You are not supposed to spend a lot of time and effort to prepare before talking with a counselor. In fact, for many people, making the call is the first and most important step to improving their financial situation. Rest assured that counselors are well trained and are more than happy to help you through the entire counseling process. That being said, if you do have the time to start thinking about some aspects of your finances before speaking with a counselor, it may help to streamline the process. Find below some few points on how to prepare for your credit counselling;
- CONSIDER YOUR SOURCES OF INCOME
First, consider all of your sources of income. Sources of income might include money received from paychecks, rent, Social Security, child support etc. Think about the amount of income you expect to earn in the future. If your income fluctuates, you will want to be sure and tell your counselor so he or she can help you manage the changing circumstances.
- WHO do you owe AND HOW MUCH DO YOU OWE?
The next step is to identify who you owe and how much. Get copies of your latest statements. Getting these statements can help with the process. Do not worry if you do not have recent copies of your statements or your reports, your counselor can assist you with the identification process.
- CONSIDER YOUR EXPENSES
Think about where your money is going. It might be helpful to consider three main types of expenses:
- Variable expenses: these expenses vary from time to time, such as clothing and food.
- Fixed expenses: these expenses that do not vary. Examples of fixed expenses are purchase of vehicle and mortgage or payment of rent.
- Periodic expenses are expenses which occur on an irregular basis. For example, quarterly insurance premium, automobile maintenance and tax debts are periodic, meaning they are not part of regular monthly expenditures.
- IDENTIFY YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS
Last but not the least, think about your financial goals. Identifying where you want to be in the future will help you and your counselor develop a plan for action. Remember to set goals that are genuine and flexible.
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