Struggling with Debt? Credit Counseling Can Help!

Take control of your finances. Our certified counselors can create a personalized plan to help you achieve your debt-free goals.

Get Your Free Debt Relief Consultation

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We work with top credit card companies to find debt relief solutions for you.

We work with top credit card companies to find debt relief solutions for you, often reducing interest rates and consolidating payments.

We’re your ally, actively negotiating with your credit card companies to help ease your financial worries.

How Can Credit Counseling Help You?

For decades, credit counseling has helped people find solutions to overwhelming debt. Our services adapt to your unique needs and goals.

  • Budget counseling: Develop a spending plan that works for you.
  • Debt management plans: Simplify payments and potentially reduce interest rates.
  • Financial education resources: Learn strategies for building a stronger financial future.
  • Credit report reviews and analysis: Understand your credit and learn how to improve it.

“Credit counseling changed my life! I finally feel in control of my finances.” – Denise B.

Benefits of Credit Counseling:

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    Lower your monthly payments
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    Stop collection calls
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    Reduce interest rates
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    Eliminate late and over-limit fees

Need help fast? Contact us today – we’re here to provide immediate support and guide you towards a brighter financial future. Ready to learn more? Discover how credit counseling can work for you.

Beyond Counseling: Your Path to Debt Relief

We understand the crushing burden of high-interest debt. That’s why we offer more than just advice. Our debt management plans, created in partnership with creditors, can significantly lower your interest rates and fees, potentially saving you thousands.

Imagine getting out of debt years faster. This is possible! A personalized debt management plan can put you back on track with affordable payments.

Get Help with a Wide Range of Debts

Struggling with more than just credit cards? Our debt management plans can help you tackle:

  • Credit card debt
  • Medical bills
  • Past-due utilities
  • Collections accounts
  • Payday loans
Learn More About Credit Counseling

Credit Counseling

Credit counseling is defined as a service developed to help those who are struggling financially to create a pathway out of debt. It is often viewed as an essential first step in restoring the financial health of a household. Those who receive credit counseling can expect to be shown ways they can correct the cause of their troubles, improve their budget, and proceed with any debt relief options they may qualify for. Besides helping households avoid a devastating bankruptcy, it can also provide whatever financial education may be needed.

Credit counseling can offer a safe place to talk about debt as well as helpful information to anyone who chooses to participate in a consultation.

Because this type of counseling addresses sensitive topics, it can only be provided by companies that have received licensing through the states in which they operate. Professionals who claim to perform credit counseling must be certified to do so. Never share personal information with a company that cannot verify that they meet these regulations.

History of Credit Counseling Services

Credit counseling came about in the 1950s when personal bankruptcies were on the rise. Creditors were worried by the number of households who could not repay their debt.

As a solution to this problem, they formed an organization called the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (now known as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling) and created a service that would make debt repayment possible.

Over time, the credit counseling definition evolved adding more benefits for consumers. Additionally, more organizations emerged making these services more accessible. Together, with the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), these organizations sought to further develop counseling and other free resources to educate the public about credit and general money management.

Is credit counseling bad for my credit?

Credit counseling, which might include multiple consultations, or a credit pull on your behalf, does not have a direct impact on your credit.

If, however, a participant in credit counseling chooses to enroll in a debt management plan (DMP), they can expect their credit to be affected in a few different ways.

First, DMPs often require that all credit accounts be closed. Because a credit score is based on factors such as credit availability and length of history, closing accounts can cause a dip in the score awarded. This is often temporary. Credit scores bounce back as a debtor becomes current on credit payments and eventually pays their balances in full.

The second way that debt management programs affect credit is only considered to be harmful by some. Participation in a plan to repay debt can be noted in one’s credit report.

Future lenders may look at this note and consider it a warning sign that they shouldn’t lend the participant money. Others may view it positively as an indication the participant is taking steps to complete an honest repayment and restore their financial health.

In either case, those seeking help with debt should be aware of what short and long-term effects on credit might result from the services offered.

How does credit counseling work?

Credit counseling is an easy process to start. If you can, begin by gathering your debt and credit information and take a moment to review it before reaching out to a company for help. Once you’ve prepared, set up a consultation with a credit counselor to address the next steps together.

These fees vary from company to company but cannot exceed restrictions set by each individual state. A legitimate debt management program will not charge more than 15% of your monthly debt payment. In cases of extreme need, credit counseling agencies can waive the costs of managing a borrower’s debt.

When should I seek credit counseling?

