GreenPath Frequently Asked Questions Graphic

 

  1. General / Credit Counseling
  2. Debt Management
  3. Housing Services
  4. Student Services
  5. Credit Reports
  6. Reverse Mortgage
  7. Bankruptcy

1 . General / Credit Counseling

How much does a credit counseling session cost?
There is no cost, it’s free.

How long does a credit counseling session take?
The initial session usually takes about an hour, maybe up to 90 minutes depending on your situation.

Do I need to make an appointment?
No, an appointment is not necessary.  GreenPath professionals are standing by to serve you by phone.  However, appointments are required for in-person services and reverse mortgage counseling.

What if I don’t have time to conduct a counseling session now?
No problem.  We can schedule an appointment for a more convenient time.

What will I need for my initial session?
Please have copies of recent bill statements handy.  We’ll also need to know how much money you and your spouse / financial partner bring home each month.

Will you keep my information confidential?
Yes, absolutely.  We do not report to the credit bureaus.  And we will not share your information with anyone without your permission.  If you begin a debt management program, we will propose payment arrangements to your creditors.


2. Debt Management

Which creditors do you work with?
All of the major credit card companies offer concessions through GreenPath on a case-by-case basis.  We work with most creditors throughout the U.S., including banks, credit unions, retailers, medical providers, auto finance and collection agencies.

How much does it cost for a debt management program?
Fees are nominal and vary based on your state of residence and debt amount.  GreenPath charges a one-time set up fee that ranges from $0 to $50.  We also charge a monthly fee that ranges from $10 to $50.  In 2012, our average monthly fee was about $36.  This is minimal considering the amount our clients typically save in late fees, over limit fees and interest charges.

Can I still use my credit cards on a debt management program?
Credit cards on the program must be closed.  However, creditors will usually allow you to continue using one card for emergencies and travel.

Does GreenPath work for the banks?
Absolutely not.  GreenPath is a neutral third-party that works in your best interest.  Many creditors support our work because they believe it results in positive, long-term outcomes for them and their customers.

Will a debt management program hurt my credit score?
The debt management program itself is not reported to credit bureaus and does not factor into credit scores.  Your score may initially dip when lines of credit are closed.  However, many people on a debt management program see their scores increase over time as they make on-time payments each month.

How long will it take to pay off my debt?
Debt management program length varies based on your unique situation, but unsecured debts are usually paid off in three to five years.

Do I have to sign a contract if I begin a debt management program?
You sign an agreement that specifies the program details and gives us permission to pay bills on your behalf.  However, the agreement is not a binding contract and you can stop the program at any time.

Can I contact someone at GreenPath if I have questions or concerns about my debt management program?
Yes, absolutely.  We periodically reach out to see how you’re doing.  But you may contact your personal counselor or customer service representative at any time for any reason.


3. Housing Services

How much does it cost to work with a GreenPath housing advisor?
There is no cost, it’s free.

Can GreenPath help me refinance or modify my mortgage?
We can contact your servicer, but we can’t guarantee specific outcomes.  Your outcome will depend on what your servicer is willing to offer and/or your eligibility for state and federal programs.


4. Student Services

How much does it cost for student loan counseling?
There is no cost, it’s free.

Can GreenPath lower my student loan payments?
We will work with you and your servicer, but we can’t guarantee specific outcomes.  Your outcome will depend on what your servicer is willing to offer and/or your eligibility for student loan repayment programs.

Can you help high school students and their parents make decisions about paying for college?
Yes.  We can explain the various types of lenders and loans, as well as the repayment options for each.  We can help them understand how much the monthly payment will be, when payments will begin and how to budget accordingly.

Can you lower the interest rates on my student loans?
Unfortunately, no we can’t.  But we hope that pilot debt management programs will convince servicers to consider offering concessions on student loans.


5. Credit Reports

How much does it cost for a credit report review?
There is no charge, it’s free.

Will GreenPath provide me with a copy of my credit report?
You can obtain your own report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com free of charge, although there is a fee for the credit score.  Or GreenPath can provide you with an educational credit report with score for about $15.

Can GreenPath repair my credit?
No legitimate company will provide credit repair.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns consumers of any company that charges money for credit repair and/or says it will remove late payments, bankruptcies or similar information from a credit report.

How do lenders use credit scores?
Credit scores help lenders assess your likelihood to repay debt responsibly based on your past credit history and current credit status.

How are credit scores determined?
There are several different types of credit scores.  Each score is determined using a unique formula.  Most use some variation of on-time payment history, percentage of credit line used, debt balances, age and type of accounts, number of recent credit inquiries and amount of available credit.


6. Reverse Mortgage

How much does it cost for reverse mortgage counseling?
The fee varies.  GreenPath usually offers the counseling free of charge.  However, if housing counseling grant funds are unavailable, the fee may be $99 to $125.  Lenders are not permitted to pay the fee for applicants.  However, if you take out a reverse mortgage loan, the fee can be reimbursed at the closing.

Does GreenPath make reverse mortgage loans?
No, GreenPath is not a lender and is not involved in the lending transaction.  We are an impartial educational resource to help seniors and their family members make an informed decision.

Does GreenPath receive support from reverse mortgage lenders?
No, non-profit housing counseling agencies are not permitted to receive money or direct referrals from reverse mortgage lenders.


7. Bankruptcy

How much does it cost for bankruptcy counseling and education?
The services may be free or cost up to $50 depending on your financial situation and service method.

How much time does it take for bankruptcy counseling and education?
Plan on about one hour for bankruptcy counseling.  Debtors must spend two hours on the bankruptcy education course, as mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Does GreenPath have attorneys on staff to help me file for bankruptcy?
No.

Will GreenPath tell me if I should file for bankruptcy?
No, we are not attorneys and are not permitted to give legal advice.  We are an impartial educational resource to help you make an informed decision.

How long will it take for me to receive my bankruptcy counseling certificate?
You will receive your certificate electronically within minutes of completing your session.

Amanda, Account Maintenance ManagerMeet Amanda, GreenPath's account maintenance manager.  She leads the centralized team working with clients to ensure that their debt management plans run smoothly.  Amanda has worked for GreenPath since 2006, when she was hired in the first contact center.  She's passionate about providing customized solutions for each client.  "I love that GreenPath personalizes programs for our clients.  They're not just an ID number.  Each is an individual with their own unique goals and needs."