What to do after free credit counseling in Columbus, Ohio
October 19, 2021at4:00 AM
No matter how much debt you’re facing, credit counseling is a helpful tool for learning how to manage it. Many people even seek credit counseling in the hopes of improving their score simply by attending. On its own, though, it won’t necessarily be enough to make a significant difference for your score, or your ability to tackle your debts. In fact, it should only be your first step toward resolving those debts.
DebtHelp, Inc. offers free credit counseling in Columbus, Ohio to help local consumers figure out the best plan of attack to resolve what they owe. We know from our first-hand experience in this industry that credit counseling alone is not a sufficient debt relief plan, but that it’s an important start to finding the right path forward.
In this blog post, we’ll detail why credit counseling isn’t enough for substantially improving your credit score and go over some of the potential routes you can take after receiving counseling.
When credit counseling isn’t enough
We’ve written on our blog in the past about credit counseling and the value it has to consumers managing any amount of debt. It’s the best way to get a comprehensive vision of your debts compared to your income and assets, and if you’re someone without much of an idea of a good way to manage their finances, it’s a great educational resource that can help better understand your personal situation.
As we explained in that post, though, there’s a common misconception that simply attending credit counseling is enough to boost your credit score. While it’s useful for this purpose, credit counseling is more of a jumping-off point for either learning how to manage your finances or adopting a longer-term strategy for resolving debts. For example, attending credit counseling is a requirement before filing for any kind of bankruptcy.
Credit counseling is a beneficial first step whether you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, consolidating your debts, or working with a debt settlement company.
If you’re facing an overwhelming amount of debt that you don’t reasonably believe you can pay off, bankruptcy is likely to be the best path forward for you. You can file for chapter 7, 11, or 13 bankruptcy. The type you file for depends on your circumstances, including whether you have a low income, you’re filing as a business, or you’re filing as a married couple. When you file for chapter 7, your non-exempt assets will be used to resolve as much of your debt as possible. With chapter 11, your business can restructure its debts and assets to remain open while it pays those debts back. With chapter 13, your debt is re-negotiated into a 3- to 5-year payment plan at a lower amount.
Debt consolidation involves rolling up several of your debts into a single monthly payment. This is typically ideal for high-interest payments like credit card bills. Debt consolidation is best for someone who isn’t dealing with an unmanageable amount of debt, and is part of the reason why credit counseling is great for more than just someone in that type of situation. You can consolidate your debts with a 0% interest credit card or a fixed-rate debt consolidation loan. Read more about debt consolidation in this Nerdwallet article.
Whereas debt consolidation can reduce the interest you pay and make your debt payments more manageable, debt settlement is meant to reduce the overall amount you owe. Debt settlement is an important service we provide at DebtHelp, Inc.
If you have an unsecured debt of over $5,000, a debt advisor helps you decide whether debt settlement is right for you. From there, we create a monthly savings plan tailored to fit your budget and work to settle the balances you owe to each of your creditors for a smaller portion of the full balance.