Credit counseling is not widely known in Singapore. When you say “credit counseling” to someone, they’re more likely to stare at you blankly. Explain that it’s about meeting with a financial counselor to talk about debt management, and they may recoil in surprise.
It’s never really too late to organize your finances and begin your debt-free journey – that’s what credit counseling is for. Debts are typically so personal that most people are hesitant to discuss them with others. People should know that there’s no shame in asking for some advice and assistance even when you’re having trouble paying off your bills.
What Is Credit Counseling?
Credit counseling can help you address your unsecured debt problem by providing knowledge, counseling, and repayment assistance. Credit counseling offers financial advice and assistance with debt management and budgeting. It can also help you to pay off your debt in a more manageable manner.
Credit Counselling Singapore is a non-governmental organization in Singapore that is recognized by the Association of Banks (ABS). By assisting borrowers in better understanding their financial problems and options, CCS seeks to help them reclaim a sense of control and dignity.
If you’re struggling with debt, it might be time to seek credit counseling. You can meet with a CCS counselor for one-on-one counseling to help you work out a debt repayment plan. These counseling sessions are inexpensive and accessible in the U.S.
What Services Does Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) Provide?
Credit Counselling Singapore provides a range of services to help people with unsecured debt. They aim to improve people’s financial literacy and help them avoid debt. Their services are divided into two categories: Unsecured Debt Help and Financial Education Programs.
Debt Assistance for Unsecured Debt
If you’re experiencing problems managing your debt, CCS offers a variety of programs and services that can assist you.
1. Financial Counseling
Financial counseling sessions may be beneficial if you need someone to break down your financial status. A financial counselor will analyze your financial situation with you during the one-on-one session. You must be willing to divulge personal financial information in order for the financial counseling to be effective. Only then will the financial counselor be able to provide you with the useful and precise advice.
2. Debt Management Programme (DMP)
The DMP stands for the debt management plan, and it is a structured debt repayment plan with consumer banks and credit card issuers in Singapore. This is for borrowers who are in serious financial trouble because of their unsecured obligations. The DMP is only available through Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS), which is Singapore’s only social service agency. If you are qualified for a DMP, you may be able to negotiate a lower interest rate and a longer repayment period.
You aren’t combining your debts under one registered lender; thus, it isn’t a Debt Consolidation Plan. Instead, you’ll have to pay each original creditor monthly installment for the term of the DMP. However, if you’re considering a DMP, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
- You owe unsecured debts to multiple creditors.
- You owe at least S$10,000 in total unsecured debt.
- Your bank accounts are at least a year old.
While you’re on Debt Management Plan (DMP), you won’t be able to apply for any unsecured credit from any bank, and your credit report will reflect your DMP status. You must either attend CCS’ Debt Management Information Talk or enroll in and complete their Online Debt Management Course to be considered for a DMP. Once you’ve made all of your payments, the DMP has removed off your credit reports.
3. Enterprise Credit Counselling Programme (ECCP)
The ECCP program assists indebted small business owners in understanding their commitments and financial liabilities in the event that their company closes. The CCS may offer a comprehensive debt repayment plan to handle both your unsecured company obligations and your personal unsecured debts under the ECCP.
Remember that if you want the CCS to help you with a debt repayment plan for your company obligations, you must satisfy the following requirements:
- Your business operations have ceased or are in the process of ceasing.
- Have no more than S$1 million in corporate assets
- Have no more than S$500,000 in unsecured business loans with banks and other financial institutions
4. Discussions on Debt Management
These are free speeches about debt concerns that cover a wide range of topics. Below is are some of the topics covered during such discussions:
- How to Talk to Your Creditors
- How to Contact CCS for Assistance
- Taking care of a debt problem
Even if you don’t have a pressing debt problem right now, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your debt management skills. Every weekday evening and every two weeks on Saturdays, these informative sessions are held. Each discussion lasts roughly two hours and is open to the public.
Programs for Financial Education
Credit Counselling Singapore provides more than just debt management services. CCS also provides several programs for you if you want to enhance your financial literacy and learn more about budgeting.
1. Workshops And Talks On Financial Literacy
Workshops in Singapore that focus on ethical credit usage, effective money management, and boosting financial literacy. These workshops and seminars will tackle topics such as coping with job transitions, making educated judgments about various loan options, and planning financial resources for important life events like weddings. CCS also gives financial literacy presentations to businesses and social sector organizations.
2.Cents-ible Retirement Programme (CRP)
This program is designed to assist adults over the age of 50 in becoming more financially self-sufficient in their later years. It is made up of two modules. The first lesson will assist you in taking inventory of your financial assets. The second module is a one-on-one financial counseling session that will assist you in developing a strategy to maximize your financial resources.
When Is It Appropriate to Seek Credit Counseling?
If you have unsecured debt of at least S$10,000, you can apply for Credit Counselling Singapore’s Debt Management Programme. They can deal with your creditors directly or indirectly to restructure debt payments based on your ability to pay. You can also consider attending one of their Information sessions and then go down for financial counseling.