July 28, 2022, 5:44 a.m. HST
Residents facing worrisome credit debt or needing advice on managing their student loans can now turn to Maui Economic Opportunity’s Business Development Center for help.
The Business Development Center recently certified Maui and Moloka’i staff members as National Consumer Counseling Professionals and expanded its services by offering free credit counseling services to the public.
BDC is known for instilling the skills entrepreneurs need to succeed with the Core Four Business Planning series, helping existing businesses grow with microloans and advice, and offering financial literacy courses for those who want to master their budget. .
There has been a gap in nonprofit credit counseling services on Maui for several years, and BDC is looking to fill the void.
BDC credit counselors can perform an in-depth analysis of an individual’s or family’s financial situation to find ways to save and get out of debt. Services include debt consolidation, which can reduce interest rates by more than 60% and monthly credit card payments by 25%.
Two BDC members are also Certified Student Loan Advisors. They can review financial profiles, including federal student loans, and work to find affordable solutions.
“Credit counselors cannot wave a magic wand and make debt disappear,” said BDC Director David Daly. “They can help reduce interest rates and develop a debt management and repayment plan that is workable and avoids bankruptcy. We can also help prevent future credit and debt problems through our counseling process.
For more information about the credit counseling program, contact MOE’s Business Development Center at (808) 243-4318.