About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is OnTrack WNC?

OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling is a private non-profit, community-supported, United Way agency.  Since 1975 we have fulfilled our mission by helping people manage their money and credit better through education programs, individual counseling appointments, and debt management programs.   We are a member of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (NFCC), accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and a HUD-approved counseling agency.

What services are provided by OnTrack WNC?

Whether you need help getting out of debt, creating a budget, preparing to purchase a home, or planning for retirement, we have a service that will provide financial clarity for your situation.  

Our Education Classes cover a wide range of financial topics in a comfortable, friendly, group environment.  

Education Classes

During a Financial Counseling Session you’ll meet with one of our certified financial counselors for an in-depth evaluation of your financial situation.   You will leave our office with an Action Plan to help you successfully address your financial needs and goals.

Financial Counseling

How do I make an appointment?

Call our office at 255-5166 (Asheville) or 1-800-737-5485 to schedule an in-person or telephone appointment with one of our certified financial counselors or to sign up for an education class. Appointments are available in our Asheville office on weekdays, evenings, and Saturdays and at satellite offices throughout western NC. Please note our service area is Western North Carolina. You can also click here to submit a form for online counseling.

Click here to view our education class schedule.

How is OnTrack WNC funded?

OnTrack WNC is funded by local United Ways, foundations, government and HUD grants, and contributions from creditors, clients, and area businesses.

Click here to view our full list of funding sources.

How can OnTrack WNC help me pay my bills?

Come and sit one-on-one with a certified financial counselor for professional, confidential advice.   Together you’ll review your income, spending habits, expenses, debts, and assets to help you create a plan to pay your bills. Once you create your plan, your counselor can offer practical tips and resources to help you track your budget to keep your money life organized and focused on your goals.   For some clients, OnTrack WNC’s Debt Management Program can help clients get back on track with unsecured debt.

Let us help you on your financial path, call our office at 255-5166 or 1-800-737-5485 to schedule an in-person appointment with one of our certified financial counselors.   You can also click here to submit a form for online counseling.

What is the Debt Management Program (DMP)?

Our Debt Management Program helps clients get back on track with unsecured debt payments, such as credit cards, unsecured lines of credit, and personal loans.   Through the Debt Management Program, many creditors offer a lower interest rate, payment reductions, and waived/reduced late fees.  

The program is ideal for individuals who have been late on their payments, but with a change in income and with careful budgeting of expenses will be able to manage the DMP payment. Many clients appreciate having to make just one monthly payment for their unsecured debts and find it is easier to incorporate this predicable payment into their budget. After several months of your regular, on-time DMP payments, many creditors offer concessions such as discontinuing late fees and reducing the interest rate. Also timely, consistent payments through the DMP can help you begin to rebuild your credit.

For a full explanation of our Debt Management Program, click here.

How does the DMP work?

First, we’ll start with a free assessment to make sure that a Debt Management Plan (DMP) is a realistic solution to your financial problems. Once you and your certified counselor review your income, living expenses, and debts, you’ll have a good idea if the DMP will work for you.

After you and your counselor determine that the DMP is the right solution for you, the DMP process continues as follows:

  • You sign the Debt Management Agreement which authorizes us to send payment proposals to your creditors;
  • Your counselor will give you a checklist of information needed to get your DMP set-up;
  • You gather the information and schedule a follow-up appointment to complete the sign up.
  • CCCS of Greater Denver manages the ongoing administration of OnTrack WNC’s DMP accounts. As your DMP is getting set up with creditor you may get calls or letters from CCCS of Greater Denver requesting additional information or to inform you about creditor decisions on your DMP payment;
  • Each month you will send your monthly payment to CCCS of Greater Denver;
  • Each month CCCS of Greater Denver will distribute these funds to your creditors; and
  • You will receive monthly statements on your DMP deposits and creditor payments.

How do I set up my DMP online?

To complete the client information for our Debt Management Program online, click here. A counselor will respond to your online inquiry via email.

How do I set up my DMP over the phone?

Call our office at 255-5166 or 1-800-737-5485 to schedule a telephone appointment with one of our certified financial counselors to determine if the DMP program is right for you.

What is OnTrack WNC’s relationship to the creditors?

In a DMP, OnTrack WNC serves the dual role of helping you repay your debts and helping your creditors receive the money owed them. Since creditors have a financial interest in getting paid, most are willing to make a contribution to help fund our agency. We work with all of your creditors so that your accounts are credited 100% of the amount you pay through us, and many of them make voluntary contributions to fund our agency.

How long will it take to repay my debts through the DMP?

While the length of time it takes you to repay your debts will depend on the total you owe, the amount you are able to pay, your consistency in paying and the policies of your creditors, the average OnTrack WNC client repays DMP debts within 45 months.

Will you negotiate with the creditors about my payments?

No, we do not negotiate. Most creditors have established corporate guidelines that we adhere to when calculating your payment. This includes how, or if, they will reduce your interest rate and other fees.

Will the creditors stop the late and over limit fees?

Yes, most creditors will stop the late and over limit fees as long as you make your payments on time each month while participating in the DMP. Most creditors do not waive these fees until clients make 3 – 4 monthly payments through the DMP.

Will the Debt Management Program affect my credit report/rating?

