Watch CBS News

What To Expect In Your Counseling Session

This article is provided and sponsored by:
ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions

Whether you want to ease the burden of increasing credit card debt or develop strategies to successfully manage your household budget and creditor payments, credit counseling from ClearPoint can help.

Most who come to see us are overwhelmed with credit card debt or concerned about poor credit, but others simply wish to get organized and create a spending plan which will allow them to reach their goals to buy a home, buy a car, save for emergencies, fund retirement, send a child to college or even go on vacation.

Credit counseling can help you too, just call ClearPoint at 800.750.2227 to get started.

To prepare for your counseling, and have more time to ask your counselor questions, gather your most recent credit card statements and correspondence you've had with collection agencies or the I.R.S. and make a list of your sources of monthly income and expenses (such as food, utilities, gas, clothing, gifts and other miscellaneous expenses). Also, prepare any questions you have for your counselor. It also helps to think about your specific financial goals so you can share them and provide for them in your pending budget planning.

During your free, confidential session—which lasts about an hour—you and your credit counselor will work together to develop a plan which will address your household budget, creditors, and savings. Your counselor will pull your credit report (with your permission) and conduct a review of your situation and your financial goals.

Depending on your personal circumstances, your counselor could provide you with various suggestions. He or she may tell you about the debt management program, advise you to speak with an attorney about your debt, send you off on your own to see if you can follow your budget, refer you to other resources, or help you determine how you might increase your income or reduce your expenses. Most people have heard of the Debt Management Plan (DMP) but don't realize that it's not always their best option. At ClearPoint, we're committed to doing what's in your best interest.

You will usually have time to ask your most burning questions as well.

Once your credit counseling session has been completed, your counselor will give you a written overview of your current financial picture, including an Action Plan detailing your personal goals and corresponding strategies to meet them. You'll take away our complimentary Guide to Financial Achievement which outlines some of the most important money management basics such as what elements make up your credit score, personal budgeting forms and assessing your debt-to-income ratio. Your next challenge is to act on the steps you've learned.

Paying down your debt and improving your finances is one of the most rewarding goals possible. Short of winning the lottery or inheriting money, becoming debt free is a slow process. Small steps, carried out repeatedly over time will make all the difference. Along the way, you'll develop some new habits around money that will eventually become second nature and enable you to maintain financial stability while reaching your dreams.

Once you've given yourself a chance to work toward your goals, your circumstances may change or you might begin to struggle. If so, you can call ClearPoint for a follow up visit. Your credit counselor can help you make adjustments to your budget, provide some encouragement and answer any new questions.

Want to learn more? Read more about credit counseling from ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.