Thursday, August 11, 2016

How to Choose a Credit Counseling Company?

Financial well-being is very important for all of us. Therefore, if you are facing a financial crisis and need to go to debt consolidation credit counseling agency to get yourself back on track then you must ensure that you opt for a professional and accredited agency. What does a debt consolidation credit counseling agency do for you? These agencies first analyze your financial situation. Then they work along with you and your creditors to develop a debt repayment plan that you will be required to follow in order to pay off your debts.

There are numerous debt consolidation credit counseling agencies that have mushroomed all over. Therefore, you must be vigilant in selecting an agency to turn to. One of the main aspects that you must check is if the specific debt consolidation credit counseling agency is accredited to any third party organization. This means that another organization confirms that the specific debt consolidation credit counseling agency follows high standards to provide high quality service to consumers. Which organizations provide accreditation to debt consolidation credit counseling agency? One of the most well known organizations that accredit a debt consolidation credit counseling agency is the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, Inc. (COA). This organization provides a guarantee that the specific debt consolidation credit counseling agency will adhere to set high standards to provide service delivery, counselor certification, fiscal integrity, and volunteer Board governance.

Accreditation by the COA can be a sure shot method to select your debt consolidation credit counseling agency because COA does not accredits any agency. They accredit only those agencies that meet their exacting standards. National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is another organization that can provide accreditation to a debt consolidation credit counseling agency. NFCC-certified debt consolidation credit counseling agents are required to take a rigorous training and testing program. The debt consolidation credit counseling agencies must adhere to several service-specific quality standards to obtain accreditation. For example, they must annually audit their operating and trust accounts and adhere to all consumer disclosure requirements set by the Federal Trade Commission. The agencies must disburse funds daily and immediately in case of emergencies.

They must provide an assessment of reasons for financial problems, a comprehensive financial plan, and a written plan of action to each consumer. Finally, the debt consolidation credit counseling agencies must ensure that their clients receive at least a quarterly statement. Additionally, to get accredited to the COA, the debt consolidation credit counseling agencies must adhere to COA standards for service delivery and quality. They must cater to the requirements of cultural or ethnic population groups in the communities they serve. They must provide indiscriminate and equitable treatment and charge only a minimal fee from all consumers. They must start educational programs and employ NFCC-certified counselors. Finally, they must have a branch counseling network to provide client support.