For many people, the announcement last year that the three major credit reporting agencies would remove paid medical debts from credit reports was a welcome relief. Medical bills and the confusion those bills and insurance cause, has led to many people owing debts they never planned for. Here is an update on the changes to credit reports, credit scores, and how to manage medical bills.
Debt counseling involves meeting, either in person or by phone, with a certified credit counselor who will review your entire financial situation including your income, expenses, secured debts and unsecured debts and developing a plan to help you achieve your financial goals while becoming debt free.
American Financial Solutions (AFS) credit counselors are accredited through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education and participate in ongoing education in order to provide consumers with the most effective methods for managing their debt.
Our credit counselors are compassionate, non- judgmental, highly trained individuals who are able to analyze your financial situation and provide options to help. When you contact AFS to discuss your debt, you will work with the same counselor all the time. We understand that it can be stressful to discuss your finances with a stranger and that is why we use this model so that you will only have to tell your story once. Your counselor will be there to guide you and help you make the tough decisions that are needed to help you get out of debt for good.
One of the most important outcomes of debt counseling is formulating a plan and a budget and sticking to it. This involves learning new habits and setting old ones aside. On our website, you will find a variety of tools to assist you with this. We offer free on line classes, budget tools and financial calculators. Your counselor will recommend that you use these tools as part of your plan. The options available through debt counseling may include, working directly with your creditors and tightening your budget in order to pay down your debt. AFS offers a Debt Management Plan where you can consolidate all of your unsecured debt payments into one convenient monthly payment on a day of your choosing. Creditors generally give benefits to those enrolled on a Debt Management Plan which include lower interest rates, waiving fees and in some cases, lower monthly payments. Also, once you have made three consecutive payments on the plan, any collection calls your have been receiving should stop. If neither of these solutions is appropriate, there are other options available through debt counseling that your counselor will discuss with you.
There are so many circumstances that cause people to get into debt and the good news is there are options available to work your way out. Our debt counseling services are confidential and free of charge so please call a counselor today or get started with our on line application. Like our client quoted below, you will be glad you did.
“Thanks! It is amazing how much more money you actually have when you know EXACTLY how you spend it. Getting on your program has really helped us get spending back in control.” Greg