Anyone who feels overwhelmed by their debt should not hesitate to reach out for help. To see if this service is the help you’re looking for, check out our list of signs that credit counseling will benefit you.

Who can provide credit counseling & where can I find them?

Perhaps you haven’t run into a credit counselor previously, but they are easier to find than you might expect.

You can visit the website of either the FCAA or the NFCC to do a quick search for credit counseling organizations in your area. If you want an unfiltered list of agencies, the Department of Justice provides an alphabetical list by the state for this purpose.

Even if there are no physical branches in your area, a well-equipped nonprofit can provide credit counseling over the phone.

Once you’ve found a few options, be sure to compare their ratings and reviews with the Better Business Bureau.

If you have additional questions, start a conversation with one of our credit counseling experts today. They are here to offer you the support you need to resolve your credit and debt challenges.

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Credit Counseling: Your Path to Financial Freedom

We understand asking for help with debt can be stressful. Rest assured, our counselors are here to support you with compassion and respect, not judgment.

Here’s what you can expect from credit counseling:

  • Personalized Guidance: Meet with a counselor (in-person, by phone, online, or via email – your choice!) to build a budget and debt-elimination plan tailored to you.
  • Debt Management Expertise: We may recommend a debt management plan to simplify payments and potentially lower interest rates.
  • A Brighter Future: Together, we’ll create a plan to get you debt-free in five years, or possibly even less!

“Credit counseling was my lifeline – now I’m saving for my dream vacation!” – Janel K.

Get the Support You Deserve with Money Fit

Dealing with debt can be overwhelming, regardless of the amount. We’re here to help you find solutions, no matter where you are on your financial journey. Your initial consultation is always free.

With nearly 30 years of experience, Money Fit has helped countless people overcome debt challenges. Our certified counselors create personalized plans to get you back on track and achieve your financial goals.

Ready to start? Contact us today for your free consultation.

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Find Debt Relief Solutions Near You

Get free, confidential credit counseling with counselors who understand your state’s unique financial landscape.

Frequently asked questions:

The following questions are the most common questions we are asked about regarding Credit Counseling.

  • Meet a certified counselor (in-person, phone, online – your choice!) to discuss your situation.
  • Build a personalized budget and debt repayment plan.
  • We may suggest a debt management plan to potentially lower your interest rates and simplify payments.
  • Get the support to achieve your financial goals!

Is credit counseling right for me?

Consider it if you:

  • Struggle to keep up with minimum payments
  • Feel overwhelmed by debt
  • Want lower interest rates
  • Are ready to take control of your finances
  • No, credit counseling usually improves your credit over time.
  • Here’s why: It helps you make on-time payments and potentially reduces overall debt, both important credit score factors.
  • Participation in credit counseling does not directly factor into your FICO score.
  • Your initial consultation is always free.
  • If you enroll in a debt management plan, there may be small setup and monthly fees. We’ll clearly explain these before you decide.
  • Helps you understand your financial situation.
  • Creates a plan to tackle debt and reach your goals.
  • Provides tools and support for lasting financial health.
  • Look for Accreditation: Choose a counselor from a nonprofit agency accredited by the FCAA (Financial Counseling Association of America) or the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling).
  • Verify Fees: Understand costs upfront. Initial consultations should be free.
  • Ask about Experience: Seek a counselor with expertise in your specific debt types.
  • Trust Your Gut: You should feel comfortable and supported, not pressured.

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Client Credit Report Authorization

You hereby authorize and instruct Debt Reduction Services, Inc. (DRS, dba Money Fit by DRS) and/or its assigned agents to:
  • Obtain and review your credit report, and
  • Request verifications of your income and rental history, and any other information deemed necessary for improving your housing situation (for example, verifying your annual property tax obligations and homeowner’s insurance fees)
Your credit report will be obtained from a credit reporting agency chosen by DRS. You understand and agree that DRS intends to use the credit report evaluate your financial readiness to purchase or rent a home and/or to engage in post-purchase counseling activities and not to grant credit. You understand you may ask any questions pertaining to your credit report. However, while DRS will review the information with you, the company is not able to furnish you with a copy of your credit profile. You hereby authorize DRS to share your information from your credit report and any information that you provided (including any computations and assessments produced) with the entities listed below to help DRS determine your viable financial options.
  • Banks
  • Counseling Agencies
  • Debt Collectors
  • Landlords
  • Lenders
  • Mortgage Servicers
  • Property Management Companies
  • Public Housing Authorities
  • Social Service Agencies
Entities such as mortgage lenders and/or counseling agencies may contact your DRS counselor to evaluate the options for which you may be eligible. In connection with such evaluation, you authorize the credit reporting and/or financial agencies to release information and cooperate with your DRS counselor. No information will be discussed about you with entities not directly involved in your efforts to improve your housing situation. You hereby authorize the release of your information to program monitoring organizations of DRS, including but not limited to, Federal, State, and nonprofit partners for program review, monitoring, auditing, research, and/or oversight purposes. In addition, you authorize DRS to have your credit report pulled two additional times to conduct program evaluations. You also agree to keep DRS informed of any changes in address, telephone number, job status, marital status, or other conditions which may affect your eligibility for a program you have applied for or a counseling service that you are seeking. Finally, you understand that you may revoke consent to these disclosures by notifying DRS in writing.

