3 Times You Should Talk to a Credit Counsellor

3 Times You Should Talk to a Credit Counsellor

Be honest — who do you think uses credit counselling? If you’re like most people, you think this service is for people who are in (or on their way to) bankruptcy and foreclosure.

While it’s true, people dealing with these significant financial challenges benefit greatly from credit counselling, they aren’t the only consumers who could do with professional encouragement or advice. Here are three times you may consider counselling.

1. You Live Paycheck to Paycheck

Living paycheck to paycheck means you spend all the money you make in a month. It’s a tricky situation to be in because you are often waiting until payday to cover important bills. If you miss a paycheck or lose hours, you may be unable to cover rent or get groceries.

A credit counsellor can help you re-evaluate your spending to find a solution. Some people splurge too much on the non-essentials; others don’t earn enough for their basic needs. A certified counsellor can help you trim down spending while supporting you on a new career search.

2. You Misue Emergency Loans

The unexpected can catch anyone off guard. Maybe you don’t anticipate having to replace your roof, so you come up short of this essential repair. Or perhaps, you hit an unlucky streak of paying one small expense after another until you have no more money left to cover a minor parking fine.

Emergency loans are there to help you in these unusual situations. As long as you borrow responsibly, there may be no harm in using emergency personal loans infrequently as a safety net.

Things change if you have to rely on emergency loans every time you run into an unexpected expense — or worse, you start to use emergency loans on regular bills. This usually suggests your budget is off-kilter; a counsellor can help you create a more prepared budget and build an emergency fund.

3. You Have a Bad Credit Score

Your score is a numerical reflection of your credit report, which details your past borrowing history. Having a low score can interfere with your chances of getting approved for a personal loan, line of credit, or mortgage in the future. It can also affect how much you pay for these financial products.

A bad score is often the product of several bad financial habits. Here are some of them:

  • Paying bills late.
  • Carrying a chronic balance on your credit cards and lines of credit.
  • Frequently applying for new loans.

A credit counsellor can read your report to understand why your score is low. From there, they can suggest actionable steps to improve your score. While this number may not change overnight, you will see a difference over time.

Bottom Line:

You don’t have to wait until things get intolerable before you reach out for help. In fact, waiting until you hit your rock bottom only makes things worse. The earlier you reach out, the sooner you can turn things around.

If you want help managing your budget, savings, or credit score, consider making an appointment today. Just make sure you deal with a non-profit service to save money.

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