Is credit card debt a source of embarrassment? If so, you’re not alone. According to one recent survey, 79 percent of respondents are more embarrassed by their credit card balance than by the products and services they’ve purchased with it. Nearly 26 percent said they spend above their means, and 31 percent would rather lose their right to vote in elections than have their credit card balance posted on social media for everyone to see.
It’s all too easy to rack up credit card debt—whether you’re spending frivolously or just trying to keep your family afloat—and U.S. consumers owe a whopping $905 billion according to one recent analysis. However, you don’t have to hide in shame if you’re among them. In fact, organizations like GreenPath Financial Wellness, a non-profit financial wellness, debt and credit counseling company—exist specifically to help consumers just like you.
A Holistic Approach to Debt Management
Established in 1961 as a financial education service for the Michigan Credit Union League, GreenPath Financial Wellness, then known as Credit Counseling Centers Inc., became a 501c3 non-profit corporation in 1967. The organization has since grown to nearly 500 employees who assist more than 200,000 consumers each year. Rebranded as GreenPath Financial Wellness in 2016, it is headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and has over 60 locations in 17 states.
“Traditionally, most of our clients have been in crisis mode when they reach out to us,” Stephanie Somerville, the organization’s manager of marketing and new product development, told RewardExpert. “They may be facing garnishment and dealing with collection calls that won’t stop. They might be worried about losing their home. Once we defuse the crisis, we take a holistic approach to help them move up a financial wellness pyramid to the eventual achievement of their dreams.”
Freedom to Live the Life You Want
Counselors at GreenPath Financial Wellness assist clients with debt counseling and management, credit report review, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and even housing services. Somerville says that while debt management accounts for much of the company’s business, housing services are becoming quite popular.
“Whether you’re buying a home for the first time, are struggling to make your mortgage payments, or it’s later in life and you’re looking for a reverse mortgage, we can counsel you through all of those stages,” she said.
She also noted that the organization’s clients range in age from recent college graduates with student loan debt to Baby Boomers deep into their retirements.
“Debt management isn’t something that a certain demographic or age group uses,” she explained. “Really, any American may need it, because the reality is that 80 percent of Americans are carrying debt. We believe that everyone deserves a chance to pursue their dreams and financial wellness gives us more freedom to live the life that we want.”
A Life-Long Journey to Financial Health
Somerville emphasized that GreenPath Financial Wellness always takes a human-centered approach when counseling and assisting clients.
“We put our client at the center of everything that we design,” she added. “We create solutions and experiences that support a life-long journey to financial wellness. Currently, we’re expanding our financial counseling, education, and debt management solutions to connect millions of Americans to the things we think will lead to financially healthy lives.”
GreenPath Financial Wellness is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and a partner of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, and is an official HUD housing counseling intermediary.
The company’s counselors do not receive a commission, and the organization has longstanding relationships with a variety of creditors, not just credit card companies. To learn more about the services available, visit www.greenpath.com.