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GreenPath Financial Wellness: 2018 Review

April 4, 2018
Managing Money, Paying Off Debt, Personal Finance
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gp-logo-web-articlecropGreenPath Financial Wellness is one of the country’s largest credit counseling agencies, with branches in 18 states and services available nationally over the phone and online.

Its free online educational resources are competitive, while GreenPath’s monthly fees for its debt management plans are midrange and its fees for bankruptcy services are lower than average. It offers its student loan counseling at no charge to clients on a debt management plan.

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
  • Want in-person access to services; GreenPath has locations in 18 states

Clicking the button below will take you to GreenPath’s web site. Or you can call 800-550-1961.

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: A counselor walks you through two court-mandated sessions: one before you file and one before your debts are discharged.

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

Housing counseling: Help for home buyers; people struggling with mortgage or rent payments; homeowners considering a reverse mortgage.

Counseling services available at GreenPath:

GreenPath ServiceFee
General budgeting and advice
  • Free
Debt management plan:
  • Maximum $50 startup fee; the average is $33
  • Monthly fee of up to $75; the average is $29
Bankruptcy counseling:
  • Pre-filing: $25 online, $35 over the phone
  • Pre-discharge: $15 online, $25 over the phone
Student loans:
  • Free for clients in debt management plan

  • Otherwise $50 for basic or $200 for advanced
Housing counseling:
  • Free to $199, depending on the service
Clicking the button below will take you to GreenPath’s website. Or you can call 800-550-1961.


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:

FeatureDescriptionGreenPath
Accreditation An outside body ensures standards of practice among counselors and oversight for agencies.Accredited through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Online support
Counseling services and educational resources are available on GreenPath's website.
Yes
Completion rate of debt management plans
The percentage of clients who complete the program after enrolling.
53%
AvailabilityThe agency operates in all 50 states.
Yes

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.

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; a slip-up can result in termination of your 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
*Figured at the average monthly fee of $29. Includes startup fee of $33.
Amount of debt
$16,885
$16,885
Interest rate
8%21%
Monthly payment
$511 ($482 to debt, $29 to monthly program fee) $511
Time to pay off
41 months
50 months
CostInterest: $2,408
Fees: $1,135*
Interest: $8,546

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; only about 5% of GreenPath clients use one.

 

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Updated April 4, 2018.

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