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Friday, February 27, 2009

What You Need To Know About Consumer Debt

By Mike Carbeck

Are you facing financial ruin because of your credit cards? A credit counseling agency can help you out. Credit cards are wonderful, but if you have trouble controlling your spending impulses, this can quickly result in your being in severe debt.

If you find yourself in this situation, you can find a credit counseling agency no matter what state you live in. There are even credit counseling resources available online as well. How do you find a credible counseling program?

The Federal Trade Commission has outlined some clear guidelines that will assist you in choosing the credit repair service that best fits your needs. Credit counseling agencies should respect the law and never make you empty promises. Remember if something sounds to good to be true, it usually is.

The agency you choose should focus on your present situation and teach you a life plan for money management. Avoid the typical hype and whitewash from agencies that promise to erase your debt and completely restore your credit rating, these are empty promises and scams. Your should seek the services of a federal agency that will provide you with assistance free of charge.

You are also allowed up to three copies of your credit report per year. The companies that offer this service online or by phone are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. However, you will encounter a fee for your credit score, which differs from your credit report.

The Credit Repair Organizations Act, is designed to protect consumers with credit card debt and is regulated and monitored by the Federal Trade Commission. You should also know that any credit counseling agency is required by law to make you aware of your rights PRIOR or before you pay off service fees. Any reputable debt assistance company will also charge you nothing until they have completed their services with you.

If you find that they are making illegal or misleading statements about their services, you need to contact the Federal Trade Commission immediately. Bearing these things in mind, you should be able to find a credit counseling service to help you fix your credit rating and eliminate your credit card debt.

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