When you’re having trouble with your marriage, you might see a relationship counselor. When you need help with your money, you might work with financial counselors. Although you might think of counseling as something you only need when you have a problem with debt, the truth is that financial counselors can help you with all aspects of your finances, from understanding what you’re spending and earning, to putting together a budget. Working with a counselor can be a good idea if you’re currently facing problems or if you’d like to avoid any financial difficulties down the road.
Assess Your Situation
When you book an appointment with a financial counselor, the person you work with will ask you a number of questions to get a sense of what you are earning and what you are spending each month. He or she will most likely ask you about your debt, including how much you owe in total, what the interest rate is on each loan, and whether or not you’re able to make the minimum payments due each month. The counselor will also ask you about your payment habits. For example, he or she will ask if you usually pay on time or if you’re in the habit of missing the payment due date, either because you forget or because you don’t have the money to make a payment. All the information your counselor gets from you during the assessment will help him or her make the most appropriate recommendations to you.
Create a Budget
Another way that financial counselors help people is by helping them put together a budget that works with their financial situation. Some people who are deep in debt might find that creating a budget that sets firm spending limits for several categories each month, is all that they need to pull themselves out of debt. Others might find that they actually earn more than they thought and might be better able to start focusing on certain financial goals, such as saving for retirement or establishing an emergency fund, once they have a clear understanding of their expenses and income.
Creating a budget can be easy. It’s sticking to the budget that can be a challenge. A financial counselor can help you put together a plan for sticking with your budget, so that you avoid getting further into debt or avoid spending when you want to be saving or paying down debt.
Make Sense of Your Debt
Financial counseling can really help you when you are dealing with debt. A counselor will work with you to create the best plan for repaying your debt. It could be that creating a budget and making sure you pay debt first, before purchasing non-essentials, is all that it takes to help you out of debt. Some people might benefit from a debt management plan, or working with the counselor and their creditors to create a payment plan that gets a person out of debt within a few years. Debt management plans aren’t the right option for everyone, but they can help people who feel overwhelmed by debt get their financial life back on track.
The financial counselors at CESI are ready to help you take control of your financial life. Whether you’re deep in debt or would just like to put together a plan for the future.
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY