Ask The Experts: Non Profit vs. For Profit

You guys always say that you should only get help from a 'non-profit' credit counselor. But they still charge you. Whats the difference between a for-profit and non profit counselor? -Valerie

Non profit does not mean "free", Valerie. These companies have employees and a "cost" of doing business just like any other company.

The fee they charge is very reasonable, $30-$50 per month. It leaves you debt free and your credit in tact. The fee doesn't even come close to cover their costs. Much of their operations are funded by donations and grants. These folks at the NFCC, which is Consumer Credit Counseling Service's trade organization, are very good at what they do and have chosen to operate in the non-profit world because they like helping people.

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John Ulzheimer is a nationally recognized credit expert, president of Consumer Education for and contributor to On The Money. Learn more about him at