Even though handling finances is not easy, every adult knows that we have no choice but to learn how to do it. Some people love managing their finances because they know how to make their money work for them. Others are satisfied with working as an employee and being able to save money that they can build up for their retirement. And there are other people who are having a hard time with their finances as they barely get by each month. If you are one of the latter and your finances are becoming a constant source of stress, you should consider talking to a credit counselor.
How to get in touch with a credit counselor?
You can choose whichever means of communication you’re most comfortable with—phone call, meeting up in person, or online. If you’re not sure which among the three is best for you, take a look at their pros and cons below:
- Phone call or meet ups
- Meeting up in person or at least talking to a credit counselor on the phone gives you a glimpse of their personality. This is important because you want to choose someone who you can feel is trustworthy.
- Discussing the details and the processes is much easier to do and you’ll get to avoid any confusion as you can conveniently clarify any information.
- You can finish the process faster.
- It’s necessary to prepare before an appointment as it is often scheduled for only a set amount of time.
- If you prefer a less personal method then this is a better option than doing a phone call or a meet up.
- You won’t feel pressured and you can take your time in answering questions and providing details.
- This method takes more time compared to the others.
- You’ll go through the process alone and it will require you to more heavily rely on research.
No matter which method you choose, your honesty during counseling is necessary as your counselor won’t be able to gauge your situation well if you hide bits and pieces of information.
How should you prepare for your first appointment?
To present the best answer to your problem, a credit counselor needs to see a clear picture of your financial situation. Providing a document that shows exactly how you’re doing financially will greatly help. You may include your monthly income and expenses, existing debts, and prepare your credit report in case your credit counselor asks for it.
You can also prepare a list of questions you want to ask your credit counselor so that you don’t forget anything. You can use these sample questions:
- How much does your service cost?
- What are your qualifications?
- How can you help me with my financial situation?
- How will we work together and how often?
What happens after the first appointment?
After studying your financial situation using the information you’ve given, your credit counselor will tell you the possible solutions you can choose to take in order to reach your financial goal. Depending on the outcome, they may provide a spending plan for you to keep track of your expenses, or they may advise you to enter a debt management program. They can also negotiate with your creditors for lower interest rates.
Having someone to help you get out of a bad financial situation can be a huge relief. Heeding the advice of your credit counselor may be the only step you need to take so that you can finally let go of the stress and tension your financial problems bring.