Financial Planning and Credit Counseling

Credit Counseling

One aspect of debt consolidation that isn’t usually discussed is financial planning. It is often a smart financial move to consolidate your debt, whether you carry thousands or tens of thousands on your credit cards or other unsecured loans. But credit counseling can also help you with financial planning in addition to the unique benefits of debt consolidation.

When you consolidate debt, you almost always get a significantly lower interest rate. Lower interest rates mean more of your money goes towards the principal on the debt, so that debt relief comes more quickly. Not only do you ultimately pay thousands less, but you can start thinking about other major expenses that much sooner.


Every month, you bring in an income that remains more or less the same, barring any major life changes. This means that you have a set amount of money each month to spend. For most families, this money is split up between housing, food, utilities, clothing, debt service, savings and other expenses.

It is a well-worn truth that you have to spend money to make money, and in many cases, you have to save money before you can spend it. For instance, home ownership is often less expensive than renting in the long run. That requires you to make a down payment, and in order to do so, you need to save money. If you could pay off your credit cards sooner, you’d have that money to save towards a down payment, which would free up even more money in your budget to go towards other pursuits such as college savings or other smart investments.

Your Five-Year Plan

Most money-savvy individuals have a five-year plan for their finances. By accelerating the speed at which you are able to pay off your debts, you can accelerate the pace of your five-year plan as well, putting you further along the path to financial stability for comfortable retirement. Debt consolidation may be the first step to making that happen.

Credit counseling from a company like CreditGuard allows you to sit with a professional and go over every element of your finances, including your budget, your five-year plan and other money management concerns. Your counselor will give you helpful tips to save more money in your budget, make smart investment decisions and sign up for debt consolidation.

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Debt Consolidation Services Offers a Personal Plan to Help with Debt

One size never fits all people, and you can get into debt for many reasons. Debt consolidation services and debt management programs offer a way to get out of debt without ruining your credit, delaying your payments, taking out expensive loans or requiring larger payments than you can afford to make.

Causes of Debt

Debt sneaks up and clobbers you from behind with interest charges, late fees and penalties at the worst possible time when unexpected expenses are making it hard to manage your finances. Student loan debts, emergency car repairs, additions to your family or cutbacks at work could make affordable payments suddenly become unmanageable.

Here’s the thing about unsecured debt: interest rates start high and jump higher when you make late payments or miss a payment. Your minimum monthly payments barely cover interest, so your balances stay high for many years even if you no longer use your credit.

Credit Counselors Offer a Fresh Start

Debt consolidation services are accredited financial companies that can help you solve your credit card debt nightmare. These companies assign you an experienced counselor who can help you manage your debt in several ways.  And if you use a reputable company like CreditGuard of America, you won’t be using risky debt consolidation loans.

  • Although counselors can’t give legal advice, they can help you understand your options and learn about budgeting, debt management programs, spending strategies and other useful tips to live within your means.
  • Counselors will study your expenses and income and come up with a personal debt management plan to pay off your debts.
  • Debt consolidation services and professionals can negotiate with your creditors and convince them to lower interest rates and cancel fees and penalties.
  • Your monthly payments may drop dramatically, and counselors can consolidate all your unsecured debts so that you only need to make one monthly payment.
  • These debt consolidation services don’t affect your balances, which you continue to pay as promised, so your credit rating doesn’t drop.
  • Once you enter a debt consolidation service or program, embarrassing collection calls will stop.

Short History of Credit Counseling

The credit industry actually began credit counseling back in the 1960s, but after Congress tightened credit and bankruptcy regulations, the services became more popular with consumers. Clients have always been able to learn money management skills and refocus their debts when interest rates, balances and fees make paying off debts nearly impossible. During the 1990s, increased credit card debt caused new companies to start, and many of these newcomers handle debt consolidation services over the Internet or phone instead of during personal meetings. Some companies make a profit, so you should look for nonprofit services that you can trust to put your best interests first.

