Opting for Trained, Professional Guidance

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
A National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) poll from last month provides insight into consumers’ preferences when trying to resolve their financial challenges. Forty-five percent of poll respondents opted for speaking one-on-one with a certified professional, compared to 35 percent who chose taking advantage of online resources, 17 percent utilizing a self-assessment tool, and 3 percent attending a group workshop. While it is encouraging that nearly half of all poll respondents preferred contacting a trained expert, the combined majority of 52 percent of respondents who chose online resources or financial tools is perhaps indicative of consumers’ hesitancy to reach out to a third party for fear of embarrassment or being judged for their situation. The idea of speaking with someone about your finances can seem unnerving, particularly when you find yourself in an unprecedented circumstance. But, counselors such as those who operate HPF’s HOPE Hotline are not there to judge. Rather, they act as a much-needed source of relief by extending their support and unbiased assistance to help you regain your financial health. Counselors also help borrowers navigate the complexities of various government programs, ensuring they are directed to legitimate resources and solutions. Indeed, a significant percentage of callers to our HOPE Hotline are individuals who were involved in programs that were outright scams or cost money and provided no value. Remember: if someone asks for an upfront payment or guarantees a particular outcome, chances are it’s a scam. Whether you are struggling with your mortgage or are experiencing financial hardships, working one-on-one with a counselor can be beneficial. Call our HOPE Hotline today at 888-995-HOPE (4673) to speak with a HUD-certified professional for free. For further information and studies on counseling’s effectiveness, please see our previous blog posts: -  Housing Counseling: “It Works!” -  The Proven Benefits of Financial Counseling -  Help in Keeping Your Financial Resolutions -  Budget Help for Homeowners -  Financial Guidance: More than Just Getting Your Mortgage on Track