How should I go about choosing a credit counselor?

As a prerequisite to filing for bankruptcy in Tennessee, you will be required to undergo credit counseling. There are many different organizations out there that provide these kinds of services, so choosing a reputable company is important.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are some red flags to look out for when shopping for a credit counseling organization. While most credit counseling companies are nonprofit, that does not necessarily mean free. If a company does not advise you of any fees or payments up front, you would be wise to keep shopping. Along the same lines, if you request information about an agency and its services, it should provide that material to you for free. It should not require a commitment from you, nor should you have to provide any in depth information about yourself.

In addition, some agencies may try to push you into enrolling in a debt management plan. While that can be a good option for some people there are many other options for debt relief, including bankruptcy. If the organization you are considering does not offer a wide array of services for debtors, you may want to look elsewhere.

A good credit counseling service will have counselors with the proper training and certification to advise consumers on their debts. Such accreditation should be from an outside authority and not from an affiliated organization. Finally, a reputable counselor will meet with you in person and develop a plan that is tailored to your particular situation. Once you have narrowed down your choices, you may wish to check to see if any consumer complaints have been filed against the company you are considering. This information should not be considered legal advice, and is provided for informational purposes only.

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