Four Helpful Programs for Consumers Facing Financial Trouble

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American Consumer Credit Counseling offers information and resources to help consumers live a healthy financial life

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People of all ages find themselves struggling with their finances and may benefit from financial education and financial counseling.

Too often, a great deal of Americans struggling to manage financial difficulties aren’t aware of vital resources that can help them achieve a healthy financial future. Credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, and financial education are all programs that can be tailored toward each consumer’s particular financial situation.

To help consumers find financial resources that will work for them, National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling is providing a list of programs and tips to know about each.

“People of all ages find themselves struggling with their finances and may benefit from financial education and financial counseling,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, based in Newton, MA. “Counseling, whether it be credit, debt or bankruptcy, is intended to help consumers find a path that works for their financial situation to a healthy financial life.”

According to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank, 31 percent of Americans admitted they are struggling to get by financially. A constant worry among American consumers is the ability to cover emergency expenses, and according to the survey, 46 percent say they would not be able to afford a $400 emergency expense.

American Consumer Credit Counseling offers more information about four key programs for consumers in financial trouble.

Credit Counseling – Individuals facing financial difficulties experience very different situations. Certified credit counselors can work with consumers to find the best way to approach their specific circumstances and provide them with the best credit counseling service options possible. Credit counselors will go through the consumer’s financial situation and review their income, assets, and expenses to come up with personalized options to get out of financial trouble.

Debt Management – A debt management program can provide consumers seeking credit card debt relief with a unique way of eliminating credit card debt that is individually designed to meet each consumer’s specific financial needs. Certified credit counselors at American Consumer Credit Counseling will evaluate the consumer’s situation and assist them in creating a budget to focus their finances and help with setting up a debt management plan.

Bankruptcy Counseling – Certified bankruptcy counselors approved by the Department of Justice can provide consumers with the mandated pre-filing bankruptcy counseling that will analyze their current financial condition and enable them and their legal counsel to make well-informed decisions. To have the consumer’s bankruptcy discharged, these counselors provide the consumer with the post-bankruptcy debtor education course.

Housing Counseling- Having access to the right information, resources, tools, and counseling can help consumers achieve their housing goals. For individuals struggling under the weight of homeownership, in-person mortgage delinquency or default counseling can be a vital tool. Post-purchase counseling for homeowners or landlord and renter counseling can help prevent financial struggles before they start. Be sure to choose agencies and counselors that are familiar with HUD’s housing and community programs. Experienced housing counselors can help consumers assess their personal financial situations to identify problems and create solutions.

Student Loan Counseling – Student loan debt is a major source of financial struggle and stress for millions of Americans. Consumers who are struggling to repay, are delinquent or who have already defaulted on their loans may be able to get temporary or permanent relief. Student loan counselors can help consumers explore their options, such as eliminating the loan altogether, establishing more affordable payment plans, or postponing payments through deferment or forbearance.

Financial Education– Financial education resources are imperative when it comes to improving one’s financial literacy. With these resources, such as financial tools, calculators, and periodic financial education related newsletters, consumers can learn more about their everyday finances so that they can improve their personal situation.

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Marissa Sullivan
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