Maryland has one of the highest individual debt-to-income ratios in the United States, which is partially due to rising student debt as well as the cost of living with Maryland ranking as the 7th most expensive State to live in. That is understandably frustrating.
How can you take care of your obligations and your family while getting out of debt and regaining control of your finances? You can achieve your financial goals by finding a credible credit counselor.
The Makings of a Reputable Credit Counselor/Financial Advocate
Recognized Nonprofit Accreditation and Certification
Finding a credit counselor starts with looking for a non-profit agency that is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). There are far too many organizations that would like to take financial advantage of vulnerable individuals by offering fast, too good to be true “solutions” for a fee. Many times, these “solutions” are not a good fit. They can be predatory, and/or have lasting negative consequences, such as damaging your credit, increasing your tax obligations or even have legal consequences down the road. You can avoid this pitfall by finding an NFCC-certified credit counselor and having the peace of mind that they are objective and reputable.
NFCC-certified credit counselors are endorsed by an independent third party that has thoroughly vetted them across eight metrics: mission and purpose, quality assurance, governance and administration, human resources, service environment, financial management, professional practices, and service delivery. An NFCC-certified credit counselor is ethical, has a sustainable practice and always has your best interests in mind.
Client Reviews and Testimonials
Another thing to look at when researching reputable credit counselors are customer reviews and independent ratings. Look for an agency endorsed by its clients and by established business rating systems.
Longevity is also a positive sign when assessing a credit counselor. Look for an agency that has decades of experience and that adapts to consumers’ changing needs, such as offering support via text for busy working parents.
Commitment to the Client
Be wary of credit counselors who charge a fee for consultations and aggressively push products on you. Your credit counselor should only have your best interest in mind. Nonprofit organizations cannot sell any financial products. Some of the services may carry a nominal fee to help the organization defray some of its operational costs.
Why Choose CCCSMD?
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland and Delaware Inc. (CCCSMD) has been a trusted name in Maryland since 1966. We offer individual financial counseling at no cost along with educational workshops, homebuyer education, student loan advice, and more. Each CCCSMD Financial Advocate is NFCC certified and receives ongoing education to remain aware of regulatory and industry changes.
We fit into your busy life by offering our services in person, over the phone, and over the internet. We listen to your concerns, aspirations, and goals. With every communication, you’ll feel respected, heard, and empowered.
CCCSMD Financial Advocates care about you and your situation, take the time to truly get to know you and devise a plan with you to ease your financial worries today while working toward long-term success.
Your search for a reputable credit counselor ends with CCCSMD. Let us help you regain financial control.