Through our partnership with BALANCE, a financial services company, we can help you through difficult financial times with free financial and credit counseling as well as debt management services.
Self-guided studies or certified financial counselors to talk to you about common day issues such as paying bills on time, buying a home, or getting divorced.
Our partners at BALANCE have an online budgeting tool called OnTrack that can get you started in creating a workable budget. If, after you have used this tool, you still have questions that are unanswered, a financial counselor at BALANCE can help you take the information you've gained from OnTrack and create a plan for your financial future.
Credit Report Review
Your credit report is very important. It is used in nearly every industry: opening a bank account or getting a loan and applying for housing and employment. It's important that you check your credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies on a regular basis. Get your report and learn what's in it by using BALANCE's online tool to assist you. Of course, as always, if you find you still have questions, contact the financial counselors at BALANCE.
If your monthly payments to your creditors is overwhelming you may want to try a Debt Management Plan (DMP). A DMP is different from a Debt Settlement Plan, which is when a third-party negotiates with one or more creditors to accept, as paid in full, only a portion of what you owe. Unfortunately, when you negotiate such plans you end up having to pay taxes on anything that your creditor(s) forgive, which could lead to a very high tax bill.
However, a DMP is where a credit counseling service, like BALANCE's parent company CCCS of San Francisco, works with both you and your creditor(s) to negotiate a way for you to pay your debts without further legal action being taken. They can usually get your monthly payment amount reduced as well as, at times, negotiate to have your interest rate reduced and/or have late and delinquency charges removed from what you owe. You then make a single payment to the credit counseling service each month and they divvy up the money between your creditors.
Before you decide to take this route, visit BALANCE's website to review their materials detailing what will is expected in a DMP. If you've determined that this is the route you need to take you call contact BALANCE for an appointment and download a copy of their Personal Financial Assessment.
BALANCE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) of San Francisco. As such, they are member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and have been accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). In addition, all of their counselors must be certified using the NFCC's Counselor Certification Program™ and must be recertified every two years.