PROFESSIONAL • CONFIDENTIAL • PERSONALIZED GUIDANCE
Debt is common and manageable. Our certified financial coaches are standing by ready to answer your questions, provide guidance, and help you reach your financial goals. Speaking to one of our certified debt coaches is completely free. Our coaches will be able to review all of your options for getting out of debt and guide you toward the best path forward.
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How It Works
Our FREE Debt Coaching Sessions Include:
- A Complete Financial Review
- Debt Management Options
- Available Support Resources and Referrals
- Personalized Financial Action Plan
- Ongoing Support
As Featured In
Benefits of Coaching
Our professional one-on-one debt coaching is completely confidential. As long as you use a *credentialed counseling organization like credit.org, you can feel secure that you’re getting the best (and most discrete) service. (*Read “How to know if a Credit Counseling Agency is Legitimate“).
Using a trained financial coach means getting personalized advice and guidance that you cannot find from the one-size-fits-all approach found on many websites, in books, and on radio shows offering advice. Our certified financial coaches take the time to understand your unique situation and offer assistance tailored to your circumstances.
Award-Winning, Judgment-Free Coaching
Our financial coaches are certified, experienced, and completely non-judgmental. They will answer all your questions and give advice based on their expertise and personal experience working with people in sensitive financial situations. You might find people outside of counseling that are sympathetic to your situation and will happily offer advice, but a true financial coach will have the professional credentials needed to offer the most informed guidance.
Credit Counseling is the most common form of debt counseling. Excessive and often unmanageable credit card debt or other unsecured debt, such as medical expenses, are extremely common and easy to amass. More often, credit card balances carry high interest rates and low monthly payment options can take decades to pay off. Whether you are over-burdened with too many monthly payments, overwhelmed with your debt levels, or simply need budgeting help, our financial credit coaching will help you establish a better path forward.
Since student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy and usually carry favorable terms, the best thing our coaches can do for student loan debtors is help them address their other debts and financial obligations, ultimately freeing up income to apply to student debt payments. There are some student loan relief options like deferments, forbearance, and the government’s Income Based Repayment Plan that can help student loan borrowers. Our knowledgeable financial coaches can direct these borrowers to the appropriate remedy.
HUD-approved housing counseling provides relevant information, guidance and resources for all housing related needs for renters, new or returning homebuyers, seniors seeking a reverse mortgage, or for those struggling to pay your mortgage or are already in foreclosure. Our highly knowledgeable and certified housing coaches work with you to support your housing needs to establish your best path forward.
By law, anyone seeking to declare bankruptcy must seek bankruptcy counseling before they officially file. After bankruptcy is legally declared, they must also complete an education course before any of their debt can be discharged. As required by law, any organization that provides pre-bankruptcy counseling & education must be approved by the EOUST (Executive Office for US Trustees). As an EOUST approved organization, credit.org’s certified coaches are available to provide the information and education you need to comply with bankruptcy laws and improve your path forward.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While credit.org is approved by the EOUST to provide bankruptcy counseling & education, we do not offer any legal advice or services. We urge anyone seriously considering bankruptcy to seek the services of a qualified attorney in addition to the required pre-bankruptcy counseling.
Designed for those with very serious spending issues, Debtors Anonymous offers ongoing group support with local meetings in over 500 different locations. This is a 12-step program for compulsive debtors. It applies the principles and methods of programs like Alcoholics Anonymous to people who cannot stop acquiring unsecured debts.
Dealing with Creditors
Creditors may be able to offer some concessions if you call them and express a concern about repaying your debts. They may be willing to lower your minimum monthly payment to help you avoid missing a payment. Some creditors even refer their customers to credit counseling if they think it is necessary. While it can be a good idea to reach out to your creditors if you are facing financial difficulties, they can only help you with one account. Debt counseling looks at your entire fiscal picture, all of your debts and expenses, and helps you come up with a solution for every aspect of your financial life.
Dealing with Collectors
Collectors are notorious for calling debtors constantly, making threats, and in some cases violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Collection agents may propose payment schedules and payoff plans to collect on debts you owe, but their only objective will be to collect the money owed to them, not to help the consumer make the best decisions. A debt counselor can help you understand your options and deal with collection accounts without being bullied, threatened or judged. For more information, see our article What to Do When Debt Collectors Call.
