Budget & Credit Counseling (Pre Filing)

Why Use 1 $ Wiser Consumer Education, Inc. for Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling?

The brink of bankruptcy is a lonely place to be. Rather than feeling paralyzed by guilt and despair, embrace the opportunity to get a fresh start on your financial life. Commit yourself to making positive changes to improve your financial future by taking control of your money instead of allowing your money and financial situation to control you.

1 $ Wiser's Credit Counseling (1$W) is a non-threatening interactive online program that has been carefully designed to gather all of the pertinent information about your current financial situation. You will then have an opportunity to interact with a professional counselor who will help you explore the various options available for resolving your financial situation. Because 1 $ Wiser is an education organization, our counselors will never try to enroll you in a debt management plan (DMP).

1$W is committed to providing you with the knowledge you need to objectively assess your situation and make an informed decision about how to best reach your financial goals.


Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

By lawyou must complete pre-bankruptcy budget and credit counseling within 180 days before you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As part of this counseling, a 1$W counselor will evaluate your current personal financial situation, the budget you have created, and help you develop a plan to spend less than your net income while still meeting your needs.


What Do You Need?

To begin the required pre-filing bankruptcy counseling, you will need to provide enough information to construct a monthly budget for analysis. We recommend that you gather the following information before starting the course:

  • Pencil, paper, and calculator
  • Income records, such as pay stubs, support checks, etc.
  • Details of all deductions made from gross wages, including garnishments
  • Tax payments including home and auto taxes
  • All Monthly bills, such as utilities, internet, cable, etc.
  • Support or assistance paid
  • Any insurance premiums paid
  • An estimate of home and auto repairs
  • An estimate of medical expenses
  • An estimate of educational expenses
  • An estimate of other needed purchases
  • Balance and minimum monthly payments and interest rates for all debts
  • Attorney name, address, phone number, email address, and fax if available


How much does it cost?

The cost of 1$W's pre-filing Budget and Credit Counseling is $29.99 per person if it is taken online. If the program is taken over the telephone with a live counselor, the cost is $50.00 per person.


How long will it take?

The United States Trustees and Bankruptcy Administrators require the Pre-Filing Counseling program to last an average of 60 – 90 minutes.


How does it work?

Online counseling via the Internet is ideal for individuals with internet access at home, a friend's house, or the local public library. It uses a simple text and video interface so it is accessible even to older clients. The process is as follows:

  1. Sign up for this program by registering directly on this site or through your attorney's office. Payment (or discount code) is made as part of the registration process.
  2. When you register, you will create a unique user name and password. 
  3. Log into the system using your unique user name and password to begin the course
  4. Work your way through the informational screens entering personal information and data as requested. This can be done at your own pace. It does not have to be completed in a single sitting.
  5. If you leave the program, log back in at any time and resume from where you left off.
  6. Complete the Live Counseling Request form by specifying when and how you would like the counselor to contact you.
  7. A counselor will contact you, review your budget with you, and answer any questions you may have.
  8. The counselor issues a Certificate of Completion and emails it along with a written budget analysis and counseling notes to you.
  9. You and your attorney will receive the Certificate of Completion by email.


If you prefer to complete the budget and credit counseling program over the telephone, call us at 1-800-496-2440x1 to make an appointment with one of our counselors. The appointments are scheduled when a counselor is able to spend 60 - 90 minutes on the telephone with you going through the same materials that you would cover if you went through our program online. As you answer the questions asked, the counselor will enter your information into the computer. At the conclusion of the counseling session, you will receive a personalized financial analysis in the same format as received by those taking our online program.


You need to have already registered to use this form