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Read This Before Hiring A Consumer Credit Counseling Service

Read This Before Hiring A Consumer Credit Counseling Service

What is a Consumer credit counseling service?
A consumer credit counseling service is a type of agency that provides assistanceto consumers who become overwhelmed with unsecured debt. The typical consumer, due to an excess of borrowing or exposure to credit, is susceptible to facing mounting debts from excessive fees, over-consuming, over-leveraging and the fluctuation of interest rates. 
A consumer credit counseling service will renegotiate an individual’s debt portfolio; these servicesare delivered to the consumer to deliver lower interest rates and monthly payments to those stricken with debt. A fundamental aspect of aconsumer credit counseling service is to provide debt consolidation techniques to the average debtor; these services enable a consumer to agglomerate their debts into one package, which will ultimately lower and streamline their monthly payment obligations.
Why should I hire a Consumer credit counseling service?
A consumer credit counseling service will attempt to make debt manageable for a consumer, while ultimately keeping these individuals out of bankruptcy. A consumer credit counseling service operates under tight regulations due to past discrepancies, where such agencies further crippled consumers as a result of hefty service fees.
That being said, if you or a loved one is facing mounting debts, it is recommended that you seek a consumer credit counseling service to renegotiate your payment obligations with your respective lenders, to lower your monthly rates through consolidation and to offer information and knowledge to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future.
A consumer credit counseling service enables debtors to avoid bankruptcy and diminish their repayment obligationswhile impeding creditors from harassing the debtor. When a debtor agrees to operate under the terms of a credit counseling service a creditor will contact the agent or representative of the CCS and not the individual in debt. 
The largest benefit an individual in debt will receive from hiring a credit counseling service is that an individual’s debt, through the inclusion of a debt professional, will be eliminated. This “clean sheet” so to speak, enables the debtor to better manage their costs and budget, while still allowing them to seek new streams of financing. 
Types of Consumer credit counseling services:
A consumer credit counseling service can operate under a profit or not-for-profit business model. In the vast majority of instances; however, the average consumer will find more success with a non-profit credit counseling service. The benefit of operating with a not-for-profit credit counseling service is found in decreased fees and the fact that creditors are more willing to offer lower interest rates through a non-profit intermediary.
This characteristic will of course fluctuate based on case by case circumstance, but it is essential to evaluate consumer credit agencies based on the fees and rates they charge. It is highly recommended that you look for a consumer credit agency that possesses an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Consumer Credit Act 1974 Benefits

Consumer Credit Act 1974 Benefits

What is the Consumer Credit Act 1974?
The Consumer Credit Act 1974 was a groundbreaking Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that fundamentally brought reform to laws relating to consumer credit and the practices of lending institutions in the United Kingdom.
Prior to the passing of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, legislation regulating consumer credit was faulty; before the act was passed lenders were not regulated and could manipulate borrowers who were in desperate need of seeking an avenue of financing.
The regulations surrounding the lending process, prior to the Consumer Credit Act 1974, was disorganized and only focused on particular areas rather than the consumer credit market as a whole. For instance, only moneylenders and hire-purchase agreements were forced to operate under regulations prior to the passing of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
Why was the Consumer Credit Act 1974 necessary?
The Consumer Credit Act 1974 was viewed as a necessary form of legislation because the credit market, due to de-regulation, was manipulative and highly unorganized. Lending institutions were free to operate without licenses and able to impose any fees or interest rates to their repayment schedules. 
What did the Consumer Credit Act 1974 do for the Consumer Credit Market?
The Consumer Credit Act 1974 introduced regulations that offered protections for consumers interested in financing or borrowing; the new regulations of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 were attached to all lenders within the field of consumer credit and its related industries. Such lending intermediaries, as a result of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, were required to obtain licensing from the Office of Fair Trading.
These licenses, which may be suspended or revoked in the event of manipulative practices or irregularities, informed borrowers that they were applying for loans or funding from accredited and legitimate financial institutions.  
In addition, the Consumer Credit Act 1974 regulated what may be taken as a security for the ability to obtain loans or financing. The regulations surrounding securities, ultimately limited the ways in which credit organizations can advertise their lending efforts.
In general, this specific regulation gave the county courts the ability to intercede when unfair or unjust credit agreements were established between the respective lender and the borrower. Furthermore, this critical regulation of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 gave additional rights to the borrower, including certain limited rights to rule such agreements void.
Licensing Requirements for Lenders:
The fundamental provision found in the Consumer Credit Act 1974 enforced all lending institutions to obtain a license before they can offer a form of financing or consumer credit to the general population. The two types of licensing instituted in the act are the group licenses and standard licenses.
Group licenses are issued by the Director General of Fair Trade and are obtained by those lending institutions that do not pre-qualify or screen potential borrowers. Group licenses are also obtained by lending institutions, where the standard license must be obtained by the individual lender.

Important Consumer Credit Facts

Important Consumer Credit Facts

What is Consumer Credit?
Consumer credit is the amount of financing used by consumers to purchase non-investment services or products; typically, these purchases depreciate quickly—non-investment services or products include most material goods and are distinct from investment products like stocks, bonds or pieces of property.
The term, ‘consumer credit’ can vary in regards to definition, but the Federal Reserve in the United States is the predominant authority for issuing such definitions. As a result, the Federal Reserve defines consumer credit as any form of financing given to the individual consumer; the products purchased using this credit must be obtained for personal consumption and must not include any investment graded securities or assets.
Consumer credit can be defined as a stream of financing used to purchase particular goods in lieu of a direct payment; common forms of consumer credit include, financing for automobile purchases, personal loans (installment loans), credit cards, and retail loans. This; however, is a broad definition of consumer credit and more accurately corresponds to the act of lending to individual consumers. 
Mortgages are predominantly excluded from being labeled as ‘consumer credit’ because the underlying product purchased is a primary asset—home values or properties are purchased as an investment due to the general rise in prices of homes and property. 
In most instances, consumer credit is offered by financial institutions, such as financial intermediaries, banks or other lending institutions. 
What is the cost of Consumer Credit?
The cost of consumer credit is the additional amount, meaning over the amount borrowed, that the individual consumer must repay. The cost of consumer credit also requires or includes interest payments, arrangement fees and a slew of other charges. As a result of these additional fees, the act of borrowing money or opening a credit line requires the individual—depending on credit score—to pay beyond the amount borrowed. 
Some of the costs attached to opening a line of consumer credit are mandatory, meaning they are required by the lender as the integral part of the initial credit agreement. Other costs; however, are attached to credit insurance, which may be optional. The borrower, the individual consumer who opens up the credit line, will decide whether or not to pursuit optional costs such as credit insurance.
The costs of consumer credit must be understood before opening a credit line; often times individuals who are out-leveraged, who borrow more than they earn, are eventually crippled by mounting debts as a result of late payments or high interest rates.
Interest Rates and Fees associated with Consumer Credit:
Interest rates and other charges are presented in a variety of ways within a consumer credit agreement. The majority of legislative regimes force lenders to quote all mandatory charges in the form of an annual percentage rate. The APR is a calculation that promotes “truth in lending”; the delivery of the APR gives potential borrowers a clear measure of the true cost of opening up consumer credit lines. Furthermore, the delivery of such a percentage enables consumers to compare credit lines and evaluate which forms of financing are most desirable.
The APR is derived from the pattern of advances and repayments made during a consumer credit agreement; optional charges, such as insurance, are not included in the APR calculation.

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