnight, but they will guide you to make sure your financial problems are resolved as quickly as possible. They give you the tools to handle your finances, but it is up to you to put those tools into action.

Choosing the Right Consumer Credit Council

Of course, how much they actually contribute will always depend on the particular consumer credit council you are dealing with. Some are limited in their knowledge base for what they will council you on. Others simply aren’t as experienced or knowledgeable as they would like you to believe. If you aren’t careful, you may end up dealing with a consumer credit council that really doesn’t contribute anything.

The best way to prevent this is to do your research. Look into a number of counseling organizations, whether online or brick and mortar companies. Check their track record for happy costumers if possible, and for how long they have been in business. Find out exactly what their area of expertise is, and if their primary focus is counseling or if counseling is a side-business to something else, such as banking.

At the end of the day, if you still aren’t sure of which consumer credit council to use, search for many of the free, nonprofit organizations available so that you stand to lose less if things don’t work out. Many of these can be found with a quick search online, and often are every bit as good as services you might otherwise pay for.


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