Don’t Be So Rigid in Your Coaching

There’s a school of thought with some financial coaches that all credit cards are bad. They think people who have gotten themselves into credit card debt need to work their way out, month-by-month, payment-by-payment, and that the credit cards they have are the credit cards they are stuck with.

Because of this way of thinking, that means some coaches will never tell their clients about the option of possibly taking advantage of a balance transfer. A zero percent credit card might be available to them, and even if that person is paying 25% interest on their cards, the coach or advisor will not present it as an option.

I think that’s nuts. And a disservice to the client.

Now I’m not saying all people should transfer their balances to a zero percent offer. I fully realize that some of my coaching clients feel they need that interest to serve as the extra bit of motivation to pay off those cards. So for those people, sure, a balance transfer is not the chosen strategy.

But what about the people I work with who have proven they are motivated and have a better handle on their finances? They have done everything right – sticking to a budget, no longer adding to the credit cards and planning ahead with their money. Why wouldn’t I recommend this option? Isn’t a balance transfer simply one way a client could achieve their goals faster?

I believe it is my job as a coach to present them with all their options. It’s not my place to choose what is or is not best for my clients based on some rigid belief I have.

And yes, while I think there are certain strategies that generally work better in different scenarios, I am never going to say my clients absolutely cannot do something.

If I’m doing my job to the best of my ability, I present them with options, share with them the pros and cons, and the benefits and potential hurdles of each option. I may even tell them based on my experience which options I think are best. But then my clients have the information to make the decision that is best for them. It’s ultimately their choice and I want them to feel empowered making it.

If my client’s number one goal is paying off their credit card debt as quickly as possible, and paying 0% interest instead of 25% will get them there, you bet I’m going to discuss a balance transfer strategy with them as a potential option. And then I’m going to keep them accountable to their goal of paying off that debt no matter which strategy they choose.

Because that’s ultimately what this is about: Helping people realize their dreams, reach their full potential and see that they can have control of their finances.