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Published: Jan 05, 2022 6 min read

This article is part of Money's January 2022 digital cover, which features 22 ways to make 2022 the best money year of your life. Browse all 22 articles here.

If you've ever felt like debt has a chokehold on your livelihood, you’re in good company.

The average American owes more than $90,000 (including mortgage, student loan, and other types of debt), according to the credit agency Experian. And no matter how up to speed they are on every money-centric self-help book, social media page and (ahem) website there is, for many, it's hard to know how to apply all that advice to everyday life.

Luckily, when it comes to credit and debt management, there are a bunch of free resources that can put you back on the straight and narrow.

Here are some of the best-known—and best-respected—free financial counseling services out there, and what you can expect from each.

What to look for in credit counseling

You always want to be cautious when seeking out financial professionals, and credit counselors are no exception.