What Is Credit Counseling

by : John Porter

In our lives we all make mistakes. But then it is also up to us to rectify those mistakes and start life afresh. All we can ask for is some support and some guidance. When some of us are deep in debt those are the two things that we definitely need - guidance and support. And this is where credit counselors come in.

So what do credit counselors do? Well they negotiate for you with the creditor. When you are deep in debt and you have failed to make payments to your creditors for a few successive months, your creditor also becomes apprehensive. They can of course drag you to court for default in payment. But if you are really not in a position to pay back the loan with the interest, then there is hardly any gain for your creditor. You will have to declare that you are bankrupt but the creditor wouldn't gain anything out of that.

The credit counselors try to find a middle path. They negotiate with your creditors so that the creditors relax the interest rates slightly so that it becomes easier for you to pay back. The creditors opt for this because they get their capital back with some interest and they don't have to go to the court and drag the matter on.

But why would the credit counselor help you? Of course he has his own benefits. First of all he will charge you a start up fee for the counseling process. This can vary from firm to firm but it should not be more than $200. There are various clauses in the start up fees and you should read them properly before you select your counselor.

Once you have enrolled in the project the credit counselor will collect money from you to pay to your creditors. You might also need to pay your counselor a monthly fee, but that is not compulsory for all states.

Ideally, the credit counselor should first analyze and understand your credit situation, draw up a workable solution for you to get rid of your debts and then motivate you towards reaching your objective. This is the primary responsibility of a good credit counselor. It is one thing to negotiate the interest rates, but to actually help you focus on the goals ahead and keep you on track is what separates an ordinary credit counselor from a good one.

The credit counselor also gets anything from 3-15% of what you pay from your creditor as collection fee.