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Almost every town and city has a consumer credit counseling agency. Colleges, universities and even credit unions often offer consumer credit counseling. If you feel you need this type of help, be sure to choose a nonprofit credit-counseling agency that either charges nothing or a very low fee for its services.
It’s also possible to find credit counseling companies online. If you select this option, be sure to choose one that doesn’t require big fees upfront. Also, stay away from any credit counseling service that promises to loan you money to pay off your debts. This might be a trap that would lead you into even worse debt. The purpose of credit counseling is to help you reduce your debts and not increase them. You should also do your “homework,” which is to carefully review any credit counseling company before you sign a contract. You will want to see how long it’s been in business, its rating with the Better Business Bureau, its affiliations and, most important, it’s online reviews. Virtually every credit counseling company has negative reviews as that’s just the nature of the business. But if you see the company has more negative than positive ones, stay away from it.
Read your contract
Last but certainly not least, if you contract with a company to provide credit counseling, make sure you read your contract very carefully. You need to know exactly what the company will do and your obligations. In the event the company refuses to put everything in writing, run do not walk away from it.