Dealing with Loss Mitigation Departments
If you are concerned about being able to repay your mortgage, you should talk to the loss mitigation department of your mortgage lender. Since mortgage debt is so much larger than typical revolving debts, they make every effort to work out solutions with their borrowers. Any responsible loss mitigation specialist will probably refer you to a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. Even while receiving HUD housing counseling, you should keep the lines of communication open with your lender.
A debt settlement is when a borrower settles a debt for less than the full amount owed. The lender must agree to accept less than the full amount owed and the arrangement is then indicated on the borrower’s credit record. Usually, people use the services of a professional debt settlement negotiator and in some rare cases this negotiator may also be certified as a debt counselor. (See “6 Things to Consider Before Using a Professional Settlement Negotiator.”)
It is challenging for a consumer facing overwhelming debts to be approved for a debt consolidation loan. However, there are some lenders that do offer debt consolidation loans, which grant the advantages of debt consolidation along with the benefits that come from professional counseling services. Even those consumers who are able to get a consolidation loan or consolidate their debts through balance transfers could benefit from a free debt counseling session, since debt consolidation by itself does not offer the education and assistance a counselor provides. Learn more about debt consolidation and how credit.org can serve you.
Does credit.org offer debt settlements?
No. We do not negotiate with creditors to settle your debts for an amount less than you owe. We can educate you about settlements and help you understand what negotiating a settlement would entail and what it would mean to your credit.
Can credit.org help me repair my credit?
We don’t offer credit repair services, but we can teach you how to repair your own credit legally and legitimately. Start by downloading our “Consumer Guide to Good Credit.” You should also check out our seminar materials: “Understanding Your Credit Report & Score.”
In addition to these educational offerings, we’ll help you create a budget you can live with and teach you about managing your debts. Going forward with consistent, on-time debt payments is the best thing you can do for your credit rating.
We offer all of this information and educational services free of charge!
Does credit.org work for creditors?
No. We do accept voluntary contributions from creditors to fund our operations, and we prefer this to charging our clients high fees. When it comes to the education we offer to consumers, our focus is on them, not the creditors they are indebted to.
The creditors with whom we negotiate are willing to contribute to us because the Debt Management Plans we offer help them recover funds owed to them. However, this is not the primary objective of the DMP. The DMP’s purpose is to help our clients get out of debt. The fact that the creditors benefit from the DMP is a bonus that helps us get funding to continue our educational efforts.
If DMPs help you get funding, do you try
to put all clients into a DMP?
No. We’re a non-profit organization; our primary function is to educate consumers on the wise use of credit. Debt Management Plans are a small part of what we do. Fewer than one-quarter of the clients we counsel enroll in a DMP.
When we coach consumers, we present many options for resolving their debts, and try to help them find the solution that works best for them. For most of our clients, that involves budget coaching and education alone. For some clients, it is bankruptcy. Some of our clients are a good fit for a DMP.
When we enroll clients in a Debt Management Plan, it is important to us that they succeed. One way we try to achieve this success is by accurately identifying the clients who can truly benefit from a DMP. It does us no good to enroll clients in a Plan if they are destined for failure.
Is there a fee for debt coaching?
In many cases, such as credit counseling and some forms of housing counseling, services are offered free of charge and are paid for by donations and grants from various sources such as government agencies, non-profit organizations, program administrators and grantors. In some instances where the government requires counseling (i.e. pre-bankruptcy counseling, reverse mortgage counseling, etc.), modest fees may be charged as law regulates. If debt management services are recommended, fees vary based on the state of residence and debt amount.
Who owns credit.org?
No one. We are a non-profit community organization. There are no owners or shareholders who benefit financially from the work we do. Our governing Board is purely voluntary. We exist to serve the community and educate consumers.
Any extra funds we take in are used to keep our systems and facilities up to date, so we can better serve our clients. We also maintain an emergency fund to help us survive financial difficulties. Creating and maintaining an emergency savings fund is a lesson we stress with everyone we educate.