You’re having problems with your finances because you’re holding too much unsecured debt for your budget to handle, so you enroll in a debt management program to get your debt under control. The program combined your debts into one payment and reduces the amount you pay each month. You ran the numbers with your counselor and you should be free of debt in just over three years.
Everything is on track now, right? Not necessarily.
A debt management program is a great option to help you find credit card debt relief, but if you don’t do some extra work as you go through the program, there’s a good chance you could end up in debt again. Once this current debt is gone, if you haven’t changed your spending habits then it’s more likely than not you could end up right back in serious debt a few years down the road. This makes it essential to take advantage of every resource offered by the credit counselling agency in order to improve your financial habits.
Although every credit counselling or debt management company is different, almost all of them offer additional resources and tools beyond just enrolment in a debt management program. A good credit counselling company usually offers free financial calculators, step-by-step finance guides, budgeting applications, and a wide-range of other tools to keep you on track to financial success. It’s not required for you to use these resources to complete your program, but taking advantage of what’s available can go a long way in making sure you stay out of debt permanently once you complete your program.
If you’ve already completed the enrolment for a debt management program, reach out to the debt management company or credit counselling agency administering your plan to see what additional resources they offer. If you haven’t decided to enrol yet or are still trying to decide which credit counselling agency to use, this should be one of the questions you ask to determine who offers the best service. A good credit counselling agency isn’t just interested in getting you out of debt. They should have resources to offer to help you stay out of debt, too.
Once you have access to the extra resources on your debt management plan, the next step is to decide which resources you really need. Consider what got you into your debt problem in the first place. For some, the root cause of their debt problems stems from not having an accurate budget in place to manage their expenses; for others it may be a problem with not understanding how credit card debt really works and builds with interest. Take advantage of any tools or resources you think might be useful for keeping you out of debt. You may also wish to check with your credit counsellor, as many credit counselling agencies allow past clients to continue to access these resources even after they successfully complete their program.
Connie Solidad has been writing about finances and debt consolidation for years. She's an expert in the industry and writes about credit counseling, debt management programs and debt management in general. When Connie is not working, she loves playing with her two dogs in Tampa, Florida. To learn more about debt management refer to ConsolidatedCredit.ca.