Financial expert: seek reputable help when caught in credit crunch

In these tough economic times in South Carolina and the nation the credit crunch is causing many sleepless nights in a lot of households. PBS Financial expert Jonathan Pond says if you are up to your neck in bills and you’re willing to battle your way to getting a handle on your financial situation your first step is often the toughest one to make.
Pond says you must first muster up the courage to pick up the phone. “Call the creditors before they call you, don’t be a stranger to them. If they do call you respond to them. All of them have programs because you’re not alone in that boat. They have programs to help you get over the problem you have.”
 Pond says companies are willing to work with you because they would rather keep you as a customer than close your account or repossess items that you may have purchased from them.
Pond says if you think you need the help of a credit counselor, you should first start by consulting the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at Pond says you should never respond to any of the myriad of advertisements or e-mails from persons or groups that proclaim that they can get you out of debt.
“The legitimate credit counseling organizations quite frankly don’t have the money to advertise, and a lot of these scam artists say they are nonprofit organizations and they just take your money and you’re worst off than you were before.”
Pond says the National Foundation for Credit Counseling can guide you to a number of reputable credit counselors in your local area. After that, the next step is yours.