How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Montana

3,722 families have filed bankruptcy using Upsolve. Learn More.

Written by the Upsolve Team.  
Updated December 4, 2019

Summary

Are you looking to get free credit counseling in Montana?Follow these five stepsto get your financial situation under control with a credit counseling program.

Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Can't seem to create a workable financial budget, let alone save some money for your retirement? If that is the case, you should consider the services of a Montana credit counselor. Montana credit counseling services analyze your income, expenses, assets, and debt to determine the most effective way to address your financial issues and money problems. Montana credit counselors may also advise you on issues, like student loans, budgeting, reverse mortgages, money management, and even starting a small business. Montana credit counseling is usually a free and helpful resource offered by nonprofit financial education organizations.

Your accounts don’t need to be delinquent to enroll in Montana credit counseling. However, usually, the cards will be closed, which means you will no longer be able to use them. The objective of credit counseling in Montana is to help you avoid bankruptcy and to offer valuable financial education on managing debt and money. A Montana credit counseling session usually lasts 45 to 60 minutes.

Montana credit counselors often do some of the following things: 

  • Get a copy of your credit report 

  • Help in planning a financial budget 

  • Offer free educational materials and workshops 

  • Provide valuable advice on managing money and debt 

  • Help develop a debt management plan to allow you to repay your debts 

Credit counseling in Montana can usually help you with your unsecured debt, like credit cards, professional service bills (like unpaid dental, medical, and attorney bills), defaulted auto loans, and unsecured bank loans. Montana credit counselors can also help you with IRS tax debt, utility (telephone, water, cable) bills, and student loans. However, you can’t get out of paying child support, criminal fines, alimony, and the like.

Credit counseling in Montana may be right for you even if you are not behind on your debts. You don’t have to be in dire straits in order to consider credit counseling in Montana. A Montana credit counseling agency will contact your unsecured creditors and negotiate an alternate monthly payment schedule or reduced interest rate. You should know the difference between credit counseling in Montana and debt settlement. The aim of Montana credit counselors is to advise you on managing your debt and money. A debt settlement company, in contrast, offers to arrange settlements of your debts with creditors for a fee. 

How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Montana

Are you looking to get free credit counseling in Montana?Follow these five stepsto get your financial situation under control with a credit counseling program.


Find Montana Nonprofit Credit Counseling Agencies

Note that not all credit counseling agencies in Montana are the same. You will be better off working with a nonprofit organization as they belong to either the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) or Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA).

The reason why you should choose a counseling agency in Montana that belongs to one of these organizations is that they require all of their members to adhere to strict compliance standards as set by the Council on Accreditation or any other approved third-party. In addition, this means that their credit counselors in Montana must have passed a comprehensive certification program. Since nonprofit credit counselors in Montana offer free and valuable advice that you may use even if you decide against using their services, seeking out a nonprofit agency is a great first step to getting your financial problems under control.

Even if the Montana credit counseling agency you are thinking of working with has a membership of one of these two organizations, you should still be careful. The Montana credit counselor you choose should be organized, well versed in personal finance, and provide helpful consumer education materials.

When finding a Montana credit counseling agency, you should look out 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 a Montana credit counselor you feel comfortable and relaxed working with

Information to Research Before Talking to a Montana Credit Counseling Agency

There are many excellent Montana credit counseling organizations, which can help you carefully review your debts, develop a financial budget, and negotiate with all your creditors. If you have been paying only the minimum amount on your credit card, missing monthly payments, or having trouble getting out of debt, meeting a good Montana credit counselor can finally help you shake off most of your money troubles. However, the quality of service can vary enormously from one firm to another. Some agencies have been heavily fined by the IRS and Federal Trade Commission for charging hidden and often monthly fees, offering questionable advice, and misrepresenting their nonprofit status.

Therefore, there is certain information you should research before talking to a Montana credit counseling agency. Note that the National Foundation for Credit Counseling lists accredited credit counseling services across the US. In addition, you can check with your state's attorney general’s office to determine whether consumers have filed any complaints about a credit counseling organization. Beware of counseling agencies that exert too much pressure to sign up for a debt management program.

You can use some valuable resources if you want to learn more about Montana 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 Montana 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 Montana Credit Counselor Before Signing Up

Ask these important questions when looking for a Montana debt counselor:

How will your debt plan work? Ask for specific details on how their debt management plan will work to improve your situation, if that’s the recommended course of action for dealing with your credit card debt and other debts. Which debts can be included in this plan?

Are you certified or accredited? Legitimate Montana credit counseling agencies are affiliated with either the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Some other questions you should ask are:

  • Will I have a formal written contract or agreement with you?

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

  • How are your services funded?

What to Expect During Credit Counseling

When you visit a Montana credit counseling agency for a free counseling session, you will speak one-on-one with an experienced credit counselor regarding your finances. During the session, your certified Montana credit counselors will pull a soft inquiry on your credit, which means it will not affect your score. It will allow your Montana credit counselor to review your financial history in detail. At the end of your session, you will get a copy of a financial analysis report, detailing everything that you and your credit counselor discussed.

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. 

What Happens after Credit Counseling in Montana

As some services that can help some people may not work for others, acertified credit counselor in Montana takes several approaches to reducing your debt.

↑ Back to top
Fresh Start Diaries
"I'm going to be honest with you, pre-bankruptcy my credit score went down to a 543. My score today is a 720. With the help of Upsolve, I feel free again. I have the ability to build myself into something new."
I filed with Upsolve. Read my story →

Montana Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation in Montana is the process of combining several debts into one payment with the goal of lowering your monthly payments. Debt consolidation in Montana can give you peace of mind and help get you back on the right financial track. Making a single monthly payment on your debt consolidation loan keeps you financially organized and on track.

 However, here are some drawbacks of debt consolidation:

  • Consolidation can help you pay off your debt, but it will not stop you from creating more debt

  •  Some methods of debt consolidation may require good to excellent credit

↑ Back to top

Montana Debt Management Plan

Under a debt management plan in Montana, you make one payment to the credit counseling agency each month. TheMontana 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. A debt management plan is generally used to pay off unsecured debts, like credit cards, utility bills, medical bills, personal loans, and student loans.

↑ Back to top

Montana Bankruptcy

Many people in Montana are able to avoid bankruptcy if they get Montana credit counseling. However, many people are not in a position to reach their financial goals and become debt free. So, in addition to these two options, you can also file for Montana bankruptcy. By filing bankruptcy in Montana, you can get debt relief and receive a fresh start. 

↑ Back to top
About the author

The Upsolve Team
Upsolve is lucky to have an incredible team of contributing writers all over the country to help us keep our content up to date, informative, and helpful for everyone who visits upsolve.org!

It's easy to get help

Choose one of the options below to get assistance with your bankruptcy:
Page 1Created with Sketch.

Free Web App

Take our bankruptcy screener to see if you're a fit for Upsolve's free web app!

Take Screener
3722 families have filed with Upsolve! ☆
OR

Private Attorney

Get a free bankruptcy evaluation from an independent law firm.

Find Attorney
2572 people found attorneys this month

Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.