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We believe people can conquer their debt, gain control of their finances, and achieve financial wellness.
LSS Financial Counseling is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency. We equip and enable people in our communities around the United States with quality guidance, knowledge, and tools so they can skillfully achieve freedom from debt and worry about their finances.
Our offices are located in Minnesota and Wisconsin, with services offered locally and nationally over the phone and online.
Trusted. Local. Nonprofit.
LSS Financial Counseling Service is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, and is one of the most trusted credit counseling organizations in the U.S.
LSS Financial Counseling is a program of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. The agency began offering budget and debt counseling and debt management plans in 1987.
In the 1990’s, LSS Financial Counseling Service began offering HUD-approved foreclosure prevention and housing counseling services.
In the past ten years, we have added reverse mortgage counseling for seniors, student loan counseling and education, and an array of financial education and financial opportunity center programs.
LSS Financial Counseling Service takes your privacy seriously. As a leading non-profit organization in Minnesota, we respect your confidentiality and assure you that all information you share with us will be managed both legally and ethically. Once you choose to provide us with personal information, you can be assured that it will only be used to support your relationship with LSS Financial Counseling Service. LSS does not sell, exchange or release your personal information to outside parties without your consent.
What information we collect and how we use that information:
Certain forms on our website require visitors to give us contact information that may include your name, email address, or other personal information. All information you provide us is confidential, and will be used for internal purposes only or to respond to your requests for information.
Internet Protocol Address:
We collect an IP address from all visitors to our website. An IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer when you use the Internet. We use IP addresses to help us diagnose problems with our server, administer our website, analyze trends, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use to improve our site, and deliver customized, personalized content. IP addresses are not linked to personally-identifiable information.
Use of "Cookies":
Other Web Sites:
Our website contains links to other websites. Please note that when you click on one of these links, you are entering another website for which Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota has no responsibility. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on all such sites as their policies may be different than ours.
LSS Financial Counseling is an accredited and licensed credit counseling and debt management service provider.
We respect your privacy and confidentiality. To learn what information is collected and how it is protected, please review our
The following information, policies and legal disclosures are outlined below:
Statement of Counseling Services
Client Bill of Rights
Complaint Resolution Policy
Schedule of Fees
Statement of Counseling Services
Since 1987, LSS Financial Counseling has helped people achieve financial peace of mind through full service, thoughtful, and trustworthy counseling. To ensure that you have the information you need to make an informed choice about your options, this Statement of Counseling Services outlines important information you need to know about our organization and services.
I understand the agency will provide a confidential comprehensive personal money management interview at no charge and that the interview may be monitored by a supervisor for quality assurance purposes only.
I understand that the interview will be conducted by a certified consumer credit counselor or qualified professional counselor. All action plans not prepared by a certified counselor will be reviewed by a certified consumer credit counselor.
I understand that in the event that I am dissatisfied, I can utilize the Complaint Resolution Process.
I understand that the agency does not guarantee results.
I understand that most of the agency funding comes from voluntary contributions from creditors who participate in the DMP. Since creditors have a financial interest in getting paid, most are willing to make a contribution to help fund our agency. These contributions are usually calculated as a percentage of payments I make through my DMP-up to fifteen percent (15%) of each payment received. However, my accounts with my creditors will always be credited one hundred percent (100%) of the amount I pay through LSS and LSS will work with my creditors regardless of whether they contribute to the agency;
I will be given a written assessment outlining a suggested client action plan which will be based on the following options:
I will handle any financial concerns on my own;
I will be referred to other services of the organization or another agency or agencies as appropriate that may be able to assist with particular problems that have been identified. My counselor may provide a list of referrals for community resources, affordable housing, consumer legal advice, attorney assisted options, bankruptcy legal counsel, lending, and other financial institutions. I am under no obligation to use these referrals and I am always free to choose my own providers and services;
A counselor may answer questions about bankruptcy, but not give legal advice. If I want legal advice, I will be referred for appropriate assistance. While an attorney can make a recommendation to file bankruptcy, it is a personal choice based on individual circumstances;
I may choose to enroll in the agency’s Debt Management Plan (DMP). DMP’s serve the dual role of helping me repay my debts and helping the creditors to receive the money owed to them;
If I choose by verbal acknowledgement to allow LSS to pull my credit report, an inquiry by the agency may be listed on my report.
While LSS may obtain a credit report and/or inform any credit reporting agency of my participation in a DMP, the agency has no responsibility or obligation for any past, present, or future credit rating I receive. In certain circumstances, a DMP may affect my credit rating negatively. In the event that the counselor suggests a DMP, I will receive details of the operations, requirements and responsibilities.
