GreenPath Financial Wellness Review 2021

One of the biggest credit counseling agencies, GreenPath offers services including plans to handle credit card debt.
Sean PylesAug 6, 2021

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GreenPath Financial Wellness is one of the country’s largest credit counseling agencies, with branches in several states and services available nationally over the phone and online.

The agency may be a good fit if you:

  • Are looking for a debt management plan you can access online.

  • Need bankruptcy counseling; GreenPath’s prices for bankruptcy counseling are lower than average.

  • GreenPath operates in all 50 states and offers in-person help at offices in 22 states.

GreenPath’s services and fees

Like most nonprofit credit counseling agencies, GreenPath provides common services that differ in fees and availability. These services include:

General budgeting and advice: You and a counselor comb through your finances and set personalized goals in a free session that lasts around an hour.

Debt management plan: A counselor creates a plan to consolidate your consumer debts and lower the interest rate, setting up one monthly payment to erase the debt over three to five years.

Bankruptcy counseling: Two court-mandated sessions: one before you file and one before your debts are discharged. Both services are available online and over the phone.

Student loans: A counselor outlines your repayment options and may contact your issuer on your behalf for an additional fee.

Housing counseling: Support is available for a number of housing decisions, including homebuyer assistance programs, people struggling to afford their mortgage or rent and homeowners considering reverse mortgages.

Counseling services available at GreenPath:

GreenPath Service

Fee

General budgeting and advice

Free

Debt management plan

Maximum $50 startup fee; the average is $35

Monthly fee of up to $75; the average is $29

Bankruptcy counseling

Pre-filing: $50

Pre-discharge: $50

Student loans

Free for Tier 1 or $200 for Tier 2

Housing counseling

Free to $199, depending on the service

How GreenPath compares

Most credit counseling agencies offer the same general services. How they differ generally comes down to where they operate, how they’re accredited and price. Here’s how GreenPath stacks up:

Accreditation: Accredited by the Council on Accreditation and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. In accreditation, an outside body ensures standards of practice among counselors and oversight for agencies.

Online support: Counseling services and educational resources are available on GreenPath's website.

Completion rate of debt management plans: Greenpath says about 50% of DMP clients complete the program after enrolling.

Availability: Operates in all 50 states.

GreenPath’s debt management plan

A debt management plan is a debt relief option that helps people get a handle on consumer debt, primarily credit card bills. Debts are rolled into a single monthly payment with lower interest rates. Note that interest rate cuts are standardized across credit counseling agencies, based on your creditors' guidelines and your budget.

In return, you agree to a payment plan that fits your budget, usually for three to five years. You likely won’t be able to use credit cards or open new lines of credit for the duration of the DMP. There’s little room for missed payments once you’re enrolled in a plan; if you miss a payment, your creditors may drop accounts from the program, ending the lowered interest rate and leaving you to deal with debt on your own.

A debt management plan can save you time and money over paying off the debt on your own. Here’s an example based on the average GreenPath client with credit card debt:

Debt management plan

DIY debt paydown

$16,885 debt

$16,885 debt

8% interest rate

21% interest rate

$511 monthly ($482 to debt, $29 to program fee)

$511 monthly

41 months

50 months

Interest: $2,409

Fees: $1224*

Interest: $8,546

*Figured at the average monthly fee of $29. Includes startup fee of $35.

Note: In a debt management plan, individual creditors offer the same adjusted APR for all credit counseling agencies. The difference in average APR among credit counseling agencies is a reflection of their clients’ creditors and does not indicate one agency will offer lower adjusted APRs than another.”

When to consider a DMP:

  • If you're struggling to make monthly payments on your consumer debt.

  • If your consumer debt is between 15% and 50% of your annual income.

  • If you think you can pay it off within five years.

  • If you don’t qualify for a debt consolidation loan.

A DMP isn’t always the best option for debt relief.