How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Delaware

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Written by Kassandra Kuehl.  
Updated December 3, 2019

Summary

Before you schedule a free Delaware credit counseling session, it’s important to thoroughly research the operations of any credit counseling programs that interest you. Once you find an accredited, nonprofit credit counseling organization that you can trust, you’ll need to take a little time to prepare for your counseling session. 

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, or you feel uneasy about the overwhelming amount of debt that impacts your family’s finances, you could potentially benefit from scheduling a free credit counseling session. Anyone in need of an informed financial action plan is welcome to schedule a free credit counseling appointment with an accredited, nonprofit credit counseling organization. During this free session, you’ll meet with a credit counselor for approximately 45-60 minutes or so. The credit counselor will review any financial paperwork you provide, which could include your credit report, recent bank statements, and your most recent tax return. You’ll also be asked questions about what you earn, what you owe, your monthly bills, and your financial goals. At the end of your session, your credit counselor will make informed recommendations for the next steps you may want to take on your financial journey. Depending on your unique needs and your overall financial situation, these recommendations may include pursuing a debt management plan, securing a debt consolidation loan, or filing for bankruptcy. Although the credit counseling agency you choose to work with may offer additional financial services that you’d need to pay to participate in, your credit counseling session will be free. For-profit companies that charge for their initial credit counseling sessions should be avoided, as they may be scams or they may be primarily concerned with selling you additional services instead of giving you informed guidance during your session. There is no prerequisite you need to meet to schedule a free credit counseling session. If you could benefit from informed financial recommendations, credit counseling is open to you. Whether you choose to follow the recommendations you’re given at the end of your session is entirely up to you. This is a free, no-obligation process that carries limited risks as long as you work with a reputable provider.

How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Delaware

Before you schedule a free Delaware credit counseling session, it’s important to thoroughly research the operations of any credit counseling programs that interest you. Once you find an accredited, nonprofit credit counseling organization that you can trust, you’ll need to take a little time to prepare for your counseling session.


Find Delaware Nonprofit Credit Counseling Agencies

The reason why it’s so important to research the credentials and reputation of any Delaware credit counseling organization you may want to partner with is that you need to be able to trust in the guidance and financial education you’ll receive during your session. To that end, narrow your search for credit counseling services to Delaware nonprofit organizations that have been accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). These organizations are subject to oversight in ways that for-profit companies are not. You are far less likely to be taken advantage of by an accredited, nonprofit company than you are by a for-profit operation.

Information to Research Before Talking to a Delaware Credit Counseling Agency

Once you find an accredited, nonprofit Delaware credit counseling agency that seems like a good fit, take a few minutes to check that it has earned a stellar reputation. If the organization has been cited for any unacceptable behavior, websites for the Delaware state attorney general, Better Business Bureau, and the state’s consumer protection unit should inform you of those notices. You’ll also want to take some time to poke around the websites of any Delaware credit counseling organizations that interest you. Their websites will be able to tell you if they offer services online or over the phone, whether they exclusively employ certified credit counselors (a major plus), and if they maintain offices elsewhere in the United States.

Questions to Ask the Delaware Credit Counselor Before Signing Up

When you’re scheduling your Delaware credit counseling session, be sure to ask if your credit counselor needs you to prepare for the meeting in any specific way. Your credit counselor may need you to fill out paperwork about your finances in advance. Additionally, you’ll likely be asked to bring important financial documents with you to your session. Recent pay stubs, your most recent tax return, a copy of your current credit report and credit score, and recent bank statements can help your credit counselor to draft a personalized action plan on your behalf. You may also want to ask if the agency has any educational materials you can browse in advance of your session so that you can learn about any post-session services the organization offers and the cost of those services. That way, if you have questions about how the organization may be able to help you implement your counselor’s recommendations, you can ask them during your initial session.

What to Expect During Credit Counseling

An initial financial counseling session with a nonprofit, accredited Delaware credit counseling agency is always free. Therefore, you won’t need to pay any fees for your Delaware credit counseling session. When you arrive (or call in or log on), your credit counselor will review your documentation and will ask you questions about your income, expenses, debts, and goals. In general, credit counseling sessions last for 45-60 minutes or so. At the end of your session, your credit counselor will provide you with personalized recommendations regarding what steps you should consider taking next. These recommendations will take into account the kinds of resources you have at your disposal, your debt load, and your financial goals. 

What Happens After Credit Counseling in Delaware

Once you’ve received an action plan from your Delaware credit counselor, you’ll need to carefully consider whether to act upon that professional’s recommendations. Depending on your unique financial problems and financial goals, you may have been instructed to pursue bankruptcy counseling, additional debt counseling, a debt management plan, or debt consolidation. Every recommendation has the potential to change your personal finances for the better. However, the choice to embrace these money management tools or to pursue alternatives is always up to you.

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Delaware Debt Consolidation

If your debts are not overwhelming, but you could benefit from restructuring your debt into a single monthly payment, your Delaware credit counselor may suggest that you pursue debt consolidation. During this process, you’ll secure a low or zero percent interest loan and you’ll use that loan as a bank transfer, to pay off your credit card debt, medical bills, student loans, and other outstanding consumer credit accounts. Once your debt has been consolidated, you’ll only need to manage that single monthly debt payment, instead of multiple bills. This is a great option for consumers who want to avoid additional monthly fees, late fees, and significant interest hikes tied to their current debt loads.

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Delaware Debt Management Plan

A debt management plan allows you to benefit from working directly with a nonprofit credit counseling agency in Delaware to construct favorable debt payment plans. Once a consumer credit counseling professional negotiates payment plans with your creditors, you’ll enter into a voluntary repayment arrangement. Instead of paying multiple creditors each month, you’ll send a single payment to a credit counseling organization, which will then distribute your payment to your creditors, per the terms of your plan. 

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Delaware Bankruptcy

If your debts are overwhelming and/or you don’t earn enough reliable income for debt consolidation or a debt management plan to be viable debt repayment options for you, your Delaware credit counselor may suggest that you consider filing for bankruptcy. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to benefit from debt relief, either in as few as 90 days or at the conclusion of a 3-5 year repayment plan. 

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