Your conversation with a credit counselor
If you struggle with debt, a credit counselor could be a big help. Learn how they work and how to find a credit counselor who’s a good fit for you.
Prior to meeting with a credit counselor, they may ask permission to look up your credit report in order to review it with you. If you give permission, you will be asked for your social security number. This is not unusual and reputable, certified credit counselors will never share your private information. Just be sure that you’ve checked out the credit counselor and the counseling service before your meeting.
A good place to find a reputable counselor is on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s website.
During your meeting, it's important to be honest with your counselor. While it can be uncomfortable to reveal your financial situation to a stranger, leaving out important details about your finances—like an old debt that has gone to collections—means the counselor won’t be able to help you as effectively. Being up front about every aspect of your situation will help your counselor best address your problems.
Depending on your situation, your counselor may suggest specific options for you to consider about how to manage your money and debt. The solutions they offer might require a lot of work, time and patience. But being open to your counselor’s suggestions can help you start tackling your financial challenges.
A credit counselor won’t tell you that they can make your money problems go away overnight—but they can help you make a plan that can help put your mind at ease and get you back on track to paying off your debts.