title:Credit Counseling and Its Effects author:Jakob Jelling source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_2798.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:06 category:business_and_finance article:

All to often credit is fun, easy to get and even easier to use. Many people find that even though they have an excellent income, that they can not keep up with their current debt load and even if they are managing to make their monthly payments they are not getting ahead. Is there a solution to this situation without having to claim bankruptcy or adversely effecting your credit score?
Credit counseling may very well be the answer for this type of situation. Credit counseling is designed to help correct your problem without impacting your credit score and may actually help improve your credit score. Credit counseling works by ensuring that all of your creditors are getting paid on time, eliminates the trap of revolving credit and helps you to learn to over come your credit problems.
Upon entering into a credit-counseling program you will be asked for financial details and to surrender most of your credit cards. Almost all programs acknowledge that you need a credit card or two for business or travel and will not try to restrict your ability to work and live in a reasonable fashion. Once your situation is assessed a plan will be made so that your will be debt free in three or four years and you will be offered the help you need to keep out of the situation that you are currently in.
While your credit score will not be effected an entry will be placed on your file. The entry on your file will generally say “DMP” or “credit counseling”. This entry is put there to you from obtaining additional credit cards. Once you have completed your credit counseling this entry is generally removed or updated to reflect that you have finished the program.
One thing that will effect your credit rating is the promptness of your credit-counseling agency. When you are in a credit-counseling program you will give the agency a monthly check that they will use to pay your creditors. If the agency does not pay your creditors on time or in full your credit score will be impacted. Be sure to check out the history of your credit-counseling agency to avoid this.
As you might assume, committing to a credit-counseling program does require a lot of work and conviction from you. The hardest part for many people is to break the habit of reaching for a credit card to pay for a bill that just came in the mail. The second hardest thing for most people to do is to learn to live within in their means. Everyone likes instant gratification and often we feel entitled to it, but perhaps if we had shown a little more discipline in the first place we wouldn’t need credit counseling now.
As you can see, credit counseling is a good and reasonable option if you find yourself with too much debt. Credit counseling will not effect your credit score and will ultimately make you a better person as you will learn better skills for handling your money. If you find yourself slipping into revolving credit card debt problems make sure you take the correct steps to resolve the problem before you are forced into bankruptcy.
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