GreenPath Financial Wellness is one of the country’s largest credit counseling agencies, with branches in 19 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
- Want in-person access to services; GreenPath has locations in 19 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.
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:
|General budgeting and advice||
|Debt management plan:||
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||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.||About 50%|
|Availability||The 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; 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
|*Figured at the average monthly fee of $29. Includes startup fee of $35.|
|Amount of debt||$16,885||$16,885
|Monthly payment||$511 ($482 to debt, $29 to monthly program fee)||$511|
|Time to pay off||41 months||50 months
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.