Credit counseling is a valuable service for consumers who have trouble managing their finances. A distinctly different service from debt consolidation, credit counseling assists consumers with problem debt by educating them about the basics of money management. Americans really don’t get the education they need about how to manage bank accounts, balance checkbooks, or pay bills on time, and credit counseling can provide these services as well as others. By educating consumers, counselors hope to reduce the number of debtors who are forced to file for bankruptcy. Anyone whose financial situation is such that they would benefit from credit counseling may wish to seek it out in a hurry, however. A number of different factors are coming together in such a way that the counseling industry may soon be completely swamped with more clients than it can handle.
Those in the credit counseling industry say that this is a critical time, and the combination of new laws, fragile markets, and credit card industry overhaul could push a number of consumers towards bankruptcy and mandatory counseling. Anyone with problem debt who might benefit from counseling should consider doing so sooner, rather than later, as qualified credit counselors may be quite busy this fall.