Non Profit Credit Card Consolidation - Helping Hands
Non-profit instills in us a sense of fairness, as if there are helping hands that have our best interests at stake. There are many non-profit organizations offering services in the field of education, health or social welfare.
Credit Counseling counselors and companies offer non-profit credit card consolidation services. Perhaps the major reason for them being non-profit is their goal to educate and train you, the financial consumer.
Before you look into a company, even if it is non-profit, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the Right Credit Card Consolidation Service for Me?
- Why Non-Profit?
- What Should I Look for in a Non Profit Credit Card Consolidation Service?
What is the Right Credit Card Consolidation Service for Me?
If you are barely making your minimum credit card payments, or running up more credit card debt to pay your bills, then it is time that you deal with your debt problem. One popular solution, Credit card consolidation, comes in different packages, including:
- Optimize your payment: You can afford to make more than the minimum monthly payment. By adding a fixed amount to your set monthly payment, you can save on your interest costs.
- Loan Consolidation: You need good credit and/or equity in a house to be able to do a loan consolidation.
- Credit Counseling and Debt Management: You need to be able to make fixed monthly payments. Credit Counseling helps to reorganize your finances and negotiate lower fees and interest rates
- Debt Settlement: You need to be able to show some type of hardship but still make a lower monthly payment into a special designated account. A Debt Settlement program negotiates a payment less than what you owe.
Each program has its advantages and disadvantages. Before you reach out for a helping hand, get a handle on your problems. Bills.com Debt Coach helps you analyze your financial situation and credit card problem, and gives you a personalized recommendation of the most appropriate debt relief program.
That is a fair question, after all non-profit credit card consolidation companies charge for their services, have paid employees, and sometimes very highly paid executives. The basis of non-profit is in the tax status, disallowing the distribution of profit to members. It allows organizations to raise money through donations. Non-profits should have a board of directors who come from a cross-section of the community and work on a voluntary basis.
Non-profit Credit Card Consolidation Services are offered to help empower you make educated financial decisions. That is why many of the companies were set up as non-profits. In fact, some companies offer free credit counseling sessions. Voluntary fees are not a good sign. Just like any reputable firm, fees should be well defined and reasonable. If you are in a true hardship, then a non-profit should be willing to waive its fees.
Remember, non-profit does not mean free, nor does it guarantee good service. When looking for a credit counseling service, make sure that you find a reputable company. One advantage of many non-profit credit consolidation companies are that they are accredited.
What Should I Look for in a Non Profit Credit Card Consolidation Service?
Make sure that any debt relief company is reputable. Don’t take them at face value. Bills.com offers tools and articles to make sure that you are an informed consumer. Don’t be afraid to ask the company tough questions. When looking at a non-profit credit card consolidation service pay attention to these special features:
Membership and Accreditation:
Neither membership in an industry organization nor accreditation is guarantees for good service, but they do help to weed out unethical firms. If you do have a problem, then you have an address to register your complaint. The two largest industry organizations are the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling) and the The Financial Counseling Association of America (formerly the AICCCA, Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies). Each of these organizations represent credit counseling agencies, that offer a wide variety of services including financial education, budget counseling, debt management, housing counseling and bankruptcy counseling. The NFCC requires an annual audit by a CPA and accreditation through the COA (Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services). The AICCCA requires either accreditation through the COA, the BSI (The British Standards Institution) or the Bureau Veritas Certification North America, Inc.
A non-profit credit counseling service should emphasize education. Check out the types of information and tools they provide both online and in a class. The counselor should be helping you understand your problem, and develop skills to deal with it. The NFCC mentions that the lack of an education program is a "red flag".
A non-profit should be willing to work with you no matter the size of your debt and even if you are making you payments on time. A key to financial success is a good budget, and a credit counselor can help you put your budget in place. Also, be wary of a non-profit credit counseling service that only works with some of your creditors. If the reason for this is due to a payment received from your creditors, look for another firm.
Your Hand - A Helping Hand
Non-profit credit card consolidation programs are just one possible solution to your debt program. Credit counseling is always the best solution and non-profit companies do not always offer the best deal.
Take an active role. Educate yourself, set up a budget with financial goals, including savings and investments. Credit card consolidation should be a means to improve your financial status. Aim to play your best hand, and get debt free.