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New York Credit Counseling Services Crucial As Economy Looks Up

In early June, the National Association for Credit Management (NACM) released the results of its latest Credit Managers’ Index (CMI). According to NACM, the results of the index prove that the credit environment in the U.S. is steadily improving. Lenders are extending more credit, and more consumers are staying current with their credit. However, if you’re one of many Americans who see no sign of debt relief ahead, credit counseling services can help you to eliminate debt quickly.

You Are Not Alone

Even though the U.S. economy is slowly bouncing back, many Americans still struggle with unsecured debt. In many households, people are either still unemployed or have had to take lower-paying jobs. Sometimes, people have no choice but to use credit to pay for their utility bills, their food purchases and even their mortgages. Unfortunately, many people have also begun to hit their credit limits, or they’ve discovered that the high interest charged by creditors can mean that their bills will take decades to pay off.

How Credit Counseling Services Can Help

When you call a qualified New York credit counseling service at, you are connected to counselors that have both experience and integrity. During your free initial consultation, your counselor may ask you for information about your income, your monthly expenses and your current debts. If you qualify, then your counselor will come up with a proposal to send to your creditors. The proposal will roll your unsecured debt into a single monthly payment at a much lower interest rate than you are currently paying.

Getting debt relief for your unsecured debt can deliver both emotional and financial relief. You may have a new perspective for finding ways to deal with other financial challenges. In addition, your counselor can provide financial management resources for you and for your family. You can learn skills like personal budgeting, credit management and money management through credit counseling services.

Your Path to Financial Freedom

Developing a debt management plan with your credit counselor can take years off of your unsecured debt payments. Debt with high interest rates that could take decades to pay down can become debt that you can address within five years. Imagine the freedom of seeing your debt finally paid off. Picture the self-confidence that you’ll gain from tackling and prevailing over one of your biggest financial challenges.

Many people just like you to take advantage of advice from credit counselors to address unsecured debt. After paying off their debts and learning financial management skills, they have the tools to build a new financial future. Why battle high interest rates when a credit counselor can negotiate lower rates on your behalf? Join others like you who have started down the road to solid financial management by contacting a credit counselor today.

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Debt Consolidation Offers Better Value than Loans

the value of debt consolidation

Debt consolidation offers the best way for struggling individuals to pay off their debts while preserving their credit ratings and personal pride. Consolidation loans offer few advantages and many drawbacks, and transferring your debt only deals with the immediate symptoms instead of solving your underlying financial problems. Often, interest rates on consolidation loans are nearly as high as unsecured loans, but payments are lower because loan periods are longer. You still owe the money, and your paid-off credit card debt reduces your balances so that you might be tempted to start spending on nonessential luxuries.

Problems with Consolidation Loans

Second mortgages might secure lower interest rates, but they can create other problems. The most significant drawback is that mortgage loans replace unsecured debts by using your home as collateral. If problems arise that make it impossible for you to keep up your payments, you could lose your home. Other disadvantages of these types of loans include the following drawbacks:

  • Borrowing money to retire your debts gives you a false sense of security, but your debts remain unpaid.
  • Home loans often require significant points and closing costs that take away the benefit of any decrease in interest rate.
  • Most people who need these loans don’t qualify for low interest rates.
  • Getting out of debt requires changing your spending habits, and these loans just delay the inevitable situation that you must face.

Nonprofit Debt Consolidation Companies

Debt consolidation programs offer genuine help for people who have fallen into debt, whether through inexperience or misfortune. Programs like those offered by CreditGuard avoid the dangers of debt consolidation loans.  These companies have solid relationships with creditors and can persuade them to lower your interest rates, waive penalties and fees, and consolidate your obligations into one monthly payment that you can afford.


  • Lower interest rates mean smaller payments and faster retirement of your loan balances.
  • Credit counselors can help you plan a budget to reduce your discretionary spending so that your paycheck goes further.
  • Debt consolidation preserves your credit rating.

Give Yourself a Financial Makeover

Getting a handle on your spending offers lifetime advantages that will help you buy a home, finance college education and save for retirement. Easy credit takes advantage of those who are unfamiliar with the true costs of loans, but debt consolidation not only reduces your payments, it also pays off your balances, instead of just moving your debt to another lender.

