Getting credit counseling, enrolling in a debt management program, and reading self-help books are some ways to get help with debt relief. Credit counseling helps people assess their current financial situation, make a budget, and learn how to avoid going deeper into debt. Debt management programs are organizations that completely manage a person’s credit card and loan payments. In addition, self-help books can sometimes help a person better manage the problem herself. The debt relief business is burdened with scams that promise quicker, easier, and sometimes cheaper solutions to the problem.
Many people get help with debt relief by contacting a credit counseling organization. The goal of a credit counseling organization is to help people assess their financial situation, develop a budget, and have the knowledge to better manage money in the future. Organizations like this usually give one-hour sessions on an appointment basis and give the client learning materials to take home. Some organizations are even non-profit, with minimal to no fees, but there are also disreputable companies that claim to be non-profit but actually have expensive, upfront fees and no intention of helping the client. Reputable companies are usually associated with universities, credit unions, and other trustworthy organizations.
Debt management programs take charge of all the client’s credit card bills and loans, and the client is sent a monthly bill. This kind of program is usually meant for people who are not disciplined or organized enough to pay off the debt alone. Most people can get help with debt relief using other methods, so debt management services are usually recommended to people as a last but potentially effective resort. On the other hand, debt management programs that promise clients a debt-free existence within weeks or months are often scams. Depending on how much debt a person has, a debt management program can take four years or more to complete.
Books can be a useful source for help with debt relief. Self-help books cannot provide consumers with advice perfectly tailored to their situations. The main advantage to books, however, is that they can be much cheaper and more accessible than other debt management services. Reading appropriate self-help books can teach consumers techniques for staying out of debt, as well as educating them on options for getting out of debt. Self-help books can be a good place to start when looking for help with debt relief because they can point consumers toward specific types of hands-on assistance.