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How to choose a credit counselor

If you are in debt in Florida, and you are unable to see a way out, speaking with a credit counselor is a good idea. Counseling can help you in a number of ways, including setting up a budget to get you out of debt. However, choose a credit counselor wisely, as some can add even more debt to your bottom line.

According to the Chicago Tribune, working with a credit counseling agency should not cost much money, if any at all. They are non-profit organizations whose goal is to help you manage your debt. Depending on your situation, a counselor may help you work through your monthly bills and create a budget to start paying down your debt. A counselor may deem it best to get you on a debt repayment plan, which means working with your creditors to extend the life of your loan and/or reduce interest rates.

You may be seeking help because you fear bankruptcy is on the horizon. Credit counseling may help you avoid it or at least help you through the process.

The Federal Trade Commission warns that not all credit counseling agencies are fully legitimate and that working with them can actually increase your debt. Choose wisely and request information about the company before you agree to anything. An agency should do this for free and without knowing your exact situation. Ask about any fees and get a written quote, and ask how the counselors make their money. Finally, check with a consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General to see if the agency has any complaints made against it.


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