The Credit Counseling Industry

There are dozens of nonprofit providers of consumer credit counseling in Wisconsin. Some are local agencies, others part of a national network. Some credit counselors work on 24 hour hotlines, others hold office counseling over regular business hours. Regardless of the format, however, financial educators need to understand the role of counselors as a complement to traditional educational programming.

There are complicated issues of negotiating with lenders, technical legal details and specialized repayment options that community-based educators rarely will be able to address. But understanding that these services are available, and how to guide consumers to appropriate resources remains an important role for trusted professionals in the community.

Issue Brief

Credit Counseling Industry (May 2009)


Facts for Consumers on Debt Management Plans

Facts for Consumers in Debt

Housing Counseling Program Description

Homeownership Preservation Foundation



Hunt, Robert M.,Whither Consumer Credit Counseling(2005). Available at SSRN

White, Michele J. “Why Don’t More Households File for Bankruptcy?” Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, 14 (1998), pp. 205-31.

Xiao , Jing Jian and Jiayun Wu Completing Debt Management Plans in Credit Counseling: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Volume 19, Issue 2 2008 available online

Elliehausen Gregory, E. Christopher Lundquist, & Michael E. Staten “The Impact Of Credit Counseling On Subsequent Borrower Behavior” The Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2007