If you're deeply in debt and struggling to stay afloat, a credit counselor can help you figure your finances and create a spending plan. Counselors can set up a formal debt-management plan, with lower interest rates and more favorable terms, and get you out of debt within five years. They don't handle bankruptcies, but they can recommend that you see an attorney.
Stick with reputable, nonprofit agencies that follow best-practice standards, employ trained and certified counselors, and are members of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (www.aiccca.org) or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (www.nfcc.org).
Usually, a credit counselor will give you basic advice free. Setting up a plan should cost $50 to $75 initially and $25 to $50 per month thereafter. If a counselor you're considering charges higher fees, or won't disclose them, go elsewhere. Be sure to check out any agency with the local Better Business Bureau and the state attorney general's office to see if there are any unresolved complaints. Source Consumer Reports