You should be suspicious of any company that makes wild claims about eliminating your debt. Legitimate companies find ways for you to pay your balances by encouraging you to make wiser decisions, follow a budget and resist nonessential spending. Your financial makeover might include the following strategies:

  • You could pay more than the minimum on your loans to reduce balances and monthly interest charges.
  • Most people pay for duplicate home communication services that they seldom or never use, so consider dropping these expenses.
  • Pay for goods and services with cash because plastic and checks make it easier to spend money.
  • Learn how to make a budget and stick to it.
  • Put aside money for emergencies so that you won’t be tempted to borrow.

Debt consolidation provides you with powerful tools to get out of debt and stay that way. Most people who get behind in their payments are good people who simply make questionable financial decisions, which lenders encourage. Fight back by reorganizing your finances and learning the facts about credit card debt.

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Understanding your Options for a Successful Financial Future

A lot of debt and credit management articles start out by telling consumers facing debt that they’re not alone, and that’s certainly true: Data shows that in the United States, almost half of consumers owe more in credit card debt than they have stashed in emergency savings; Americans owe about $800 billion in credit card debt total, and the average student will graduate with more than $35,000 in student loan debt. That’s all supposed to make consumers feel better about the debt they owe, and to the extent that misery really does love company, it actually may make you feel a little better by making you feel less isolated. But, knowing those statistics does absolutely nothing to help your debt go away. To do that, you need to take action – meaningful and consistent action that will help you pay off debts and develop the healthy financial habits that will assist you in leading a better and more financially stable life.

Credit Management

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve had little education in managing your finances or handling credit responsibly. At the most, you may have had a class that showed you how to write a check and, if you were lucky, balance a checkbook. Yet, credit has a tremendous influence on consumers’ lives, affecting them in more ways than most people imagine. Sure, most people know that bad credit can have an effect on the lending process, making some people ineligible for loans or eligible only for loans with the poorest terms. But, many people don’t know that many insurance companies use credit scores as a measurement of risk, and poor credit scores will yield higher premiums than good ones. In some industries, credit is also used as an indicator of habits and reliability, and some employers will look at a potential employee’s credit score to help them decide whether or not to make a job offer.

Counseling Can Help

Because credit has the potential to have such a serious impact on so many important areas of a consumer’s life, it’s easy to see why it’s so vital to develop good spending and credit habits in order to keep credit reports and scores as robust as possible. For many, learning those habits is not an easy task, and there are few places or opportunities to develop those skills outside of our personal lives.

That’s why in recent years, credit and debt counseling programs have become more popular than ever as men and women begin to understand the impact their financial habits can have on virtually every aspect of their lives.

Consumer credit counseling services at Credit Guard is designed to help consumers understand their financial options and learn how to manage money and credit throughout their lives. Many credit counseling programs offer online tools as well as debt counseling to help you pay off debts faster and save money at the same time; a good debt consolidation program can save you thousands of dollars and significantly reduce the time required to repay loans.

So, while it may be true that misery loves company, being financially sound is the best decision you can make for yourself. By enrolling in a comprehensive credit and debt counseling program, you’ll learn the skills you need to take control of your financial future and to start living the best life possible.

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Getting Debt Counseling for Medical Debt

Everyone knows someone who has had a costly medical scare that has landed them in hot water.  It was reported that 30 million people in 2010 had unpaid medical bills that were entered into collections.    One single unpaid medical bill can lower one’s credit score by 100 points.  Having unpaid medical bills is sometimes worse than having too many credit card obligations or other type of unsecured debt.

Debunking the Most Important Myth about Medical Debt.

Many people believe that the medical debt is treated differently when the credit score is being calculated.  The medical debt is treated similar to any other debt incurred.  Any type of debt that enters collection will have an impact on a person’s credit.

How Can Medical Debt Affect One’s Credit?

A debt as small as an outstanding co-pay can result in collection activities.  Collection activity can cause a person’s score to plummet after just one mistake.  If a person has a complicated medical history that has resulted in costly medical expenses, each account that enters collections can have a lasting impact on the credit score.  Even if the person pays the debt off, the collection activity can linger on the credit report for a while.

