Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Montana (CCCS), an arm of RDI, requires a financial education course as part of its debt management plan (DMP). DMP is a voluntary repayment program designed to help individuals regain control of their financial situation. CCCS negotiates lower interest rates with creditors and facilitates payment of debt so that individuals can escape from debt.

Financial education is a cornerstone of the program, teaching clients to manage their money so they can pay off debt and so they will not fall back into debt.

The course used by CCCS is a handbook called Personal Financial Management, and covers in detail budget and cash flow management; credit, debt, and credit reports; and saving, investing, and retirement planning. The course includes a test for clients to take upon completing the coursework. Though they are not required to achieve a certain score, CCCS directs clients who have difficulty with the test to further educational resources. The course used by CCCS is proprietary.

Indeed, the self-study course is not the only educational support that CCCS makes available to DMP clients. They are also encouraged to take the Dollars and Sense course, a free, four-part course developed by RDI. Clients who complete all four sessions of the course have three-months of servicing fees waived. In addition to this waiver, Dollars and Sense offers another benefit. The four parts, or “modules,” of the course cover the same topics as the self-study course, in greater detail. Students may find the class more accessible: they can interact with an instructor and ask questions.

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