The Lowdown on Credit Counseling. It Might Be Just What You Need!
- January 22, 2020
- By: Greenpath Financial Wellness
Featuring Jeff Arevalo, Financial Wellness Expert, who shares what credit counseling is, who can benefit, and how it works.
Have you ever wondered if credit counseling might help you? Most of us have never stopped to even think about what credit counseling is unless we find ourselves facing a financial roadblock. But it is for anyone who is looking to improve, or maintain, your financial health. It’s always better to be proactive about your finances.
Maybe this information can help you decide.
What is Credit Counseling?
Credit counseling, also called debt counseling, is a process that helps people manage their finances and solve problems with debt. Credit counselors (people like me!) work with people to:
- Manage money and debt
- Create a budget or spending plan
- Understand credit scores
- Learn about options, tools and educational resources for getting out of debt
GreenPath offers free credit and debt counseling sessions. We help you figure out your situation and make your own personal plan. We’ll explain different options for getting rid of debt and achieving your financial goals. Every situation is different, so the advice and information a credit counselor shares will vary depending on what makes sense for your circumstances.
Who Can It Help?
Credit counseling is for anyone who wants to improve and maintain financial health. Maybe you’re looking to buy a house, or refinance your car, or be prepared for financial changes. It’s a great option to help you be ready for whatever your financial life throws your way.
Credit and debt counseling could be helpful if you want to:
- Get out of debt
- Make and live on a budget
- Improve your credit
- Relieve stress and anxiety about your finances
- Buy a house or save money for a big goal
If your finances are stressing you out, or you are worried about debt, credit counseling can give you a sense of relief. 90% of people who speak with a GreenPath financial counselor feel better prepared to handle their finances. There are no rules about how severe or mild your financial concerns are. We encourage you to trust your instincts, and if you sense that talking with someone would help, credit counseling is a great step to start a new chapter in your financial life.
How Does It Work?
At GreenPath, most counseling sessions take place by phone. You can ask one of our counselors to contact you. The first person you talk to will ask you some questions about your financial situation and what you need, and they will connect you to a financial counselor who is an expert in that area.
A typical counseling session takes about an hour and includes:
- A review of your financial situation
- An overview of different options for accomplishing your goals
- Recommendations for your situation
- Development of a personalized action plan to support you on your journey
Each GreenPath credit counseling session is tailored to your individual needs.
Choosing a Trustworthy Credit Counselor
Finding a credit counselor that truly has your back is important. Unfortunately, there are some companies that take advantage of people in distress.
You can find lists of approved, certified or accredited agencies through the two professional membership organizations for credit counseling: National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) or the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA). You can also find a list of agencies approved for credit counseling and education required to file bankruptcy by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Click here to receive more tips on financial health and eliminating debt.
Jeff Arevalo is a Financial Wellness Expert and has been with the Greenpath since 2006. He possesses a strong passion for helping others and takes great pride in providing strong financial education and effective money management tools to help make a difference in people’s lives. Jeff and his wife recently welcomed a baby boy to their family and are excited to navigate the world of parenthood for the first time.