How to Get Free Credit Counseling in South Carolina

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Written by Karra Kingston, Esq.  
Updated November 30, 2019

Summary

If becoming debt-free is your priority and are in search of a good credit counseling in South Carolina,  you have come to the right place. Follow these five steps to get started.

If you are feeling out of control with your credit cards, and think you may need a little extra help to get your finances back in order, you may be able to get help by participating in a South Carolina credit counseling session. Many people are not sure where to turn when they are in financial trouble and unfortunately there are many scams out there that may mislead you. Working with a good South Carolina credit counseling agency, on the other hand, provides different ways for people to manage their finances. For people who are overwhelmed and need help managing their debt, a South Carolina credit counseling session is a free resource that can help them. A credit counseling agency is a free tool provided by non-profit organizations to help you with debt counseling. The goal of a South Carolina credit counseling agency is to improve your financial situation. 

A credit counselor will work with you to determine your specific needs. The initial counseling session with a certified credit South Carolina Credit counselor that lasts anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. The counselor will review your financial information such as your income, budget, and consumer credit report and give you tools and resources to help you gain control of your finances. The counselor may also recommend a debt management plan (a DMP), debt consolidation or bankruptcy. 

If you are questioning whether credit counseling in South Carolina is right for you, then you may want to consider this. If you are struggling to pay your expenses each month, creditors are harassing you, late fees are piling up, and you can’t sleep at night, participating in a South Carolina credit counseling session may be the best solution to educate yourself about the different debt relief options you have to get back on track. You may also be surprised to learn that even if you are not behind on your bills, you may still benefit from taking a South Carolina  credit counseling session to avoid going into debt in the future.

Do some research before you sign up to any credit counseling agency. Unfortunately, there are numerous scams out there. Choose a reputable South Carolina credit counselor that is from an accredited agency to ensure you are receiving the best advice. Know the difference between a debt settlement program and credit counseling in South Carolina. South Carolina credit counselors advise you on different ways to help you manage your debt and money. A debt settlement company, on the other hand,  charges a fee to arrange settlements with your creditors. If you are using a credit counseling agency, your chances of finding an accredited South Carolina credit counselor who is not trying to sell you on a specific alternative are higher. 

How to Get Free Credit Counseling in South Carolina

If becoming debt-free is your priority and are in search of a good credit counseling in South Carolina,  you have come to the right place. Follow these five steps to get started:


Find South Carolina Nonprofit Credit Counseling Agencies

You should choose a nonprofit credit counseling organization to help you since non-profit credit counselors in South Carolina offer free advice to help you with debt-relief.  Carefully choose a South Carolina credit counselor by doing some research first. Keep in mind that a reputable South Carolina credit counseling agency won’t charge for an initial consultation and will send you free information about their services. You should make sure that the company you choose is accredited by the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling). These companies have to go through routine audits, which will ensure that you are getting good advice. Further, the Federal Trade Commission is a great resource for additional information to help you choose a South Carolina  credit counselor. 

Information to Research Bbefore Talking to a South Carolina  Credit Counseling Agency

You can find a list of accredited non-profit credit counseling services through the  National Foundation for Credit Counseling. The NFCC was founded in 1951 and is the largest nonprofit financial counseling organization with offices in all 50 states. Carefully, go through the list and do some research on a few agencies before choosing a South Carolina  credit counselor. Check with your state's attorney general’s office to determine whether consumers have filed any complaints about a credit counseling organization you’re considering. You should also do a search through the  Better Business Bureau (BBB)  to look up any South Carolina  credit counseling agency to ensure they are well known for their customer care. 

Questions to Ask the South Carolina  Credit Counselor Before Signing Up

Get ready to have a list of questions ready to ask your South Carolina credit counselor before you sign up. This will help you be comfortable with the company you choose. Always ask what the fees for their services are. Remember initial consultations should always be free. Take note that if the South Carolina counselor recommends different solutions for your specific needs then you may incur fees. Some companies will allow you to do the counseling sessions with your South Carolina credit counselor on the phone or online. If you would rather meet in person then you should find out beforehand. Some additional questions to have handy are:

  • How much will this cost?

  • How is the amount of my payment determined?

  • How often can I get a status update?

  • What will happen if the counselor’s recommendation is more than I can afford?

  • How are your services funded?

What to Expect During Credit Counseling

South Carolina  credit counselors will either speak with you over the phone, online or in person. They will provide different solutions on how to improve your finances by looking at your income, assets, student loans, bills, and expenses. They will  give you the tools to help you better your financial situation. Some of the next steps a credit counselor may suggest are: debt management plans, budgeting, and bankruptcy. Your initial credit counseling session will usually last one hour. They will provide you with free budgeting tips and a free review of your consumer credit report. They will also review your credit score and give you ways to improve it.  Be sure to give your South Carolina credit counselor a fully accurate picture of your current financial situation.

What Happens After Credit Counseling in South Carolina

Depending on your situation a South Carolina credit counselor may suggest a debt management plan (DMP), debt consolidation or bankruptcy counseling. Once a plan is in place your counselor will follow up to make sure everything is going well. If the plan doesn’t work then they may be able to suggest a different path to help you get out of debt. 

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South Carolina Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation in South Carolina will roll your high-interest debts, into a single, low-interest payment. This is done by taking out one loan to pay all of your existing debts, ideally at a lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying.

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South Carolina Debt Management Plan

A debt management plan in South Carolina is where you deposit money with the South Carolina credit counseling organization each month, and they use that money to pay your creditors. There is typically a charge for a DMP but the interest is usually lower which allows for savings. This provides debt relief for people who have multiple credit cards, but their credit isn’t good enough to get favorable terms for a debt consolidation loan. 

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South Carolina Bankruptcy

If you can’t pay your minimum living expenses each month, then a  South Carolina  bankruptcy may be a good option for you. By filing bankruptcy in South Carolina, you can eliminate all of your debt. Don’t fall for false rumors that filing for bankruptcy means all of your property will be taken away and you will never have credit again. Speak with an experienced lawyer about bankruptcy counseling. 

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