Posted on: 29 June 2021Share
Are you considering filing for bankruptcy? Then you may know that you are generally required to take a credit counseling course up to six months before you file. While many people view this counseling course as simply a box to be checked off, a smart borrower approaches it with a much more useful perspective. How should you view this mandated step? Here are a few valuable goals to set for yourself.
1. To Avoid Future Mistakes
If bankruptcy is unavoidable, use this course to start preparing for your fresh start. Unfortunately, a significant number of filers will end up in bankruptcy a second time. You can avoid being one of them by using this as your chance to learn to do better. View the materials, exercises, and guidance with an eye to applying the information toward your future as you work to discharge old debt.
2. To Learn About Financial Matters
Many Americans are woefully undereducated about financial matters. But you have a great opportunity to educate yourself about important consumer financial concepts. Counseling sessions may include how credit scores and reports work, what your rights are if you have student loans, government programs to help mortgagees and other debtors, and how to evaluate smart sources of credit.
3. To Craft Better Budgeting
Is budgeting a particularly difficult challenge for you? You're not alone, but this may continue to hold you back from financial success. If so, use this time to learn how to budget smarter and more successfully. Crafting a workable budget no matter what your financial situation is is something you can learn — and the best teacher is a trained and impartial professional. Use their experience rather than fighting against it.
4. To Work Together With a Partner
Consider taking your credit counseling course with your spouse or partner. Many couples find themselves at odds over money management, and this can lead not only to financial issues but even relationship problems. By taking this step together, you learn how to work as a family to improve your finances and avoid problems.
5. To Prevent Bankruptcy
Of course, the main purpose of court-mandated credit counseling is to see if you can avoid bankruptcy. Bankruptcy may seem to some like a quick fix, but it will do real damage to your credit and remain a black mark for things like employment and rental inquiries. Take the counselor's guidance seriously. Even if you have to take a step you'd rather not, avoiding bankruptcy could give you a permanent sense of ownership over your money.
Where to Learn More
Want to know more about preparing yourself to take your mandatory credit counseling course? Start by visiting with counselors in your state to learn more about how this important process works.