According to the National Consumer Law Center and Consumer Federation of America, an estimated nine million Americans have contact with a consumer credit counseling agency each year. The numbers are likely to grow under requirements of new federal bankruptcy laws.
Considering the five-fold increase in complaints against credit counselors nationwide reported by the Better Business Bureau between 1998 and 2002, consumers will want to be careful in obtaining credit counseling services.
In California, the state Department of Business Oversight, oversees credit counseling agencies. The department's website offers information for checking on your credit counseling agency.
Here are some resources to help you get started in researching credit counseling agencies and what you should consider before entering into an agreement: