Steven Clarkson is a writer for DebtShield.com, a website that educates consumers about debt relief services such as debt settlement and credit counseling.
When you find yourself saddled with more debt than you can handle on your own, you may be tempted to file bankruptcy, as many have in the past. However, before making this credit heavy decision, do a bit more research into your options. Unlike times past, in this age there are several options available for families who are unable to meet their expenses.
One of the options available is to seek out a Credit Counseling Professional. Credit counseling is the first step that should be taken before making a final decision as to how to handle your debts. Consulting a professional will give you a more broad view of any resources you may not know about, as well as giving you a better guide to which debt relief resource is best for your family.
When you contact a credit counselor, you will go through the following steps:
Sit down with the counselor and outline all of your current debts and expenses, as well as discussing your total income and liquid assets.
Discuss your employment, health, family, and living situations and how they affect the repayment of your debts.
Assess your ability to reach a stable financial base with which to repay your debts. If it is decided you will be unable to do this, further options will be discussed.
Once you have had an appointment with your counselor, they will assess your situation and ability to repay your debts, making a determination as to the best resource for you to utilize. This decision could result in a debt consolidation loan, counselor assisted creation of a workable budget, bankruptcy, or even referral to another agency that may be able to set you on a better financial track.
Credit counselors are not there to take advantage of you in your time of need. These finance professionals will give you a clear and concise assessment of your situation and tell you honestly if they feel you will be able to regain control of your finances without undertaking the daunting measures of consolidation or bankruptcy.
Remember to listen to what your credit counselor has to say and stick with the plan you create. Credit counselors are there to help you get back on track with your finances, however, they cannot do that without your full cooperation and determination to stick with any payment arrangements, budgets, or expense cuts they help you to arrange. It is ultimately up to you to make sure you stick with these important plans; otherwise, you will simply slide back into the same situation, leaving you frustrated and possibly farther in debt.
After you have made a decision with your counselor and have sat down to outline a budget for your family, you need to educate your family about that budget and the many decisions that led to it. By making the entire family aware of your situation, you will create a group effort in your fight to improve your finances. You credit counselor will be there to guide you along the way to financial stability with sound advice, a wealth of information regarding resources, and information with which to educate your family about how removing your debt will help everyone. This partnership will, in the end, improve your financial stability as well as give you a learning point to remember in the future when financial issues arise.