Credit Counseling


Credit counseling educates consumers about how to repay their debts and better manage their personal finances. This one-on-one counseling is customized to the client’s unique situation. An NFCC-certified consumer credit counselor can help consumers by crafting a new budget and debt repayment plan, all of which is informed by the client’s own financial information. Some clients need the additional help of a formal Debt Management Plan, though the majority benefit from credit counseling alone.

What happens in credit counseling?

Gathering Your Information

Begin Credit Counseling

Create a Plan

What does a credit counselor do?

A counselor will work with you to provide the best possible options based on your individual financial situation. They can provide assistance with all your financial obligations, not just the relationship you have with us here at Bank of America. One of these options may be a Debt Management Plan (DMP). A DMP is designed to work with all your creditors providing a multitude of benefits such as reduced payments and interest rates and the elimination of late fees (if applicable). As part of the DMP, you will then pay one monthly payment to your counseling agency who, in turn, will disburse your payment among your creditors.

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How do I know if I need credit counseling?

Credit counseling is not for everyone. It primarily benefits people who (1) can’t afford to make more than minimum payments each month, (2) are near or over their credit limit or (3) constantly receiving collection calls. The bottom line—if your debts just don’t seem to be decreasing on a month to month basis, you may want to call a counseling agency.

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How do I choose a credit counseling agency?

Be careful when choosing a credit counseling agency. There are a lot of agencies that may be more interested in selling you their services, rather than helping you trim down your debt. Consider the following tips:

What can I expect from a credit counseling agency?

Be prepared to answer some very tough and personal financial questions. You will need to discuss your monthly income and expenses, so it would be helpful to have any statements and bills available. You should also be prepared to estimate your discretionary spending throughout the year—like for meals, clothing, donations, gifts, etc.—as these will need to be considered in your budgeting efforts.

Be open and honest about your financial situation. Remember, your counselor will require a complete understanding of your finances to help you establish an effective budget.

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