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Common Questions & Answers about Credit and Credit Counseling
Basically, we are there to help people regain control of their personal finances through counseling, budgeting, establishing credit, clearing up credit problems, and enrollment in our debt management programs.
What problems are associated with credit?
Credit is a wonderful thing to have. However, there are certain dangers facing the credit user. Overuse and abuse of credit can ruin anyone's financial stability, personal relationships, and even job performance. If a person fails to realize that they are committing their future income to cover their present borrowing habit, they are also failing to recognize what happens when that income is cut off or reduced by illness, downsizing, elimination of overtime pay, retirement, or medical emergencies.
What are some of the warning signs of impending financial disaster?
- Are this months credit card balances higher than last months?
- Do you pay only the minimum payment due on your credit cards?
- Have you added new credit accounts to increase your borrowing power?
- Have you reached or extended your credit limits on some accounts?
- Have any of your credit cards been revoked?
- Have you depleted savings in order to pay past due bills?
- Have you lost track of how much you owe?
- Are you using credit cards where you used to pay cash?
- Are you using credit card cash advances to pay bills?
- Have you avoided talking to your significant other about money?
- Are you putting off necessary payments like utilities or rent in order to pay credit card bills?
- Have you paid off large balances only to run up new large balances soon thereafter?
- Do you really know or understand the cause of your financial difficulty?
- Are you avoiding adding up the total due on credit card bills?
- Do you feel that you are drowning in debt?
Where can I get help with my credit problems?
ACCS! Just call our nationwide toll-free number (800) 729-0551. We can get you the help you need for whatever credit problems you may be experiencing.
What kind of credit "HELP" should I be wary of?
Often "FOR-PROFIT" counseling organizations make promises that they cannot keep, and they charge huge application and processing fees. CREDIT REPAIR CLINICS AND "CREDIT" DOCTORS have been frequently criticized for promising to remove negative information from your credit report. However, accurate information cannot be changed. If information is old or inaccurate, you can contact the credit bureaus yourself and ask to have it removed. RISKY REFINANCING OPTIONS can create more problems than they solve. When someone is in trouble, second mortgages or mortgage loan refinances to consolidate their credit card debts stretches the debt out 15 to 30 years and can cost large refinancing fees.
What specific services does ACCS provide?
- We assist the consumer in resolving all sorts of credit report problems such as disputed accounts, collection accounts, etc.
- We assist the consumer in re-establishing credit where bankruptcy or old credit problems have adversely affected their credit rating.
- We provide in-depth credit counseling.
- We have a staff of fully trained debt mediators that negotiate with your creditors to resolve accounts in collections or charge-offs.
- We develop a complete and concise personalized budget for our clients and then work with them to stay within that budget.
- We provide several programs and services that actually consolidate the clients unsecured debt into one periodic payment with the goal of paying off creditors in a timely manner.
- We provide speakers for financial education seminars, lectures and educational events.
- We meet with personnel departments and business owners to develop an assistance program for employees with credit problems.
How do I get help from ACCS, or enroll with your service?
Very simple. Just call our toll-free number (800) 729-0551 and one of our Certified Credit Counselors will ask a few questions to determine the scope of your problem. They will then set an appointment for you to bring in all of your current statements, household expense information and pay stubs. From information developed during this appointment, your own personalized budget will be developed and you will be on your way to restoring your financial stability and credibility.
What federal laws protect the consumer from credit harassment?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects the debtor from being harassed by a debt collector.
Will credit counseling affect my credit?
ACCS does not report your activity to the Credit Bureaus. Some creditors may report this activity and then it is up to the discretion of whoever is reading your report. Some lenders view credit counseling as bad. Others will compliment you for taking responsibility to find a solution to your debt problem. If you presently have good credit, it will probably be downgraded. If you're already in trouble, there should be no bad effect. Paying your bills on time is certainly better than late or missed payments.