How Debt Counseling Could Improve Your Budget

Dec 21, 2013 by

With more and more families living paycheck to paycheck, budgets are tight. It’s become a fact of life to barely make obligations and to have little money left over for savings. If this describes your budget, you may find that credit and debt counseling can help you loosen your budget, get more cash to spend each month and ultimately improve your financial situation.

How Debt Counseling Works

The first step is to make an appointment to talk with a debt counselor. This can be done over the phone, on the Internet or in person. You will probably be asked to bring documents to the meeting like bank statements, proof of income, pay stubs, credit card or other loan statements and various identifying information. You may be asked to fill out a general budget form saying about how much you spend per month on things like food, housing, utilities, debt service and savings.

Once you have all your information, your debt counselor (also known as a credit counselor) will go over your budget line by line to identify ways to save money. For instance, if your income suggests that you are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), the counselor may provide information on how to apply and save some money on food each month. If your line item for entertainment is very high, a counselor will give you tips on how to be a little more frugal in your spending habits.

Your counselor will also look at the details of each of your debts and talk to you about what they mean. For instance, many people don’t know that if they just make minimum payments on high-interest credit cards each month, they could take 20 to 30 years to pay off. That debt payment represents a significant amount of money each month that could, if paid off, go toward more prudent investments like a down payment on a house, college savings for the kids or retirement.

Finding a Solution

Debt counseling is all about finding solutions, one of which might be Credit Guard debt consolidation. If you have high-interest, high-balance debts, your counselor may recommend consolidation as an option. While it may not lower your monthly payments in the immediate short-term, your long-term savings may be in the thousands. A counselor will help you determine if consolidation is the right approach for you, so why not give one a call today?

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How a Debt Management Plan Will Help Your Future

Dec 4, 2013 by


There are two ways to handle problems: proactively, with an eye toward the future or reactively, trying to juggle each crisis as it hits. When you’re thinking about finances, it is almost always better to handle problems proactively. Putting money in savings each month, for example, is the best way to be proactive. For people who already have debt, however, putting together a debt management plan and sticking to it may the right way to go.

Debt Consolidation: The Right Plan for You

In many cases, debt consolidation will play a large role in a Creditguard debt management plan. You should consult with a credit counselor, who will look at your budget and give you suggestions for how to cut back and achieve some short-term relief. However, for medium and long-term financial stability, you may need to look at finding a way to pay off your debts sooner.

Debt consolidation offers that opportunity by lowering your interest rates, so more of your money each month goes toward paying off your credit card debts and loans. Depending on the size of your balances, you could end up being free from debt decades sooner than if you’d just made minimum monthly payments (which is more reactive than proactive).

Benefits of Being Free from Debt

There are so many benefits to paying off your credit card debts. Your credit score will drastically improve, giving you access to opportunities that you might not have otherwise had. You may be considered for more jobs, it will be easier to take out loans and home ownership may finally be within reach. Whether you want to save for retirement or set money aside for a vacation, there are a variety of other ways you can spend that money. Finally, being free from debt is a psychological victory. It can feel as though a weight has been lifted from your shoulders when you don’t have to worry about irritating collection calls or missed payments.

No matter how much money you make or how much debt you have, a debt management plan is always better than no plan at all. Be proactive and take control of your debt problems, and consider debt consolidation today.

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