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Veteran credit counselors offer free help

Nov. 8, 2011 - 04:19PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2011 - 04:19PM  |  
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A nonprofit team of certified credit counselors who are also military veterans will help troops, veterans and their families tackle credit card debt and other financial problems, such as home foreclosures.

The counseling, as always, is free, and is offered by http://www.credability.org/en/homepage.aspx">CredAbility, a nonprofit credit counseling and education agency that serves clients nationwide and is a family of Consumer Credit Counseling Service agencies. To schedule an appointment, call toll-free 888-417-3253.

The new team of counselors, according to CredAbility officials, has personal experience with unique situations that cause financial strain for military personnel and their families — during service and after they leave.

"We believe that they will feel more confident discussing their financial concerns with a counselor who is not only an experienced, certified credit counselor, but who has also served in the military," said Phil Baldwin, CredAbility's chief executive officer, in a statement announcing the new program.

CredAbility is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Seven veterans who are professional counselors are participating in the program for service members and veterans.

"We offer different counseling services based on the financial needs of the person contacting us," said Scott Scredon, a spokesman for CredAbility. "For example, a person with heavy credit card debt will speak with a certified budget/debt counselor, while those struggling to make their mortgage payments will speak with a housing counselor who specializes in foreclosure prevention."

This will add another option for those in the military community, said Scredon. There are a number of options available for those in the military community for free credit counseling, on military bases and through MilitaryOneSource; sometimes those resources refer service members and their families to nonprofit credit counselors, through a partnership with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

But there are few free financial resources for veterans and their families, especially from organizations with professional counselors who are veterans, according to CredAbility officials, which is one reason they decided to create this specialized counseling and education team.

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