Credit Counseling Questions to Ask

  • What services do you offer?
  • Look for an organization that offers a range of services, including budget counseling, and savings and debt management classes.
  • If possible, find an organization that offers in-person counseling
  • Do you provide educational information?
  • Educational materials should be available for free.
  • In addition to helping me solve my immediate problem, will you help me develop a plan for avoiding problems in the future?
  • What are your fees? Are there set-up and/or monthly fees?
  • Get a specific price quote in writing.
  • What if I can’t afford to pay your fees or make contributions?
  • If an organization won’t help you because you can’t afford to pay, look elsewhere for help.
  • Will I have a formal written agreement or contract with you?
  • Don’t sign anything without reading it first. Make sure all verbal promises are in writing.
  • Are you licensed to offer your services in my state?
  • What are the qualifications of your counselors?
  • Are they accredited or certified by an outside organization? If so, by whom? If not, how are they trained? Try to use an organization whose counselors are trained by a party not connected to the organization.
  • What assurances do I have that information about me (including my address, phone number, and financial information) will be kept confidential and secure?
  • How are your employees compensated?
  • Are they paid more if I sign up for certain services, if I pay a fee, or if I make a contribution to your organization? If the answer is yes, consider it a red flag and go elsewhere for help.

On to the next section!