How to Find a Good Credit Counselor

There's an age-old adage that goes something like this: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” This is a great motto to follow when looking for a quality credit counselor.

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A legitimate credit counselor is someone who will work with you to examine your personal credit and financial situation, make recommendations for how to save money, and advise you on paying down debt faster. 

A fraudulent credit counselor will make outlandish claims and can be dangerous to your financial future. Today, let's examine some things to look for in a quality credit counselor; we’ll also examine some red flags to watch out for when it comes to shady businesses masquerading as credit counselors or credit specialists. 

Credit Counseling Versus Credit Repair

Credit repair is a process of examining consumer credit reports for inaccuracies and disputing those inaccuracies with financial institutions, credit reporting agencies, and debt collectors. This is a process that involves heavy amounts of legal documentation and lengthy loan disclosures that must be inspected and disputed correctly through the proper channels. A top credit repair company will work to help you file complex paperwork with banks and credit agencies that most people couldn’t possibly begin to understand. 

Credit counseling, on the other hand, is just what it sounds like—counseling and advice. A high-quality credit counselor will work with you closely to examine your financial situation as well as your current credit accounts, and will make suggestions on ways you can reduce your monthly spending so that you can free yourself of debt faster.

These specialists can also make suggestions on ways you can consolidate your loans and refinance into a single loan with a lower interest rate and a faster repayment schedule. They may also show you options that exist with your current financial institution or recommend government programs that can offer you payment assistance or assist you in lowering your payments and interest rates.

In short, a quality credit counselor will help you get your financial life back on track and stay headed towards being debt-free.

Credit Repair and Credit Counseling Red Flags

A lot of people ask, can a credit repair company hurt my credit? With a legitimate company, absolutely not—they are there only to assist in raising your score by disputing inaccuracies and making suggestions. 

However, there are many shady companies that would love nothing more than to get you on the phone so they can make false promises to scam you out of as much money as possible. Fraudulent companies will often make outlandish claims such as “Bad credit? No problem!” or “We will erase your bad credit history!” or even “We will approve your loan today, no matter your credit situation”. 

That last one is a quick ticket to a loan that will take ten years to pay off–some companies will go even further and attempt to steal your identity.

In Summary

Both credit repair and credit counseling are legitimate avenues toward improving your overall credit picture and financial situation. They’ll work with you to make sure your credit reports are accurate and help you make smart financial decisions–just make sure you research any company you choose to work with and avoid companies that make absurd claims or promise to do things no one else can. 

Of course, reputable credit repair specialists like those at The Phenix Group are credible, honest, and always ready to help take care of your credit repair needs.

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