Online Credit Counseling Course
September 22, 2013
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Looking for an online credit counseling course but you aren’t sure where to begin? If you are struggling with debt you may have heard that a course like this could be of benefit to you, but because not all educational information is created equal, it’s important to be sure you are getting the right information. So how do you know what to look for? Our handy guide below will help you.
Credit Counseling Course Online
When evaluating an online credit counseling course (sometimes referred to as a financial literacy course) the source of information is essential. There is a lot of information available out there on the subject of debt relief – and not all of it is coming from someone who has your best interest at heart.
Here are a few things you should look for in a credit counseling course offered online:
- Is it offered by a reputable non-profit credit counseling agency? Do a little digging on the company you are getting your educational information from. Are they a non-profit or for-profit agency? This can tell you a lot. Are they registered and in good-standing with the BBB? Do they offer transparency about their business practices and who they help? Are the counselors helping consumers certified or licensed? These are all excellent ways to tell if the company you are listening to is legitimate and looking out for the consumer. A great resource for finding the best credit counseling programs is available on our website.
- Is the information offered to you at no charge? A reputable credit counseling organization should not be charging you a fee for educational materials they offer you – whether online, in person or over the phone. There may be higher-level courses dealing with subjects like bankruptcy education (often required by bankruptcy courts) or certain program-specific materials that could come at a low-cost to the consumer, but your credit counseling agency should be offering a variety of free educational tools to consumers struggling with debt. Be wary of someone who wants you to pay for these items.
- Do the educational materials comply with financial literacy standards? There are nationally published standards for financial literacy available. The National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education are one. The National Standards for Adult Financial Literacy Education are another excellent set of standards. CESI’s own financial literacy curriculum was written around the National Standards for Adult Financial Literacy Education.
- Are the educational materials accessible to everyone? We live in an increasingly digital age, but the fact still remains that not everyone has access to a computer or to the internet. Does the credit counselor you are speaking with make materials available in hard-copy format for these individuals? It may not be possible to make everything available in hard-copy (items such as educational blogs would be one example) but there should be something available for those who can’t access the internet. CESI makes our financial literacy curriculum available as a free book for anyone who can’t access it online.
- Can you understand the educational materials? The course materials should be offered in a clear, easy to read and user-friendly fashion. Ideally, they should avoid industry jargon and confusing terminology and be offered in such a way that the consumer is able to interact with them easily.
By following these simple guidelines, you should be able to spot a credit counseling course online that is helpful and teaches you financial principles that will enable you to make wise financial choices. If you pair this educational opportunity with a free consultation with a credit counseling professional, you will benefit even more!
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