Trusted Credit Counseling

UMPC News

Every day you are barraged with advertising of all forms. The promise is that they can fix your debts, with a focus on unsecured credit card debt. Although you can't avoid the ads, you can avoid falling for the traps.

Having someone else "Fix your debt" for you just isn't possible. You are the only one who can do that. Yes, some reputable credit counselors are out there. They can help you avoid bankruptcy, but they don't have magic wands. Unfortunately, reputable credit counselors aren't the ones with ads in your email, newspaper, or on TV.

In April of 2005, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced settlements with three debt-counseling agencies that had tricked consumers out of more than $100 million. This scam is only growing in popularity. These three companies promised to help consumers manage their debts but only made their problems worse. Some clients ended up bankrupt when the companies told them to stop paying their bills. But then the companies failed to negotiate on their behalf.

So which credit counselors can you trust

The best way to know which credit counselors are trustworthy is to check for the magic letters: CCCS. The most reputable debt counseling services are certified through the National Federation of Credit Counselors (NFCC) giving them the right to use CCCS in their name (Consumer Credit Counseling Services). Visit www.nfcc.org or call (800) 251-2227.

There are independent credit counselors that truly help their clients, but finding them isn't easy. Here's a guick guide:

  • Beware of companies that insists on high monthly fees
  • Beware of companies that guarantee to get rid of debts
  • Beware of companies that call themselves a debt eliminator, debt magician, debt wizard, debt negotiator or any other name that suggest that this process will easy

Debt counseling, is for people who have gone beyond their ability to repay their debts. It is not for someone who jsut wants to reduce interest rates, or get out of paying bills. If you are behind on your debt and your credit rating is already tarnished, debt counseling can be the life raft you need. In that case it can't hurt to give CCCS a call.