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How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Minnesota

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In a Nutshell

Follow these five simple steps to get the debt relief you need by getting free credit counseling in Minnesota. 

Written by the Upsolve Team
Updated November 30, 2019

Is worry about credit card debt or student loans keeping you up at night? If so, then you’re not alone. The amount of debt American consumers carry in most categories has been rising steadily, according to the Federal Reserve. If you have missed a few payments, a Minnesota credit counselor can help ease your financial troubles. Credit counseling in Minnesota helps overextended credit users reduce or eliminate high-interest rate loans and credit card debt. Most Minnesota credit counseling organizations are nonprofits and will help you determine a workable solution to your financial problems. It is the mission of a Minnesota credit counselor to help you regain financial stability. Minnesota credit counseling is a process that helps people with debt settlement mainly through budgeting, education, and money management. The solutions to financial difficulties and money problems vary as the situation of each consumer is unique. Certified Minnesota credit counselors educate you on the root cause of your debt.

If you can’t repay your balances on your own, a Minnesota credit counselor can help you enroll in a debt management program as well. Minnesota credit counseling agencies offer a variety of services to help people manage their debt. If a debt management program is right for you, the Minnesota credit counseling agency will act as a go-between for you and your various creditors. The agency will come up with a repayment plan that all can agree on. 

Minnesota credit counselors usually offer a free consultation. And contrary to common belief, you can benefit from Minnesota credit counseling even if you are not behind on your debts. Before reaching out to a Minnesota credit counseling company, you should write out your financial problems and financial goals and identify the most important ones. You should also know the difference between Minnesota credit counseling and debt settlement. Debt settlement agencies usually negotiate a lower balance with your creditors and lenders. Credit counseling in Minnesota provides financial education and money management tips to help you better manage your personal finances and credit. Many Minnesota credit counseling services are also available over the phone, which makes it easy to get financial advice. You are a suitable candidate for Minnesota credit counseling if you would like to benefit from a lower monthly payment, or you are having trouble juggling multiple accounts. Beware of Minnesota credit counseling agencies that guarantee they can get rid of unsecured debt, or that demand payment of a specific percentage of your savings. 

How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Minnesota

Follow these five simple steps to get the debt relief you need by getting free credit counseling in Minnesota. 

Find Minnesota Nonprofit Credit Counseling Agencies

You should not simply settle on the first Minnesota credit counseling agency you come across without doing some homework on their reputation. According to the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the NFCC, you should work with reliable nonprofit credit counseling agencies in Minnesota. These Minnesota credit counseling agencies offer counseling services for free. Reputable nonprofit Minnesota credit counseling agencies are more likely to offer credit counselors who are both certified and trained in debt management, consumer credit, and other financial matters, such as student loans. Financial counselors for Minnesota nonprofit counseling agencies operate under strict state guidelines in order to ensure they act in your best interests. Most nonprofit and certified counseling agencies in Minnesota are members of either the Financial Counseling Association of America or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Nonprofit counseling agencies are frequently audited by the state.

Information to Research Before Talking to a Minnesota Credit Counseling Agency

When it comes to choosing a Minnesota credit counseling agency, you should remember the old adage "Don't judge a book by its cover." Free service is not the sole reason to choose a Minnesota credit counseling agency. This is because you will find many counseling agencies that call themselves "non-profit," but do not necessarily behave like one. Here are some of the things you should consider before talking to a Minnesota credit counseling agency. The Minnesota credit counseling agency should be licensed and accredited by the COA. Agencies that are members of the NFCC adhere to strict quality standards and undergo regular audits for counselor accreditation, data security, and customer service. Even if a Minnesota credit counseling agency is accredited, you should check its local record with the state attorney general, Better Business Bureau, and various local consumer protection groups that receive and examine consumer complaints. The U.S. Department of Justice also has its search tool that helps consumers find a reliable credit counseling agency.

Questions To Ask the Minnesota Credit Counselor Before Signing Up

Contact different Minnesota credit counseling agencies to get a clear idea of the type of services they provide. Here are a few important questions you should ask while you are shopping around for the best counseling agency in the state.

Do you charge a fee for your credit counseling services? Although a counseling organization is a "non-profit", there is likely to be minimal fees involved in managing your loans and credit card debt. Still, reputable Minnesota credit counseling agencies never charge for the initial credit counseling session.

Can you provide references? References are important as they help give you a real look at how other people feel about their experience with a certain Minnesota credit counseling agency, often with no holds barred. 

What to Expect During Credit Counseling

Minnesota credit counselors will conduct 45 to 60-minute interviews in order to gather information about your financial situation. Most nonprofit Minnesota credit counseling organizations offer credit counseling by phone, online, or in person. The counselors will ask questions about your expenses, income, budget, and assets. To streamline the counseling process, you should prepare by arranging your financial documents.

Credit counseling in Minnesota helps you explore various debt repayment strategies to manage your student loans, credit card debt, and medical bills to get you back on track. They will also pull and review your credit report. However, do not worry, as it will not affect your credit-worthiness.

What Happens After Credit Counseling in Minnesota

A Minnesota credit counselor might suggest a debt consolidation plan or a debt management plan to help you get out of debt faster. 

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Minnesota Debt Consolidation

For many people, debt consolidation in Minnesota reveals a light at the end of the tunnel. Debt consolidation rolls your high-interest debts, like credit card bills, into a single, low-interest payment.

Minnesota Debt Management Plan

A Debt Management Program, also called a DMP, is a service provided by Minnesota credit counseling organizations to help you pay down your debt in a reasonable timeframe. Note that you will make a single monthly payment under this plan to the agency and they will make individual payments to all the accounts included on your debt management plan.

Minnesota Bankruptcy

You can also file for Minnesota bankruptcy. By filing bankruptcy in Minnesota, you can get a fresh start and keep your creditors from harassing you. 

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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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