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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Idaho

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In a Nutshell

Once you’re willing to give a free Idaho credit counseling session a try, you’ll need to find an accredited, nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency to work with. Once you’ve identified a reputable organization, staffed by certified credit counselors, you’ll need to prepare for your session and the next steps you’ll take once your counseling session is complete.

Written by Upsolve Team
Updated January 14, 2020

The Great Recession of 2008 taught Americans that even the hardest working, most fiscally responsible adults can fall on hard times through no fault of their own. Sometimes, for one reason or another, it just isn’t possible to make a household’s income stretch to cover necessary expenses and debt payments at the same time. If you’re struggling financially, you’re not alone and you don’t have to navigate this challenge alone. A good way to begin rebuilding your financial foundation for the better involves scheduling a free credit counseling session with an accredited, nonprofit credit counseling organization located in Idaho. You don’t need to do anything to qualify for a free credit counseling session, as this resource is open to anyone who could potentially benefit from it. All you need to do is research accredited, nonprofit credit counseling organizations to ensure that the one you want to work with employs certified credit counselors and is trustworthy. Unfortunately, many for-profit companies that offer credit counseling services scam their clients, so it’s best to avoid these operations. Once you’ve scheduled your session, you’ll gather pay stubs, your most recent tax return, and other relevant documents to bring to your meeting. During your 45-60 minute session, your credit counselor will ask you about your financial situation. They will ask about your current debts, your income and expenses, your goals, and any other financial challenges impacting your ability to meet your needs. After reviewing your financial documents and asking you questions, your counselor will give you recommendations for your next steps. These recommendations may include debt consolidation, bankruptcy counseling, additional debt counseling, or a debt management plan. You won’t be obligated to act on these recommendations. They’ll simply serve as financial guidance that will allow you to make an informed decision about which steps forward are right for you and your family.

How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Idaho

Once you’re willing to give a free Idaho credit counseling session a try, you’ll need to find an accredited, nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency to work with. Once you’ve identified a reputable organization, staffed by certified credit counselors, you’ll need to prepare for your session and the next steps you’ll take once your counseling session is complete.

Find Idaho Nonprofit Credit Counseling Agencies

Not all credit counseling services are created equal. It’s important to work with a nonprofit Idaho credit counseling organization that has been accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. The NFCC regulates the practices of accredited nonprofit credit counseling agencies across the United States, so that individuals who utilize their services can feel confident that they won’t be taken advantage of. By contrast, many for-profit companies that offer credit counseling services do swindle their customers. Therefore, it’s generally a good idea to narrow your search for Idaho credit counseling agencies to those that have been accredited by the NFCC.

Information to Research Before Talking to an Idaho Credit Counseling Agency

When you’ve identified an accredited, nonprofit Idaho credit counseling organization you’re interested in working with, it’s important to make sure that the agency remains reputable. Even accredited agencies can be cited for unacceptable practices from time to time. As a result, it’s generally a good idea to see if Idaho’s attorney general, the state’s consumer protection office, or the Better Business Bureau has cited the organization for any problematic behavior. If the organization you’re interested in working with has a stellar reputation, you can feel confident in following the personal finance action plan it will provide you with at the end of your Idaho credit counseling session.

Questions to Ask the Idaho Credit Counselor Before Signing Up

When you’re scheduling a session with an Idaho credit counselor, make sure to double-check that your initial session will be conducted at no charge, that the debt counseling professional conducting your session is certified, and that your counselor is not paid bonuses or other incentives for signing up clients for various services during their free Idaho credit counseling sessions. You’ll also want to ask how long your session will last, where it’ll be held, and how you should prepare for it. If your session is being conducted online or over the phone, you’ll want to ask how you should go about making your financial documents available to your counselor in a secure way that ensures your privacy.


What to Expect During Credit Counseling

During your consumer credit counseling session, your counselor will review your financial documents and ask you questions about your income, expenses, debts, financial goals, and financial challenges. It’s important to give your counselor a complete picture of your finances so that they can make their recommendations as personalized as possible. You’ll want to bring along your most recent tax return, at least one month’s worth of pay stubs, recent bank statements, and a copy of your current credit report. You can request a free copy of your credit report and your credit score online in advance of your credit counseling session. This meeting probably won’t last longer than an hour, so it’s important to have your information organized and ready to go when your session starts. That way, the time you spend with your counselor can be focused exclusively on constructing an informed plan of action instead of looking up information you should already have at your fingertips.   

What Happens After Credit Counseling in Idaho

Once your credit counseling program is complete, you’ll want to take some time to decide whether following your Idaho credit counselor’s recommendation is the best course of action for you and your family. When it comes to matters of money management, you need to be committed to your action plan for it to be successful. Whether you’re hoping to consolidate your medical bills, credit card debt, and student loans so that they’re more manageable or you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy so that you can be virtually debt-free, you’ll need to carefully weigh your options and then pursue your chosen action plan with focused intention.  

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Idaho Debt Consolidation

If your Idaho credit counselor has recommended that you look into debt consolidation, you’ll need to determine whether you can secure a debt consolidation loan. Most of the time, debt consolidation involves using a zero percent interest loan like a bank transfer, to pay off your existing debts. This option allows you to avoid additional monthly fees and late fees, stops interest from accruing on your debts, and allows you to pay one bill monthly instead of several.

Idaho Debt Management Plan

Oftentimes, creditors are willing to work with nonprofit credit counseling agencies in Idaho to construct workable payment plans for debtors. If you choose to pursue a debt management plan, an Idaho credit counselor will work with your creditors to create payment plans for your debts (possibly featuring lowered interest rates and/or principal, waived fees, etc.). You will then pay the credit counseling organization one payment each month. This payment will be distributed to your creditors per the terms of your debt management repayment plan.

Idaho Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is often recommended as an excellent debt relief option for individuals whose debts are overwhelming and whose income can’t reliably cover payments for a debt management plan or debt consolidation arrangement. If debt repayment remains a viable option, bankruptcy counseling may lead you to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you don’t make much income and can’t reliably pay your debts, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a better option. Regardless of which kind of bankruptcy you file for, this process can help you to manage your financial problems and place you on the path toward achieving your financial goals.

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