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How to get Free Credit Counseling in Iowa

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In a Nutshell

Are you looking to get free credit counseling in Iowa? Follow these five steps to get the debt relief you need. 

Written by the Upsolve Team
Updated November 27, 2019

There is always a risk that your financial plans may fail and your debt may become overwhelming. If this happens, a possible option that can get your finances back on track is seeking Iowa credit counseling. Credit counseling services provide support and guidance on consumer credit, budgeting, and debt and money management. Iowa credit counseling is usually a free and helpful resource offered by nonprofit financial education organizations. Credit counseling in Iowa is a thorough review of your various financial documents, such as credit reports, household budget, and consumer debts, with the aim of improving your overall financial situation. When you pursue Iowa credit counseling, certified Iowa credit counselors evaluate your budget, debts, and available credit. Iowa credit counselors will then help you come up with the best way to get out of debt in your specific situation. The objective of credit counseling in Iowa is to help you avoid bankruptcy and to offer valuable financial education on managing debt and money. An Iowa credit counseling session usually lasts 45 to 60 minutes. Are you wondering whether credit counseling in Iowa is right for you? The answer may surprise you. A big misconception about Iowa credit counseling is that you have to be in dire straits to consider credit counseling in Iowa. However, this is not the case. Credit counseling in Iowa is an excellent resource for people who need assistance with their financial and credit plans. You can benefit from Iowa credit counseling even if you are not behind on your debts. You should know the difference between credit counseling in Iowa and debt settlement. The aim of Iowa credit counselors is to advise you on managing your debt and money. A debt settlement company, on the other hand, offers to arrange settlements of a person’s debts with creditors for a fee. 

How to get Free Credit Counseling in Iowa

Are you looking to get free credit counseling in Iowa? Follow these five steps to get the debt relief you need. 

Find Iowa Nonprofit Credit Counseling Agencies

One of the main key differences between nonprofit and for-profit credit counseling organizations is the way the business funds its activities. For-profit counseling agencies charge their consumers for their services, and non-profit agencies don’t charge a fee.

Since nonprofit credit counselors in Iowa offer free advice that you may use even if you decide against availing their services, seeking out a nonprofit agency is a great first step.

 As there are many organizations out there that claim to help you easily get out of debt, including scams, you should look for an Iowa credit counselor with a discerning eye. When finding a credit counseling agency, you should lookout for a couple of things, like:

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the counseling company is in good standing

  • Make sure that the credit counseling company you choose is accredited by the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling)

  • Try to find an Iowa credit counselor you feel comfortable working with

Keep in mind that most initial credit counseling sessions are free.

Information to Research before Talking to an Iowa Credit Counseling Agency

There is certain information you should research before talking to an Iowa credit counseling agency. Note that the National Foundation for Credit Counseling lists accredited credit counseling services across the US. You should go through this list before choosing an Iowa credit counselor. Also, you can check with your state's attorney general’s office to determine whether consumers have filed any complaints about a credit counseling organization. 

There are some valuable resources that you can use if you want to learn more about Iowa credit counseling. 

  • Check the NFCC website

  • Call the NFCC at 1-800-388-2227.

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to look up any Iowa credit counseling agency you are considering to determine if they are reputable and well-known for their services and customer care. 

Questions to ask the Iowa Credit Counselor before Signing Up

Before you choose an Iowa credit counselor to get debt relief, approach the situation with a comprehensive list of questions, and ask them right away. You should ask how much the agency you are considering charges for their services. If you are talking to an accredited and nonprofit credit counseling agency in Iowa, services like receiving financial advice and budgeting should always be free. If an Iowa credit counselor asks you to pay anything for these services, you are better off without them.

Before you connect with an Iowa credit counselor, you should know exactly what you are getting into. Will you talk to them on the phone? Will you talk with them online using Skype, Whatsapp, or Google Hangouts? Or will you be meeting in-person to go over your financial situation? Some other questions you should ask are:

  • How much will this cost?

  • What will happen if the amount is more than I can afford?

  • How are your services funded?

What to Expect During Credit Counseling?

Iowa credit counselors provide advice on budgeting, financial education, advice on student loans, bankruptcy, housing, and debt management plans. Your initial credit counseling session can last one hour with a few follow-up sessions, if necessary. The Iowa credit counselor will discuss your financial situation with you and help develop a personalized plan to tackle your debt and get your finances in shape.

You will have to provide your basic contact information, demographic information, and information about your assets and income. You will also provide a detailed list of all your expenses. You will receive an in-depth analysis of your expenses and valuable recommendations for reducing them. You must have a complete list of all your current expenses (such as monthly rent/mortgage, utility bills, cell phone expenses, school loans, and food, etc.). 

What Happens after Credit Counseling in Iowa?

Once your Iowa credit counselor has an in-depth understanding of your finances, they will be in a position to create steps to save money, reduce debt, and improve your financial situation. As some services that can help some people may not work for others, a certified credit counselor takes several approaches for reducing your debt.

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Iowa Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation in Iowa rolls your high-interest debts, like credit card debt, into a single, low-interest payment. Debt consolidation can lower your total debt and reorganizes it so you can pay it off faster. This is a very useful tool in case you owe money to more than one creditor.

Iowa Debt Management Plan

Under a debt management plan in Iowa, you make one payment to the credit counseling agency each month. The Iowa credit counseling agency then makes monthly payments to your creditors. A debt management plan can fail due to several reasons, such as loss of income.

Iowa Bankruptcy

You have another option, which is filing for Iowa bankruptcy. By filing bankruptcy in Iowa, you can get debt relief. It is better than the other 2 options as bankruptcy counseling is one of the quickest and most effective ways to eliminate your loans and credit card debt.

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The Upsolve Team

Upsolve is fortunate to have a remarkable team of bankruptcy attorneys, as well as finance and consumer rights professionals, as contributing writers to help us keep our content up to date, informative, and helpful to everyone.

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