Pros / In addition to offering credit and debt counseling, Alliance also offers bankruptcy and foreclosures counseling.

Cons / The counseling agency's education resources are lacking. It doesn't offer blogs or eBooks.

 Verdict / Alliance Credit Counseling offers an excellent first counseling session, but it doesn't have as many educational resources as other services.

Alliance Credit Counseling is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides consumer credit counseling and debt management services. It is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it offers a variety of in-person services in that community. Credit Counseling and debt management plans are available in all 50 states.

We reviewed the initial consultation of each agency in our review and evaluated how well it provided budgeting and debt management advice. Alliance provided one of the best initial counseling sessions our reviewers received. The credit counselor we spoke to provided an in-depth budget breakdown and offered suggestions on how to cut spending and save money. Some of these suggestions were simple, such as cutting grocery expenses.

The counselor we spoke to was helpful in suggesting alternatives to debt management programs. These options included contacting credit card companies directly and requesting hardship waivers as another possible way to manage debt. If you receive the waivers, you can get lower payments or interest rates, but you're not guaranteed to be successful.

Alliance Credit Counseling offers debt management programs as one of its services. With a debt management program your unsecured debts are combined into one payment you make to the counseling agency. This service is usually able to get lowered interest rates from your creditors so you'll be able to pay down your accounts quicker.

Alliance's website offers the widest variety of budgeting and financial planning tools of any agency we reviewed. These tools include cash flow, debt ratio and mortgage refinancing calculators as well as tools for saving toward retirement.

Alliance doesn't have as many educational resources as some of the agencies we reviewed. Videos and FAQs are available, but there is no dedicated financial blog or eBooks about financial topics.

Fees for debt management plans can vary depending on the state you live in. The setup and monthly fees through Alliance are capped at $49, but waivers are available if your income is 150 percent of the poverty line. Alliance is licensed to provide counseling services and debt management plans in all 50 states. Counselors are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Alliance is accredited by the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), one of the largest credit counseling associations in the country. In order to receive this accreditation, counselors must pass a licensing exam and the agency must maintain the organization's standards.

Summary

Alliance Credit Counseling offers a thorough initial counseling session with helpful counselors providing multiple options for managing your finances. This agency is lacking some of the educational resources other credit counseling services offer.