Frequently
Asked Questions

Are you considering bankruptcy? Outlined below are some general questions and answers that may help you to better understand how the bankruptcy process works and if it’s the right solution for you.

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  • What is Take Charge America?

    Take Charge America is a non-profit organization that helps individuals achieve financial freedom through education, customized credit counseling and debt management services. The agency’s mission is to educate clients and the general public on financial issues to help them achieve self-reliance, financial stability and financial independence.

  • What services does Take Charge America offer?

    Take Charge America offers free financial education and tools to consumers interested in improving their financial future. Take Charge America assists clients with a variety of issues, including: developing effective financial management skills; budgeting to meet living expenses; managing credit cards and other unsecured debts; and balancing checking accounts.

  • How do consumers begin working with Take Charge America?

    Consumers struggling with debt or financial management are encouraged to call a certified Take Charge America counselor at 1-866-528-0588 or complete an online application. Counselors offer a free debt review and advise consumers on their financial options, which may include a debt management plan. If a financial management plan is agreed upon, counselors continue to work with clients  one-on-one to help them become debt-free.

  • What is the average length of time it takes for consumers to pay off their debt?

    Each Take Charge America client works with a counselor to determine a financial plan that best suits his or her individual needs. The time it takes to pay off debts varies. Often, debts are paid in half the time using Take Charge America, after which, the consumer is armed with the financial knowledge and tools to best manage their finances in the future and avoid incurring additional debt. The average client is on a debt management plan for 33 months, with the maximum time being 60 months.

  • Is Take Charge America held to any industry standards to ensure best practices and safety of consumers?

    At Take Charge America, customers always hold the first level of priority, keeping them satisfied and well-informed is the primary focus of all Take Charge America staff. Take Charge America requires all staff, from entry-level employees to executive managers, to train in personal finance, credit counseling and consumer debt management, accredited by Rio Salado College in Phoenix. Furthermore, each Take Charge America credit counselor must complete a rigorous training program  to become a nationally certified credit counselor. Certification is provided by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE). This ensures that clients receive accurate information from the most skilled professionals. Take Charge America is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA), a national membership organization established to promote quality and consistent delivery of credit counseling services.

  • How does Take Charge America manage its relationships with clients?

    After the initial consultation, to determine the best financial management solution, each client is assigned a dedicated financial counselor. This counselor maintains a one-on-one relationship which includes regular contact to best meet individual needs. Clients frequently provide valuable feedback to the organization, and by using this information, Take Charge America continues to develop and refine services. Take Charge America receives a tremendous number of testimonials from its many satisfied clients, and many of the organization’s new customers come from client referrals

  • Is there a fee to call Take Charge America?

    There is no fee for the initial consultation with Take Charge America. After reviewing a customer’s debt and financial situation, certified counselors advise clients of any fees to enroll in a debt management plan. Fees typically include a one-time set-up charge and a modest monthly fee, determined by state of residency, which is included in the client’s monthly debt management payment plan.

  • How is Take Charge America involved with creditors?

    Take Charge America teams with major creditors around the nation to help consumers who are experiencing financial hardship. When a creditor identifies a client with a multi-faceted problem that will not be solved through an internal repayment program, they refer consumers to Take Charge America for a comprehensive assessment and solution that fits the consumer’s personal circumstances. Through their work with Take Charge America, the creditors become a resource and part of the overall solution for the consumer.

  • Who does Take Charge America typically serve?

    Take Charge America consults with all individuals in need of financial assistance, from those facing sizable debt to those who just need help creating and maintaining a livable budget. The company offers Take Charge America budgeting software along with personalized services and tools to help consumers meet their individual needs. In addition, Take Charge America actively engages in partnerships with a variety of businesses and organizations to enhance the financial situations of members of such groups. The organization regularly teams with creditors, credit unions, employers, military and government groups and colleges and universities.

  • What makes Take Charge America unique in their industry?

    Take Charge America is one of the nation’s largest and most respected financial education, credit counseling and debt management organizations. Each member of the Take Charge America team prides themselves on delivering exemplary standards of customer satisfaction. Not only are employees nationally certified credit counselors and fully trained in financial counseling, Take Charge America is the only organization of its kind to receive a Better Business Bureau Ethics Award in recognition of its business ethics and integrity in the marketplace. The company continues to earn recognition by several other distinguished organizations for its excellence in the industry, setting it apart from the competition.

  • Where is Take Charge America headquartered?

    Take Charge America is headquartered in Phoenix, and serves clients across the nation.

  • Does Take Charge America have any charitable affiliations?

    Take Charge America is a nonprofit organization. Additionally, the organization supports the University of Arizona’s Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences through the Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research (TCAI), created to improve consumer financial well-being through research and outreach programs. Also located within TCAI is the Take Charge Today program, solely sponsored by Take Charge America. The program was developed to provide financial education for high school students and offers no-cost curriculum materials to educators across the nation, along with skills to effectively teach family economics and finance.

  • What is credit counseling?

    Credit counseling is a free service that helps people find solutions to their financial challenges. The process can be completed with a certified credit counselor over the phone or online.

    At Take Charge America, we conduct a confidential, personal financial assessment in order to learn about your current financial situation and determine the best course of action. We will help you get your budget back on track, recommend solutions to improve your financial situation and offer educational resources to help you develop effective spending habits, budget to meet living expenses and manage personal debts.

  • How do I know if I need credit counseling?

    If you feel overwhelmed with your finances, are struggling to pay your bills, have missed due dates with your creditors, or are anticipating a hardship in the near future, you may benefit from credit counseling. We can review your personal situation and determine the appropriate solution to help you reach your goals.

  • Is there a fee for credit counseling?

    No, there is no fee for credit counseling. Clients who choose to use a debt management plan may be charged a one-time set up fee and a modest monthly fee, if applicable. We will provide you with all possible debt solutions and notify you of potential fees during the initial consultation.

  • Do I need to be behind on payments to get help?

    No, any consumer can benefit from credit counseling. Following a confidential financial assessment that’s conducted online or over the phone, we can develop a plan of action and offer educational resources to help you manage your debts and save for the future. All plans are customized for the unique needs of each customer.

  • How long does the credit counseling process take?

    The length of the credit counseling process is determined by individual circumstances and the depth of counseling required. On average, the phone consultation and financial assessment takes 45 to 60 minutes. The online process can take 20 minutes or less if you have easy access to your debt, income, assets and expenses. With the online credit counseling session, you can save your progress and return at a later time.

  • How do I get started?

    Call 1-866-528-0588 to speak with a certified credit counselor, or get started with online credit counseling. We look forward to helping you.

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