Thursday, December 17, 2009

Four Good Reasons to Call a Budget Counselor Now

by Gerri Detweiler
The Union Credit Doctor

Just as it’s a good idea to see a doctor if you not feeling well for any length of time, it’s a good idea to talk with a budget and credit counselor to get relief from financial stress before it develops into something more serious.

Here are four reasons to call a counselor sooner rather than later:

1. Get a New Attitude: Even if you’ve gone over your expenses with a fine tooth comb, a budget review may turn up some new ideas for trimming expenses. Counselors can share creative ways to meet your needs while spending less.

2. Talk Money With Your Honey: When it comes to financial habits, opposites often do attract, and that can lead to sometimes serious disagreements about money. Talking with a counselor can bring an objective and impartial point of view to this often emotional subject.

3. Build Stronger Credit: About a third of your credit score is made up of the debt you carry and, in particular, how much of your available credit card lines you are using. If you carry high balances on one or more of your credit cards, your credit scores have likely taken a hit. Credit counseling can help you pare down your debt, and as a result, you may see your credit improve over time.

4. Beat the Crowds: Credit counselors gear up for their busy season after the holidays when bills start rolling in. By late January, counselor’s phone lines are ringing off the hooks.

Union members and their families are eligible for a free budget and credit counseling session through the Union Plus Credit Counseling Service. Visit or call 1-877-833-1745 to speak to a counselor over the phone. In-person appointments are available in 120 locations nationwide.

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