Like many people who are dealing with credit card debt and other financial challenges in Oregon, you may have considered a number of debt relief options. With all of the choices available, however, you may not know which one is best suited for your circumstances. Depending on your situation, credit counseling may provide you the relief you need. In order to determine if it is the right option for you, it is important to know what credit counseling is and how it works.
In general, credit counseling is a process to help you to better understand your finances. The organizations that offer these programs have counselors that are trained, and often certified, in budgeting, consumer credit, and debt and money management. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a credit counseling agency will help you create a budget and offer advice on how to best manage your debts, including credit card debts, and your money. Additionally, these organizations often put on free workshops and provide educational materials. Being educated about budgets, money and debts, and offered advice about your situation, may be all you need to get your finances back on track.
Depending on your circumstances, a credit counseling agency may advise you to enroll in a debt management plan. Through this type of plan, your credit counselor will work with your creditors to lower your monthly minimum payments and extend your debt repayment period. With few exceptions, these plans will not reduce the amounts you owe on your credit cards, or other debts. Instead of making payments to each of your creditors every month, you will make a single payment to your credit counselor. The counselor will take those funds and make the payments to each of your creditors on your behalf.
This post has provided an overview of credit counseling. However, it is important to keep in mind that each situation is unique and may require different actions and options. Therefore, this should be taken only as general information, and not legal advice.