There are plenty of credit counsellors out there, and most of them have sharp-looking websites with lots of content. But how do you know which credit counselling company is right for you? If you’re struggling with debt and ready to work on resolving your financial problems, it can be tempting to pick up the phone and contact the nearest credit counselling business.
Don’t. Instead, Take a few moments to check out a few firms before making that first appointment. You need to explore some key things first before selecting the company that will work with you to solve your financial issues.
Check the Source of your Credit Counselling
You want to make sure that the counsellor you speak with is licensed and associated with the government or an agency designed to assist you impartially. You can do this by finding credit counselling companies through:
Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Credit Counselling Canada or other Non-Profit Agency
Check the Counsellor’s Education
People who work as credit counsellors don’t have to have specialized training according to federal or provincial laws. However, any counsellor who works for a Licensed Insolvency Trustee must have the proper counselling certifications, relevant training, and yearly development hours. This is all monitored and upheld by both the Licensed Insolvency Trustee and the Federal Government so that the quality of counselling can be consistent and ever improving.
With proper training, a counsellor will acquire the vital skills necessary to help and support individuals with their personal finance, credit issues, or money management.
Beware of Quick Fixes
Research online and see if there are any complaints about the agency, such as false advertising or late payments to creditors. Looking at a credit counselling businesses’ advertising is important. If you see something about quick fixes or putting everything right, alarm bells should ring. You need to spot misleading claims that say things like the business can solve your debt problems quickly for only a fraction of your debt, they can quickly fix your credit score, or they are part of a government program. Your credit counselling service is there to present options, offer solutions, and work with you so that you develop money management skills and can move towards financial success. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes.
Good Counsellors Review Options
The better credit counselling companies or individuals will not push a solution on you or pressure you to take a course of action. Instead, they will listen first and gather information about your situation. They will present options and explain how those options work and can be customized to suit your situation.
Good Counsellors Put You First
Let’s face it, in a situation where someone may be stressed and worried about their financial future, the last thing they need is someone scheming to make a profit from them. That’s why the number one priority for all counsellors should be your best interests. A good counsellor will, as we said earlier, listen first, answer your questions, and then tailor their approach for you. The important thing is that you feel like your needs and concerns are their priority.
It is not difficult to find a credit counselling company or individual with these qualities. Trust your gut and you will know if you have found someone who has empathy, wants to listen and puts you first. There are lots of people out there who really like their work because they get a personal sense of reward from helping others.
They Explain Their Fees
Not all credit counselling agencies follow a reasonable fee structure. In fact, some of them are very expensive, meaning that the costs charged by credit counsellors can vary greatly. Good credit counselling companies will explain their services and the fees that they charge upfront. They will never take a commission or incentive-based fee. Remember, if you don’t understand any aspect of the fee structure or services, be sure to ask. Types of questions you should consider asking include. Is the initial consultation session free? What types of services do you offer? What is your fee structure? Will you give me a written consumer proposal? Can you help me with my money management skills? Do you provide statements each month documenting my payments?
Do you feel at ease with the counsellor?
Last but not least, look for a sense of fit or comfort. If your counsellor has a weakness, such as poor communication skills, abruptness, appears rushed, or doesn’t give you their full attention, it may not be a great match. If you do like the company, ask to see a different individual. If you feel comfortable with your credit counselling individual, your work will go smoothly and will be much less stressful. Finally, ensure you trust the credit counsellor’s guidance and judgment, and that you feel certain it is in your best interest.
For more information about finding the right counsellor for you, call Kevin Thatcher at 1-866-719-8547 or contact us here.