What Does a Credit Counselor Do?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by debt and not sure how you’ll ever get out, you may be looking for help. In your research, you may have heard of credit counseling and the credit counselors who provide nonprofit support and aid to people just like you. But what exactly does a credit counselor do?

What Does a Credit Counselor Do?

Put simply, a credit counselor is a combination of educator, advocate, and coach. They help you review your finances from top to bottom in order to determine what’s not working and what needs to change.

A credit counselor looks over your bills and debts. With your permission, they’ll also pull your credit report and take a look at your debts and the status of those debts. Then they’ll discuss your goals, challenges, and feelings. Together, you and your credit counselor will come up with a plan to help you overcome your challenges and reach your goals.

If your situation warrants it, your credit counselor may recommend that you use a debt management plan (DMP) to help repay your debts.

Are Credit Counselors Trained?

Every credit counselor at MMI goes through an extensive training and certification program.

What Does a Credit Counselor Charge?

Credit counseling through a nonprofit organization like MMI is free. Should you decide to start a debt management plan or use additional counseling services, there may be fees involved, but regular credit counseling is free.

How Do You Connect With a Credit Counselor?

Credit counselors usually work as part of a larger, nonprofit financial education and counseling organization, though some may be independent. You can find a credit counselor or credit counseling agency in your area through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. MMI also has credit counselors available 24/7, all year long. You can connect with a credit counselor online, over the phone, or in-person in select locations.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

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  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.