PROS / Online seminars are available through this service to educate you about ways to save money.
CONS / American Financial Solutions has the highest setup fees on our lineup for its debt management programs.
VERDICT / American Financial Solutions offers online and in-person courses and workshops, but it doesn’t have many financial tools.
American Financial Solutions offers consumer credit counseling, debt management plans and other financial counseling. This counseling agency is based in Washington state but provides services in every state but Michigan and New Hampshire.
An important part of our evaluation process of these services is the quality of the financial calculators and other tools they provide. These are helpful and can give you a good idea of where you stand before you begin the counseling process. American Financial Solutions is lacking in this regard. It only offers a debt payoff calculator and is missing debt-to-income ratio and financial health quizzes that we consider among the most helpful tools.
Another important consideration when searching for a credit counselor is the educational resources the service offers on its website. Examples of these resources include blogs, eBooks, videos and podcasts. Of these, American Financial Solutions only offers a blog. This blog is frequently updated and covers a variety of topics, including how to improve your credit score, information about student loan counseling and success stories from people who used credit counseling to manage their debt.
As part of our review, we contacted each credit counseling agency to learn about the initial advising session. The first counselling session is always free, so there is little risk, but we want to evaluate what each consumer counseling agency offers in that first session. American Financial Solutions works through your finances with you and helps draw up a budget. The counselors we spoke to were helpful and suggested a variety of ways to budget and pay down debt.
The primary option American Financial Solutions offered was a debt management plan. Under a debt management plan, the credit counseling agency negotiates with your creditors to reduce your interest rates. You will need to close your accounts, and all your payments will be combined into one payment you make to American Financial Solutions.
Debt management plans include a setup fee and a monthly maintenance fee. These fees vary depending on the state you live in, and waivers are available if your income is around 150 percent of the poverty line. American Financial Solutions has the highest fees on our reviews, with a maximum setup fee of $75 and a maximum monthly fee of $50.
American Financial Solutions has higher fees for its debt management plans, and its educational resources and financial calculators aren't as robust as other services. It does offer an excellent initial counseling session that includes a thorough budget analysis.