Is Technology-Enhanced Credit Counseling As Effective As In-Person Delivery?
This paper compares outcomes for borrowers who received face-to-face credit counseling with similarly situated consumers who opted for counseling via the telephone or Internet. Counseling outcomes are measured using consumer credit report attributes one or more years following the original counseling. The primary analysis uses data from a sample of 26,000 consumers who received credit counseling either in-person or via the telephone during 2003. A second sample of 12,000 clients counseled in 2005 and 2006 was provided by one of the agencies to examine Internet delivery. Technology-assisted delivery was found to generate outcomes no worse - and at some margins better - than face-to-face delivery of counseling services.