How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Utah

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In a Nutshell

If getting out of debt is your number one priority, then finding reputable credit counseling in Utah is your first step. Follow these five steps to get more information about credit counseling.

Written by Attorney Karra Kingston.  
Updated December 4, 2019


If you are struggling to pay your credit card and live in Utah, then there are several Utah credit counseling agencies that can help you.

Credit counseling services provide different resources for individuals and families to manage their debt. A Utah credit counseling session can be provided for free or little cost. A credit counseling agency can provide the following services: debt management plans, mortgage counseling, bankruptcy information, student loan management and medical debt reduction. 

A credit counselor will meet with you either in person, over the phone or online. Depending on your situation the certified credit counselor will go over tools to help you manage your debt which can last anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. Together, both you and your counselor will take a deep look into your financial situation, by analyzing your income, expenses, assets, and debts. Your credit counselor will also review your consumer credit report to get a full picture of your financial situation. You and your counselor will then create a budgeting plan, or they will recommend some other solutions for you. The counselor may recommend that you sign up for a debt management plan (a DMP), try debt consolidation or suggest that bankruptcy may be the right option for you. 

You may be asking yourself whether credit counseling in Utah is right for you? 

  • Are you are struggling to pay your expenses each month?

  • Are you not able to meet your monthly minimum payments?

  • Are you losing sleep over your debt?

  • Do you think that educating yourself on your finances may be beneficial?

If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then participating in a Utah credit counseling session may be a great way to educate yourself about the different financial solutions you have to help you bounce back from debt. Even if you are not behind on your bills you may still benefit from taking a Utah credit counseling session to help better manage your finances.

Choosing the right credit counseling agency is the most important step in becoming financially independent. Take a little time to do some research. There are so many companies out there that offer debt relief services. With that being said, there are also numerous scams out there as well. Don’t fall for companies that try to charge high fees or talk you into a debt settlement program. Educate yourself about the differences between debt settlement and credit counseling in Utah. Utah credit counselors work with you to come up with a plan to manage your debt and money while, a debt settlement company, works with your creditors to arrange settlements of a person’s debts for a fee. Debt settlement usually does not end up working out for most people. The best thing you can do to not fall for a scam is use an  accredited credit counseling agency, that way your chances of finding a knowledgeable Utah credit counselor is good. 

How to Get Free Credit Counseling in Utah

If getting out of debt is your number one priority, then finding reputable credit counseling in Utah is your first step. Follow these five steps to get more information about credit counseling.


Find Utah Nonprofit Credit Counseling Agencies

You should hire a non-profit credit counseling agency to help you. Nonprofit credit counseling organizations offer free services for people who are in search of debt relief. There is no shortage of organizations that you can use to help you get out of debt. You can do a simple online search and you will find numerous companies who will provide services to you. Be careful of companies that offer debt relief services for high prices. There are many scams out there so it is essential that you choose a reputable Utah credit counselor. Doing some research to investigate any red flags will help you tremendously. The initial counseling session should always be free. If any credit counseling company is charging you for your initial session or educational materials don’t even give them a second thought, go somewhere else. Make sure that the credit counseling company you choose is accredited by the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling). They require credit counseling agencies undergo strict certification standards. Further, the Federal Trade Commission provides a list of preliminary questions you should ask the Utah credit counselor before signing up. The division of consumer protection in Utah keeps track of any complaints against credit counseling agencies. They require that credit counseling organizations in Utah be registered under the Uniform Debt-Management Services Act. 

Information to Research Before Talking to a Utah Credit Counseling Agency

Check the  National Foundation for Credit Counseling to find an accredited credit counseling agency. Write down a list of agencies before choosing a Utah credit counselor that you want to work with. If you are unsure whether the company you may go with is reputable, you can check with your state's attorney general’s office to find out whether consumers have filed any complaints about a credit counseling organization you’re considering. The Better Business Bureau (BBB)  is a great place to find out if your potential Utah credit counseling agency is known for its customer care. Look through each credit counseling agency’s website to see the language they use to advertise. If any company promises unrealistic solutions such as wiping your debt away in a short time by paying a small fee, run the other way and don’t look back! 

Questions to Ask the Utah Credit Counselor Before Signing Up

Making a list of questions for your credit Utah credit counselor is a great way to better prepare. Remember you are hiring this person to help you so, make sure you ask the right questions, so you feel comfortable. This will also save a lot of trouble for you in case they end up not being reputable. Always ask what fees you will have to pay for their services. Keep in mind that initial sessions are always free. Make sure to ask what the best way to prepare for your counseling session is and where you can find a list of documents you will need. Inquire whether your Utah credit counselor will talk to you on the phone, online, or in-person. Some questions you should ask are:

  • How much will this cost?

  • How is the amount of my payment determined?

  • How often can I get a status update?

  • What will happen if the counselor’s recommendation is more than I can afford?

  • How are your services funded?

  • How long have you been doing this?

  • What qualifications do you have?

  • Are you accredited? If so, by whom?

  • How long does the process take?

  • Where are you located? 

  • What times are available to have my counseling session?

  • How will you help me?

What to Expect During Credit Counseling

Utah credit counselors will do an in-depth review of your financial situation and come up with a plan to get you out of debt. Depending on your specific situation your credit counselor may recommend a debt management plan, budget plan, or bankruptcy. The credit counseling session is a one-on-one session with your credit counselor. They will work with you to determine the root of your financial hardships and give you suggestions on how to fix it. Your initial credit counseling session usually lasts one hour. They may require you to spend more time with them if they feel it is necessary. Your Utah credit counselor will educate you and try to give you ways to fix your financial woes. Make sure to be open and honest with them otherwise, you are only going to hurt yourself.

What Happens After Credit Counseling in Utah

There are many different options for you to reach your financial goals. Your Utah credit counselor will tell you what they believe will work best for you to become debt free. Below are some of the most common solutions that a credit counseling agency may recommend. 

Utah Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation gives you the chance to make one lower monthly payment on all of your debt. If you decide to do debt consolidation, then your high-interest debts will be rolled into a single payment and you benefit from having your interest rates lowered to a single lower rate. Debt consolidation can ease your monthly payments as long as your money management is good enough to make all payments on time.

Utah Debt Management Plan

Working with your credit counseling agency to get out of debt can also be advantageous. A debt management plan in Utah is for people who have a lot of credit card debt and can’t meet their minimum monthly payments. In a debt management plan, the credit counseling agency and you create a payment plan that allows you to make one monthly payment to the credit counseling agency. They then pay your creditors each month, often at a lower interest rate than that offered by credit card companies until your debt is paid off. The Utah credit counseling agency works with you and your creditors to come up with a feasible plan. Note, that if your financial circumstances change, such as a job loss or loss of income and you can’t continue with payments, your debt management plan can fail. 

Utah Bankruptcy

Filing a Utah bankruptcy can get rid of your debt altogether. By filing bankruptcy in Utah, your debt can be wiped out and you can put your sleepless nights behind you! Bankruptcy wipes out your debt so that you can start over fresh without having creditors harassing you. If you’re worried that you can’t afford to pay a lawyer to help you file bankruptcy, see if you’re a fit for Upsolve, or check out some of the legal aid organizations in your area. 



Written By:

Attorney Karra Kingston

LinkedIn

Ms. Kingston began her career as a bankruptcy attorney. She has appeared in front of many federal court judges and has helped numerous debtors obtain a fresh start. Ms. Kingston understands the complex federal rules for discharging debt. While working as a bankruptcy attorney, Ms... read more about Attorney Karra Kingston

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