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Your Credit Counseling Session: How to Make the Most of It

Credit counselor working with client

Many people who seek a credit counseling session really only need budgeting help. When you have tons of bills due each month, it’s hard to know which to prioritize first. That’s why it’s important to triage your finances.

It’s important to pay your living expenses first (Food, utilities etc.) and then prioritize expenses for transportation so you don’t jeopardize your income. What’s left after your expenses are met can be thoughtfully allocated toward repaying debt.

If you need help beyond basic budgeting, one thing you could do is visit a credit counselor to explore the option of a debt management program (DMP). With a DMP, your various creditors will often agree to offer you benefits such as reduced interest or waived fees, and you get to make one easy affordable payment to pay down your debt over time.

Here are some pointers to help you prepare for your credit counseling session:

You’re going to want to come ready to discuss your finances. We know it can be heard at first to open up to a stranger about your personal financial situation. But once you get past the initial fright, you’ll find your counselor can become like an old friend—one who knows how to get you out of debt in the shortest possible time!

Try sharing the following items with your counselor to get the best results:

  • Recent pay stubs or other statements that verify income such as child support/alimony, Social Security, pension/retirement
  • A list of your monthly expenses. These “monthlies” include your mortgage or rent, car payment or other transportation costs, student loans, a tally of your groceries or other necessities, your utility bills, credit card statements or other loans and your two most recent bank statements.
  • Identify any late bills. It’s always helpful to know if they are 30, 60 or 90 days late so your credit counselor knows the real problem areas that need immediate attention.

Most of all, don’t worry -- you’re taking the first step toward a life that puts you back in control, not your bills! Call us today at (866) 484-5373 to find out your options, or visit us online to get started

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