If I choose to enroll in a DMP, I may cancel the program at any time without penalty;
Per state law, if a DMP creditor forgives part of the balance I owe them, the amount forgiven may be taxable income to me.
At some time in the future, my information may be used for confidential research and/or a neutral third party may contact me to request an evaluation of the agency’s services. All confidential information is stored in a secure data base or locked files.
Client Bill of Rights
We pledge that our clients have the right:
To prompt counseling services for managing money based on their financial situation;
To treatment with dignity and respect;
To be actively involved in a comprehensive assessment of their financial situation including an appropriate action plan;
To access our service Monday through Friday during regular business hours;
To express dissatisfaction through a Complaint Resolution Process;
To discontinue their relationship with our agency at any time;
To ask questions and to have their concerns be addressed.
Complaint Resolution Policy
We are committed to providing you with high quality professional services. However, if you are not satisfied with the services provided or if you want to make a complaint, we ask that you follow these guidelines:
Try to resolve the issue with the staff member involved by giving him or her specific information about your complaint.
If Step One is not possible or the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, contact the LSS Financial Counseling Service Manager at the address or phone number listed below.
The Agency may request a meeting with you (phone or face-to-face) or seek more information from a staff person. The agency will respond within 5 business days.
If your issue is still unresolved, you may appeal in writing directly to the Financial Services Director, LSS Financial Counseling Service, 424 W. Superior Street, Suite 600, Duluth, MN 55802. After additional fact finding, this individual will provide a concluding decision to you within 15 business days.
LSS Financial Counseling collects fees for some services.
Note: While these fees will apply in most circumstances, no one will be denied services for inability to pay. For all other services, if a client is unable to pay, counseling and administration staff should consult a manager for clarification.
Type of Service
Budget Counseling Appointments
It is the policy of LSS Financial Counseling Service to provide budget counseling appointments free of charge regardless of whether the client enters into an agreement.
Credit Report Review
Foreclosure Prevention Counseling
LSS Financial Counseling Service provides HUD-Certified Counseling.
Debt Management Program (DMP)
Unless limited by state law:
Fees for Debt Management Plans are based on where a person lives. For specific fees in your state, please call 1.888.577.2227 FREE.
DMP Set-up Fee
DMP Credit Report Review
DMP Monthly Service Fee
Reverse Mortgage Counseling
For specific fees related to Reverse Mortgage Counseling, please call 1.888.577.2227 FREE.
Residents of California
Complaints related with LSS Financial Counseling may be directed to the California Department of Corporations. This nonprofit community service organization has adopted best practices for debt management plans and debt settlement plans and a copy will be provided upon request.
Residents of Illinois
LSS Financial Counseling does not lend money. Except in the case of violations of Illinois law, willful misconduct or grow negligence by LSS Financial Counseling, I shall hold LSS harmless from any claim, suite, action or demand by any creditor or person arising out of, or connected with, its advice or counseling, or the establishing of the DMP.
Residents of Maryland
The Commissioner of Financial Regulation for the State of Maryland will accept any questions and complaints from Maryland residents regarding Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota d/b/a LSS Financial Counseling, License Number 14-69, at 500 N. Calvert St., Room 402, Baltimore, MD 21202. Phone: 1-888-784-0136 FREE.
Residents of Michigan
DMPs established for residents of Michigan are subject to an initial fee of $25.00. If 51% or more of your creditors do not accept the plan within 45 days, your initial set-up fee will be returned and your DMP will be closed. Creditors may accept the proposed plan by returning our proposal letters. According to Michigan state law, it is also presumed that a creditor has accepted the plan if there is no response within 14 days of sending a proposal or within 7 days of sending the creditor your first payment through the DMP. Michigan state law forbids fees or charges in excess of 15% of the amount of debt to be liquidated during the express term of this contract. Your DMP agreement with LSS Financial Counseling goes into effect when it has been signed by you and by a representative of LSS Financial Counseling and you have made a payment to LSS Financial Counseling Service. Michigan state law provides that you have the right to cancel this contract until 12 midnight of the third business day after the first day of the contract is in effect. Should you not make a payment during the first 60 days of your DMP, your DMP may be discontinued. Should you wish to reestablish your DMP, you may submit a letter of continuation. The letter of continuation must detail the reason(s) for the missed payments. You may file only one letter of continuation and it cannot be filed at the beginning of a contract.