How it Works

How a Debt Management Plan Works

dmp appointment

A Debt Management Plan (DMP) through LSS Financial Counseling can lower your payments and reduce your interest rates by consolidating your debt into one monthly payment.

Our advice is tailored to fit your goals. You review the recommendations and options and decide what next steps are right for you.

There are two ways to get started:

  1. Complete a quick financial profile online, then a counselor will contact you.
    In your financial profile, you will provide information about your income, monthly expenses, the amount owed to creditors, and anything else you believe would be helpful in understanding your financial circumstances. Information submitted will only be used by an LSS certified credit counselor to review your specific financial situation and identify options that may be right for you.

  2. Start by reviewing your financial situation with a counselor by phone or in person by calling 888.577.2227.
    Schedule a phone appointment at a time convenient for you or an office appointment at one of our Minnesota or Wisconsin locations. A certified credit counselor will work with you to review your financial profile, discuss the available options and offer sound guidance. We provide suggestions on how you might develop a budget that works for you, and can help create a realistic action plan specific to your circumstances.

Please note: to limit the spread of coronavirus, we are currently offering phone appointments only. We will reintroduce in-person appointments at a later date.  

Also note: If your debt is predominately Student Loan debt, please call us at 888.577.2227 to schedule an appointment.

What to Expect after Starting a DMP

Determining Your Payments

The purpose of a Debt Management Plan is to help you get out of debt. Your financial counselor will work with you to establish a budget that includes a realistic monthly debt payment to your creditors. Your DMP payment will be based on the amount you owe and individual creditor guidelines. It is important that no further charges are made while you are on the program. You can discuss any concerns with your counselor during your sessions.

Making Payments

You can make your monthly payments by mail, electronic payment service/ACH, in-person, or online. Dropping off or overnighting a money order or cashier’s check is the method that will be processed the fastest. We encourage you to pay extra on your DMP payments when you are able, but keep in mind it’s important to build up emergency savings at the same time.


Once you’ve set up a DMP, creditors may continue to you contact you until they agree on the monthly payments, or until they’ve received up to three consecutive payments. You will continue to receive statements from each of your creditors, as well as a monthly statement from LSS. This will allow you to monitor your progress and ensure your monthly interest rates remain as your counselor described.

Your Credit Score

Credit scoring is based on several factors. Participants who consistently make their DMP payments on time and do not incur new debt while on the DMP are likely to have a higher score over time. Participating in a DMP may also improve your chances of getting credit in the future since your debts will be paid in full.

Each creditor will have their own policies on reporting DMP participation to credit bureaus. Fair Isaac Corporation, which calculates the FICO scores most lenders use, are on record that they will not deduct points from your credit score for participating in a DMP.

More Resources

To learn more about reducing your debt and Debt Management Plans:

  • Review our online resources and fact sheets.

  • Ask a certified LSS financial counselor! We are happy to answer any questions you may have, without obligation. Any information you share with an LSS financial counselor is confidential.