The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is a franchise organization of non-profit credit counseling agencies. It is a nationwide organization of credit counseling that provides certifications for counselors, educational curriculum support and the standards of conduct for its member agencies. NFCC was established in 1951 to promote responsible financial behavior among American Consumers. One of the primary services provided by the organization is counseling people who have taken too much debt, in the intention of keeping them from declaring bankruptcy. NFCC also assists by helping the consumer work payment plans and reduce their overall debt load. It also lobbies Congress and other regulatory agencies on the issues of importance to the credit counseling industry.
The NFCC has come up with extensive tools and mechanisms of training that allows the members to deliver a high level of financial education and counseling to millions of their clients statewide. After the member organization successfully completes the training, NFCC awards them with a certificate and renews the certificate every two years. Members of the NFCC primarily works over-the-phone and online with the consumer struggling with their credit debt in its many forms. Basically, the services that are offered by NFCC-sanctioned organizations are advice and help with credit card debt. Some may even go beyond that, to helping people answer questions regarding bankruptcy, housing, and student loans and credit reports.
A brief history of NFCC
In its early developmental stages, the NFCC objectives were to promote financial literacy and in line with that, NFCC used to conduct public awareness campaigns about credit. The first modern credit card at the time was the Diner’s Club that had appeared as early as the 1950s. By the mid-1960s there was a pop up of dozen individual counseling agencies throughout the country. The early members of the NFCC were all known as Consumer Credit Counseling Services and their primary objective was to provide direct counseling about credit to consumers along with debt management services. Over a stretch of a few decades, the network would grow exponentially leading to the opening of a diverse web of offices nationwide that offered counseling services under the umbrella of CCCS.
In the late 90s and the early 2000s, the rise of the telephone and internet-based counseling prompted the rise of agencies that offered their services through the online medium. While most of the NFCC agencies have merged in the recent years, there still exists counseling offices in all the 50 states that provide a full range of counseling services to more than 3 million credit consumers annually.
What is credit counseling?
History never recorded the first instance a person went into debt and does not also provide a clue as to what triggered the avalanche of debt that has led most Americans to their graves. For a fact, people are struggling with a myriad debt, and credit card debts are just a pinch. Therefore, this called for the need of a credit counseling platform. Credit counseling is an educational service that gives the consumers a partial look into their finances; helping them determine the root cause of their debt problems. The program also suggests the necessary steps to eliminate all the forms of household debts. A credit counselor will gather information about the income and the spending habit of a consumer and use that information to help the consumer draw up an affordable budget. In addition to that, credit counseling offers debt relief options, management programs, debt settlement, and debt consolidation. A credit counselor will also advise you on long it should take to resolve a debt problem.
NFCC: The Gateway to Free Credit Counseling
Research indicates that more than 3 million consumers each year come to the NFCC members to seek help with credit debt management. NFCC guidance is easy to access since the organization has offices in all the 50 states and Puerto Rico. If the consumers are in any way stuck in financial distraught and need assistance, a counselor will analyze their finances and come up with a budget and repayment plan. The student loans account for over $1.5 trillion in debt and the NFCC will guide you through a number of repayment options. Whatever your debt problem is, you will get a financial counselor tailored just for your needs. NFCC members are accredited by the Council of Accreditation.
Sharpen Your Financial Focus
Back in 2013, the NFCC started an initiative called Sharpen Your Financial Focus which is a three-step program consisting of an online financial self-assessment, a one-on-one financial review with a credit counselor and an educational program which is based on the consumer’s specific program requirements. In the first year, more than 31,000 people signed up, and there were a lot of success stories but the NFCC wanted hard data to judge the impact of the program. Thus, it commissioned a Credit Counseling study. The study showed that compared to credit consumers without counseling, credit counseling consumers reduced their revolving debt by $3,600. As long as consumers are getting into debt, there will always be the need for the NFCC.
The NFCC conducts a Consumer Financial Literacy Survey that aims at tracking the views of the consumers. A recent survey revealed that 80% of American say that they are worried about their finances, and could benefit from professional advice and answer to their everyday questions about finances and debt management. Also, the survey indicated that 60% of those lived without a budget. Could it be that you are among these people? It’s not a shame to be in debt. In fact, you should embrace it, but not let it limit you. The Power Is Now conducts weekly shows that are aimed at helping you better manage your debt. We have numerous resources tailor-made for all persons struggling with their finances. We are also working to make a difference in the lives of the Californians by helping them become homeowners and we are making homeownership a reality for the Californians. If you are looking to buy, sell or even refinance contact, Eric Frazier, Real Estate and Mortgage Broker with the Power Is Now. NMLS 461807, CaDRE 0114384.