Mission: Our "mission" at debt reduction services is to significantly improve the financial well-being of our clients, and assist them in achieving a better overall quality of life through credit counseling, debt management and credit and debt education programs.
Target demographics: individuals and families struggling with overwhelming financial burdens
Geographic areas served: Communities across the United States
Programs: For over 20 years Debt Reduction Services Inc. has dedicated a great deal of time, energy and resources within each of the communities where we have physical offices, in addition to online activities, to reach community members through financial education courses, materials, and programs.
We conduct hundreds of free courses each year within our communities on budgeting, spending, credit, debt, savings, identity theft prevention, and predatory lending practices. Most of our hosts are nonprofit human services organizations, employment retraining centers, departments of corrections and law enforcement programs, educational institutions, refugee orientation programs, women's and children's shelters, housing authorities and churches.
We also invest our time and resources in other community organizations and coalitions, through which we tirelessly promote financial literacy in populations we serve. In 2014, we were particularly in the Idaho military financial alliance, we promoted financial literacy at booths (such as a military family day at the Boise zoo) and on base for military personnel and their families. During 2014, all income received and all expenditures incurred by the organization were for the successful implementation of the following programs and services: real solutions webinars - this four-part series of one-hour online workshops, free and open to the public, offers four core financial education topics revolving around debt reduction services inc's mission: personal and household budgeting, developing effective spending habits, using credit wisely, and preventing and eliminating excessive consumer debt. In 2014, 98 separate webinars were successfully completed by individuals referred by housing authorities, property management companies, colleges and nonprofit agencies. Individual client counseling - during these one-on-one counseling sessions an individual is taught principals relating to the management of their financial lives including how to determine their net income and their expense limits, how to set up and maintain a budget, how to make necessary lifestyle changes, how their credit score affects might their life and how to manage one's credit report and score. If needed, a debt management program is created and implemented. These meetings occur either face-to- face or via teleconference. These counseling sessions were held with more than 21,023 individuals during 2014. Language-specific programs - the organization offers it financial literacy workshops, materials, and brochures in Spanish so that it may better serve the Hispanic population in its office locations.
Debt reduction services inc. has developed dozens of educational seminars, printed several educational brochures, and designed numerous worksheets and handouts in English and Spanish. All are made available to the public and clients at no cost. Our four-part series of seminars, four of our brochures and their corresponding handout and materials were translated into Spanish, in 2012 and are available at no charge to workshop participants and agency clients. In 2014, Debt Reduction Services Inc. facilitated four workshops for 167 low-income, non-English speaking recent refugees to the United States. These presentations were attended by native speakers of Swahili, Arabic, French, Spanish, Russian, Karen, and Farsi, with translators working with each language group. Financial literacy coalition - the Idaho financial literacy coalition is the state chapter of the Jumpstart Coalition for personal financial literacy, which promotes financial literacy among youth and at-risk populations. In 2014, the organization's director of education served as coalition president. Coalitions and associations - in 2014, the organization's director of education continued to serve as the public member of the council for certification with the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, a member of the awards committee for the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, served as secretary of the Canyon County panel of Idaho’s Keeping Children Safe project. Debt Reduction Services also joined the advisory board of the Center for New Directions at the College of Western Idaho in Nampa, Idaho.
Whenever possible, the organization makes presentations at conferences and seminars wherein they are able to offer financial education to individuals of all ages and walks of life. In 2014, our educators facilitated presentations at faith-based programs, housing authorities, business employee education programs, refugee programs, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, work training programs for at-risk youths and young adults, colleges, foster youth support agencies, head start parent programs, Idaho’s state treasurer's smart women smart money annual conferences, businesses, the annual conference of the council for economic education, and state correctional facilities. In 2014, the organization facilitated over 175 of these presentations to 4,314 individuals, a 12% increase over the previous year. The organization has been approved by the Office of The United States Trustees to provide both the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling briefing and post-bankruptcy personal management courses, as required by the "bankruptcy abuse prevention and consumer protection act of 2005". The organization provides the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling and the post-bankruptcy debtor education course via the internet.