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How to Get Free Credit Counseling In Louisiana?

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In a Nutshell

Are you looking to get free credit counseling in Louisiana? You have come to the right place. Follow these five steps to get the debt relief you need. 

Written by the Upsolve Team
Updated December 20, 2023

Whether you are mired in debt from major home repairs, medical bills, or student loans, Louisiana credit counseling can help you get out of the financial mess. Credit counseling in Louisiana is designed to help people find the solution for their debt that fits their specific needs.

A certified Louisiana credit counselor will evaluate both your debt and financial budget in order to see where you stand. They will then direct you towards the option that makes more sense, given your financial situation.

What Do Louisiana Credit Counseling Sessions Involve?

Credit counseling services in Louisiana provide support and guidance on consumer credit, budgeting, and debt and money management. Credit counselors can help you objectively organize all your debts and create a comprehensive plan to repay it. Also, their financial counseling services are designed to set you up for an economically stable life once you've paid off your debt. Counselors offer several free financial resources and tools.

A Louisiana credit counseling session usually lasts 45 to 60 minutes and involves a thorough review of your various financial documents, such as credit reports, household budget, and consumer debts.

Is Credit Counseling the Same as Debt Settlement?

Don't confuse “credit counseling” services in Louisiana with for-profit “debt settlement” companies, which often charge you a fee to settle your debts with your creditors.

Some debt settlement organizations in Louisiana are known for charging high fees for their services, which they try to conceal with several layers of complicated terms and conditions. According to the FTC, debt settlement companies often ask for voluntary contributions to their organization, even when making those contributions may put you into more debt.

Know that a reputable, accredited credit counseling agency will always offer the first credit counseling session for free. Are you wondering whether credit counseling in Louisiana is right for you? Keep in mind that Louisiana credit counseling can even help you if you are not in dire straits or behind on your payments.

How Do You Get Free Credit Counseling in Louisiana?

Are you looking to get free credit counseling in Louisiana? You have come to the right place. Follow these five steps to get the debt relief you need. 

Find Louisiana Nonprofit Credit Counseling Agencies

The quality of Louisiana credit counseling may vary enormously from one agency to another. You should begin your search for a reliable Louisiana credit counselor on the websites of the industry’s two main trade associations—the National Federation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA). 

Also, you can check out the comprehensive list of approved counseling firms on the U.S. Trustee Program’s website. One of the key differences between non-profit and for-profit credit counseling organizations is the way the business funds its activities. For-profit counseling agencies in Louisiana charge their consumers for their services, and non-profit agencies don’t charge a fee for the initial session.

Information to Research Before Talking to a Louisiana Credit Counseling Agency

To choose the right agency, there is certain information you should research before talking to a Louisiana credit counseling agency. Once you have a list of potential candidates, you should vet each one of them with your state’s Attorney General and your local consumer protection agency. This is vital because they will tell you if the Louisiana credit counseling agency is licensed by authorities to do business in the state and whether any complaints are on file. Keep in mind that most initial credit counseling sessions are free in Louisiana.

There are some valuable resources that you can use if you want to learn more about Louisiana 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 Louisiana credit counseling agency you are considering to determine if they are reputable and well-known for their services and customer care. 

The FTC also says that a reputable Louisiana credit counselor will usually send you free information about itself as well as the services it provides without having you to provide any financial details about your situation. 

Questions to Ask the Louisiana Credit Counselor Before Signing Up

Unfortunately, there are many companies in Louisiana who just want to take your valuable money.  This is why you should avoid Louisiana credit counselors who:

  • Claim they will make all your debt go away

  • Promise quick results

  • Request you to pay a hefty up-front fee

  • Force you to sign up for their services

So, prepare a list of questions to ask before signing up with a Louisiana credit counselor. Some of the questions are as follows:

  • What are the qualifications of your Louisiana credit counselors?

  • How do you pay your employees?

  • How will you protect my privacy?

  • How much training do the credit counselors at the agency receive?

  • How long has your counseling agency been doing business in Louisiana?

If you feel awkward or embarrassed about asking about a poor credit score or credit card debt, then you are not alone. Usually, people feel embarrassed or timid to talk about financial and money problems. However, when you receive Louisiana credit counseling, you will gain knowledge and resources that will help you improve and manage your personal finances. 

What to Expect During Credit Counseling?

This is what will happen after you sign up with a Louisiana credit counselor.

  • You will have an interview with the counselor so they can get a complete picture of your financial situation. 

  • After going over your income, debt, and expenses, they will help you develop a detailed budget.

  • Louisiana credit counselors will also request to pull your credit report so that they can understand where you’re right now.

  • They will provide you with your latest credit score and also review it with you.

  • They will usually develop a debt management plan (DMP) and work closely with your creditors in order to help improve your financial situation.

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. Even if a debt management plan is not suitable for you, a Louisiana credit counselor can still provide services to get you back on track.

What Happens After Credit Counseling in Louisiana?

After a thorough evaluation of your financial situation, a Louisiana credit counselor will recommend a plan or course of action that’s suitable for your situation.

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Louisiana Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation in Louisiana is the process of combining several debts into one payment with the goal of lowering your monthly payments and creating a more secure and manageable financial situation.

Louisiana Debt Management Plan

A debt management plan in Louisiana is a great way to repay your unsecured debt, like credit card debt and personal loan debt. It is usually provided as a program through Louisiana credit counseling agencies. However, debt management plans will not work with all kinds of debt. For example, secured debts, such as car loans and mortgages, don’t qualify for a debt management plan.

Louisiana Bankruptcy

You have another option, which is filing for Louisiana bankruptcy. By filing bankruptcy in Louisiana, you can get debt relief in as little as 4 months. You will be able to keep your house and car as well by claiming the appropriate exemptions.

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The Upsolve Team

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