PROS / In addition to being available on nights and weekends, InCharge also offers online credit counseling.
CONS / The educational resources are infrequently updated and don't cover a broad variety of topics.
VERDICT / InCharge Debt Solutions has better availability and financial tools than other counseling services, but it does lack extensive educational resources.
InCharge Debt Solutions is a consumer credit counseling agency based in Orlando, Florida. In addition to credit counseling, InCharge also offers housing and bankruptcy counseling. Credit counseling through InCharge is available in all 50 states, and it stands out from the other services in our review in that it offers 24 hour counseling as well as online options.
A good counseling service should offer you tools to help you evaluate your financial solutions. We recommend using these tools even before calling, if only to give yourself a baseline idea of your current financial state. InCharge has some of the best tools of the services we reviewed. The tools it offers provide helpful context to your financial situation and offer useful visualizations, including graphical breakdowns of your spending.
InCharge Debt Solutions also offers educational resources on its website. These resources can be an ongoing source of information and can serve as a supplement to the counseling you receive. InCharge offers a blog, FAQs and videos. These resources cover topics including budgeting, home buying and investing.
The initial counseling session is always free. Our reviewers evaluated InCharge's initial session to gauge the depth of its financial advice and recommendations. The counselor we spoke to worked through our income and budget but did not follow up with additional material. The only option the counselor suggested to our reviewed for handling debt was a debt management plan.
In comparison to other methods for handling debt, such as debt consolidation, a debt management plan is much less risky. Under this plan, a consumer credit counseling agency, in this case InCharge, negotiates with your creditors for a lower interest rate. You will need to close your accounts and make on monthly payment to the credit counseling agency.
Debt management plans include a few fees – one for setting up the plan and another for monthly maintenance. These fees vary by state and your income. You may be able to get them completely waived if you earn 150 percent or less of the poverty line. InCharge's setup fee is capped at $45, and the monthly fee never exceeds $25. These are the lowest fees of any credit counseling agency we reviewed.
InCharge Debt Solutions provides 24 hour phone counseling and is one of the only services offering online counseling. It has low fees for its debt management programs but doesn't have as thorough of a first counseling session as other counseling agencies.