If the Credit Card Companies Can't Help You, Get Counseling

The more work I do with credit-challenged people, the more I am becoming an advocate for consumer credit counseling. The only catch is that you have to find an honest company to work with. If you can—and it's not all that hard—the benefits can be enormous. A good nonprofit credit-counseling agency will show you how to deal with your spending and create a payment plan to pay down your debt. They can also help you negotiate a debt-management plan with your creditors. In 2009, the credit card companies reached an agreement to make it easier for nonprofit credit-counseling organizations to help people in
"hardship" situations. So ask about the new DMP rules when you call.

To get connected to a reputable nonprofit credit counseling organization in your area, contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling by calling toll-free (800) 388-2227 or by visiting their website at

In addition to the NFCC, you might also contact one of the following organizations for help with credit card debt:

Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies
(866) 703-8787

Money Management International
(866) 304-3818

(866) 312-2887

Take Charge America
(877) 822-6060


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