Client Privacy, Data Security, and Client Rights Policy

NOTE: This sheet is to inform new or returning clients about our services, records, fees, and limitations that may affect you as a consumer of our services. This form also discloses how we might release your information to other agencies and/or regulators. If you do not understand a statement, please ask a Debt Reduction Services (DRS) counselor for assistance.

Debt Reduction Services, Inc. (DRS) has put into place policies and procedures to protect the security and confidentiality of your nonpublic personal information. This notice explains our online information practices and how we use and maintain your information to conduct our financial education and credit counseling sessions and to fulfill information and question requests. This privacy policy complies with federal laws and regulations.

To provide our financial education and credit counseling services, we collect nonpublic personal information about you as follows: 1) Information we receive from you, 2) Information about your transactions with us or others, and 3) Information we receive from your creditors or a consumer reporting agency. We do not share this information with outside parties.

We use non-identifying and aggregate information to better design our website and services, but we do not disclose anything that could be used to identify you as an individual.

You hereby authorize DRS, when necessary, to share your nonpublic personal, financial, credit, and any information that you provided (including any computations and assessments produced) with the following entities in order to help DRS provide you with appropriate counseling or guide you to appropriate services: third parties such as government agencies, your lender(s), your creditor(s), and nonprofit housing-related and other financial agencies as permitted by law, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. We limit access to your nonpublic personal information to our employees, contractors and agents who need such access to provide products or services to you or for other legitimate business purposes.

Debt Reduction Services, Inc. complies with the privacy requirements set forth in the HUD housing counseling agency handbook 7610.1 (05/2010), including the sections 2-2 Mc, 3-1 H(2), 3-3, 5-3 F, and Attachment A.5. At all times, we will comply with all additional laws and regulations to which we are subject regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of individually identifiable information.

  1. Services: DRS provides the following housing-related services: counseling that includes Homeless Assistance, Rental Topics, Pre-purchase/Homebuying, and Home Maintenance and Financial Management for Homeowners (Non-Delinquency Post-Purchase); Education courses that include Financial literacy (including home affordability, budgeting, and understanding use of credit), Predatory lending, loan scam or other fraud prevention, Fair housing, Rental topics, Pre-purchase homebuyer education, Non-delinquency post-purchase workshop (including home maintenance and/or financial management for homeowners), and other workshops not listed above.

Please refer to DebtReductionServices.org for details of our services.

  1. Limits: Our services are limited to our normal weekday business hours. We do not provide individual counseling or education services after hours or on weekends, although our education courses are available 24/7.
  2. Fees: We do not charge fees for our financial management counseling and education. However, if you use them, you may have to pay for our Debt Management Program, Student Loan Counseling, Bankruptcy Certificate Services or certain financial education courses (homebuyer education, rental topics, fair housing, predatory lending, and post-purchase-non-delinquency including home maintenance and/or financial management for homeowners).
  3. Records: We maintain records of the services you receive, including notes about your progress or other relevant information to your work with us. You have the right to access and view your records by making a request to your counselor.
  4. Confidentiality: We respect your privacy and offer our services in confidence with the understanding that we may share such information with auditors and government regulators. Certain laws or situations may also lead to disclosing confidential issues, such as those involving potential child abuse or neglect, threats to harm self or others, or court subpoenas.
  5. Refusal of Services: You have the right to refuse services without any penalty or loss.
  6. Disclosure of Policies and Practices: You will be provided our agency disclosure statement.
  7. Sharing of Information: Sometimes we will need to contact other agencies or we may need to share your information, including your records, with other agencies or with regulators. We will do this only if you sign this form that gives us permission except for limited reasons; please see # 5 above for examples of such situations.
  8. Other: You have the right to be treated with respect by our staff, and we expect the same from you in return. We encourage you to always ask questions if something is not clear. We also encouraged you to express your thoughts and advocate throughout our services.