How Can One Prevent Medical Debt?

If insured, sticking to in-network providers as much as possible can prevent the credit score from suffering during medical emergencies.  Challenging any information appearing on one’s credit report if it appears to be inaccurate can prevent items from remaining on the report longer than necessary.  Making sure that the procedures are billed accurately to protect against being double-billed by the care provider is something that save the average patients hundreds.  Paying the bill off promptly when possible is another way to prevent medical debt.

If the person is unable to completely pay off the medical debt quickly, he or she may want to look into getting debt help.  In debt counseling, the person who cannot pay off the medical bills in a timely manner or can not quite manage all medical debt can participate in a consolidation program.  The client will work one-on-one with a debt counselor to resolve any medical debts and eliminate the potential for any account causing permanent damage to one’s credit score.

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Getting More Out of Life Thanks to Debt Consolidation Help

Gaining control of your budget might not always be easy when you are mired in a massive amount of debt. Often, making the minimum payment on credit cards, bills and other forms of unsecured debt can leave precious little capital left over to cover other necessary or discretionary costs. This is why debt consolidation help is so well worth seeking out. Such help has the ability to impart a little sanity to the chaos of trying to maintain a budget when different bills are arriving at various points in the month.

Consolidating debt can offer a number of advantages to those with serious budget woes. Among the most helpful of these advantages would be that you only need to make one payment per month on one bill. Often, this new consolidated bill will be less than the amount you previously had to pay on the combined separate bills. This debt consolidation help automatically increases what remains of your monthly cash flow.

When you have greater cash flow you can take care of other responsibilities that might have been overlooked. For many, having to meet massive monthly bills can leave the interior of a home or apartment in desperate need of a makeover. Interior design is not easy when your funds are brutally drained. Accessing greater liquidity thanks to debt consolidation help can reduce the areas you might have been neglecting due to fiscal woes.

Why find yourself is such a tough position? Help is certainly available so take advantage of it.

You do not even have to be in a proverbial tough position to seek help. You just might want to have a little bit more fun. An entertainment budget can become nonexistent when your monthly cash flow is nil. When funds run dry, a great deal of fun activities just become things you dream about. How enjoyable would life be if this was the case all the time. A sane person would end up miserable if every penny earned went to paying debt. While covering your debts should be a high priority, you have to live a little too. So, why not seek help that will allow you to do so?

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A Credit Card Debt Relief Plan That Isn’t a Loan

credit card debt relief not a loanIf you have a headache, you can take an ibuprofen. If you have a stomachache, there are antacids. But what can you do for credit card debt relief?

While there is no magical pill that will make your credit card debt go away, there is a way you can get rid of your debt without ruining your credit. Use a debt consolidation service for the following benefits.

Preserve Your Credit Rating

Many of the solutions offered for credit card debt relief do not help your credit score. In fact, they may damage it further. Consolidation loans, bankruptcy and other types of loans are not going to boost your credit score. Instead, they can actually lower it. Part of your score is based on how much debt you have incurred. So getting another loan doesn’t make sense in terms of your credit score.

Lower Your Monthly Payments

One of the biggest problems with a large credit card debt is that your minimum monthly payments are huge. In order to lower your monthly payments without taking out another loan, you need to look into using a debt consolidation service.

Pay Lower Interest Rates

A debt counselor from the consolidation service will work directly with your creditors to lower the interest rates you pay. Many consumers don’t realize that it is the interest on their card that is accumulating so rapidly and making it difficult to get out of debt. Once your interest rate is lowered, your monthly payment will drop and you will make bigger strides in paying off your debt.

Money Management Tips

Getting relief from your credit card debt is great, but if you don’t learn how to manage your money properly, you will soon find yourself facing a huge debt again. A debt counselor will help you learn how to budget and manage your money more effectively. This reduces the need to get a credit card or other loan in the first place.

If you have been searching for credit card debt relief that doesn’t involve more loans, try a debt consolidation service.

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