Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between Financial Peace University (FPU) and financial coaching?
The difference is the level of detail. Financial coaching is the most detailed and comprehensive service we offer. Our coaches will help you develop a plan specific to your financial situation. FPU offers weekly accountability and encouragement in addition to lessons on budgeting, debt elimination, investing, insurance and giving.
- Does my coach work for Dave?
We have a small team of in-house coaches who work directly for Dave. We also have a network of coaches across the country who have been trained by our team but are independent business owners. All of our coaches will give you financial guidance based on the principles Dave teaches.
Note: Your financial coach may be an independent business owner who has promised to give you the same advice as our in-house coaches. Because they are independent, their services may vary. Your coach does not have a right to share your personal information.
- Why do you not recommend debt consolidation or bankruptcy?
Debt consolidation is dangerous because you only treat the symptom of the problem. The habits—and the debt—are still there. You just moved the debt! You will pay about the same amount, which doesn't really help you eliminate debt faster. Most people take on more debt after consolidating or end up in bankruptcy because they didn't change their behavior. Bankruptcy is one of the most life-altering, negative events one can go through. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is total bankruptcy, stays on your credit report for 10 years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is more like a payment plan, stays on your credit report for seven years. Bankruptcy, however, is for life. Loan applications and many job applications ask if you have ever filed for bankruptcy. Avoid it if at all possible.
- How do I know if I need a coach?
Financial coaching is the most hands-on service we offer. Our coaches will help you develop and implement a plan specific to your unique situation. You may be facing a crisis like bankruptcy, foreclosure or harassing creditors. Maybe you need help building wealth or starting your small business. Even if you just have some general questions about money management, financial coaching could be right for you. Our coaches are trained to handle a wide variety of situations. They will offer detailed advice and a specific plan to make your money work for you!
- How do I pay for coaching when I am broke?
Financial coaching gives you a high level of detail and individual attention. As you progress from reading one of Dave's books to Financial Peace University to financial coaching, the increasing cost reflects the increasing scope of resources devoted specifically to your situation. Although financial coaching can be expensive, it is a necessity for some. For others, however, it is a luxury. You will have to decide where to draw the line.
If coaching is a necessity, then you also have to compare it to: 1) the costs of bankruptcy, which can be $500—2,000 in legal fees alone, or 2) the cost of credit counseling, which, at $30—$50 per month for four years, would cost around $2,000. Our fees are a bargain compared to these options, plus you'll have a plan to change your financial future! Many couples also find that addressing their financial situation reduces the stress on their marriage.
- Will you set up a payment plan for my coaching fee?
We do not want to become your creditor, so we do not divide the fee into payments. As a result, we request the payment in full up front by either a debit card or bank draft. Remember, financial coaching is the most detailed service we offer, which is why it's one of the most costly. Other less-expensive options are available such as daveramsey.com, Dave's books and Financial Peace University, but coaching is focused on your unique situation.
- If my spouse will not come, can I still work with a coach?
Our policy requires both spouses to attend the coaching session. From experience, we've learned that coaching only one spouse does not work. This must be a team effort. If your spouse is not on board, sit down with them in a non-distracting environment and communicate how much you want them to participate in the finances. Do not let this be a time to nag, yell, scream, etc. Tell them that attending financial coaching, or even Financial Peace University, can be your Christmas, birthday or anniversary gift this year.