You acknowledge that this authorization will remain in effect for the duration of time that DRS serves as your housing counselor or financial education provider. You also acknowledge that should you wish to terminate this authorization, you will notify DRS in writing.

Disclosure  Statement

NOTE: If you have an impairment, disability, language barrier, or otherwise require an alternative means of completing this form or accessing information about our counseling services, please communicate with your DRS representative about arranging alternative accommodations.

Program Disclosure Form

Disclosure to Client for HUD Housing Counseling Services

Debt Reduction Services, Inc. and its financial education arm, Money Fit by DRS, offer the following housing counseling and educational services related to housing, personal finance, and bankruptcy certificates to consumers:
  • Housing Education Courses: DRS offers many online self-guided education programs classified as Financial, Budgeting, and Credit Workshops (FBC), Fair Housing Pre-Purchase Education Workshops (FHW), Homelessness Prevention Workshops (HMW), Non-Delinquency Post Purchase Workshops (NDW), Predatory Lending Education Workshops (PLW), Pre-purchase Homebuyer Education Workshops (PPW), and Rental Housing Workshops (RHW). These courses help participants increase their knowledge of and skills in personal finance, including home affordability, budgeting, and understanding the use of credit, as well as predatory lending, loan scams, and other fraud prevention topics, fair housing, rental topics, pre-purchase homebuyer education, non-delinquency post-purchase topics including home maintenance and/or financial management for homeowners, homeless prevention workshop, and other workshops not listed above relating to personal finance and housing. Course details are found below under “Housing Workshops.”
  • Home Equity Conversation Mortgage (HECM) Counseling (RMC): Via telephone and virtual platforms, we offer the required HECM counseling nationwide in addition to in-person counseling in Boise, Idaho. We also offer in-home counseling options in thirty counties across southern Idaho for an additional fee to cover our travel and additional staff time costs.
  • Home Maintenance and Financial Management for Homeowners (Non-Delinquency Post-Purchase) (FBC): Clients receive counseling and materials on the proper maintenance of their home and mortgage refinancing. Clients can find help and resources by phone, in our Boise office, or virtually on all topics related to stabilizing their long-term homeownership.
  • Services for Homeless Counseling (HMC): Clients receive phone, virtual, or in-person (Boise) counseling to evaluate their current housing needs, identify barriers to and goals for housing stability, establish a path to self-sufficiency, and connect with emergency shelters, income-appropriate housing, and/or other community resources (e.g. mental healthcare, job training, transportation, etc.).
  • Pre-Purchase Counseling (PPC): Clients receive counseling through the entire homebuying process. Assistance may involve creating a sustainable household budget, understanding mortgage options, building their credit rating, and putting together a realistic action plan to set and achieve homeownership goals.  Additionally, clients will receive materials and resources about home inspections and other homeownership topics relevant to successfully maintaining a home.
  • Rental Housing Counseling (RHC): Via phone, in-person appointments (Boise, ID), or virtual platforms, clients receive housing counseling relevant to renting, including rent subsidies from HUD or other government and assistance programs. Topics can also address issues and concerns having to do with fair housing, landlord and tenant laws, lease terms, rent delinquency, household budgeting, and finding alternate housing.
DRS also offers the following services:
  • A Debt Management Program (DMP) for consumers struggling to pay their credit cards, collections, medical debts, personal loans, old utility bills, and past-due cell phone accounts;
  • The Budget Briefing and Debtor Education Certificates that are required during the Bankruptcy filing process;
  • A Student Loan Repayment Plan Counseling and application service.

Relationships with Industry Partners

Through such services, DRS has established financial relationships with hundreds of banks, credit unions, and creditors such as American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Credit One, Discover, Synchrony, US Bank, USAA, Wells Fargo, and others.

No Client Obligation

The client is not obligated to receive, purchase or utilize any other services offered by DRS or its exclusive partners to receive financial education or housing counseling services. Alternatives: As a condition of our counseling services, in alignment with meeting our client services goals, and in compliance with HUD’s Housing Counseling Program requirements, we may provide information on alternative services, programs, and products available to you, if applicable and known by our staff. Alternative DMP services include negotiating better repayment terms directly with your individual creditors, paying your debts as agreed, or, in extreme cases, filing for personal bankruptcy. Alternative credit and education services can be found through MyMoney.gov or the Jump$tart Clearinghouse of online financial education resources. Housing counseling alternatives can be found through HUD at www.hud.gov/findacounselor.
Finally, you understand that you may revoke consent to these disclosures by notifying DRS in writing.