Since the DMP is a hardship program designed to help consumers who have fallen behind on payments with their unsecured credit, enrolling in the DMP and making consistent payments in a timely manner does not typically make client credit rating worse. It is extremely important to make full DMP payments by the scheduled due date to receive the maximum benefit from the program. Generally DMP is not recommended for clients who have never been late on their debts because of the potential impact on their credit rating. OnTrack WNC does NOT report to the credit bureaus; however, most creditors do report to the credit bureau that you are participating in the DMP. If you are concerned about how DMP will affect your credit report be sure to discuss it with your counselor and even your creditors.

I can usually pay my bills on time, but there’s never anything left at the end of the week. Do I need Budget Counseling?

A realistic budget is the key to controlling your finances. If you're not meeting the goals you've set for yourself financially, we can help.   Come and sit one-on-one with a certified financial counselor for professional, confidential advice.   Together you’ll review your income, spending habits, expenses, debts, and assets to help you create a plan to meet your personal financial goals. Once you create your plan, your counselor can offer practical tips and resources to help you track your budget to keep your money life organized and focused on your goals. From balancing your checkbook to creating a budget to purchasing a home, your counselor can help guide you through most financial questions.

Click here to learn more about our Budget Counseling.

I’d like to own a home of my own. Can OnTrack WNC help me reach that goal?

Thinking about purchasing a home, but don’t know where to start?   Between realtors, banks, closing costs, and inspections, the task can seem overwhelming.   But don’t worry – OnTrack WNC’s comprehensive homebuyer education class has the answers you’ve been looking for and resources to help!   Our HUD-certified course provides a step-by-step explanation of the homebuying process so that you can make an informed decision about the biggest investment you will probably ever make.

Click here to learn more about our Homebuyer Education Program.

I’m afraid of losing my home due to financial stress. Can you help?

In situations where your home is at risk, the sooner you contact us the better! The sooner you call the more options you will have to deal with your situation. Our foreclosure prevention counseling can help clients who:

  • Are in danger of becoming late on their mortgage payment;
  • Have concerns about making ends meet and continuing to make their payment in the future;
  • Have a delinquent mortgage; or
  • Have a mortgage in default, or in foreclosure.

During the appointment, your certified financial/housing counselor will evaluate your current financial situation, your loan, and the amount in delinquency. After gathering the necessary information, your counselor will work with you and your lender to find realistic options for you that are acceptable to your lender. Possible solutions include: a loan modification, home refinance, or a forbearance agreement. When needed, our counselors will personally contact the mortgage lender to help create an affordable payment plan.

Click here to learn more about our Foreclosure Prevention Counseling .

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

AARP.com defines a reverse mortgage as: “A loan against your home that you do not have to pay back for as long as you live there. With a reverse mortgage, you can turn the value of your home into cash without having to move or to repay the loan each month. The cash you get from a reverse mortgage can be paid to you in several ways:

  • All at once, in a single lump sum of cash;
  • As a regular monthly cash advance;
  • As a "credit line" account that lets you decide when and how much of your available cash is paid to you; or
  • As a combination of these payment methods.

No matter how this loan is paid out to you, you typically don't have to pay anything back until you die, sell your home, or permanently move out of your home. To be eligible for most reverse mortgages, you must own your home and be 62 years of age or older.”

Click here to learn more about our Reverse Mortgage Counseling.

Someone told me about Reverse Mortgages. He said I could make money from my home while I still live here. Is that possible?

The financial outcomes of a reverse mortgage depend distinctly on each client’s personal financial situation.   During a reverse mortgage counseling session our certified counselor will provide an unbiased explanation of the different aspects of a reverse mortgage, review loan estimates, and evaluate the benefit of a reverse mortgage for your particular financial situation.

I’d like to work with you, but I’m a little anxious about committing.

Sometimes it's difficult to decide it's time to make a change. We can't promise we can solve all your financial problems, but here's what we can promise:
When you work with OnTrack WNC (in person, on the internet, or by phone), we promise that you will be treated with Courtesy and Respect. Our professional staff and trained volunteers are dedicated to helping you re-gain control of your finances. Our services are absolutely confidential, and most are offered free of charge to everyone in our service area.

It's important to know that we believe very strongly in abiding by our Code of Ethics, which states that: OnTrack WNC is dedicated to providing confidential, professional financial counseling and money management assistance to financially distressed families and individuals regardless of race, creed, color, sex, age, social position or financial status.

How do I find your office?

Our main office is in Asheville, in the United Way Building on 50 South French Broad Avenue, Suite 227, Asheville, NC 28801.

From the East :   Take I-240 west to Asheville. Take exit 4C (Haywood Street / Montford Avenue). Turn LEFT at traffic light onto Montford Ave.   Go over the bridge to the traffic light at dead-end.   Turn LEFT onto Haywood St.   Turn RIGHT almost immediately onto N. French Broad.   Go straight through the next intersection at Patton Avenue (traffic light); the road becomes South French Broad. Turn LEFT into the United Way parking lot. Our offices are on the second floor.

From the West or South : Take I-240 east to Asheville.   After crossing the French Broad River bridge, take the Patton Avenue exit.   Turn RIGHT at the third traffic light, onto South French Broad Avenue. Turn LEFT into the United Way building parking lot. We are on the second floor.

From the North : Take US-19/23 south to Asheville. Take the Patton Avenue exit.   Follow the traffic flow left onto Patton Ave. Turn RIGHT at the third traffic light, onto South French Broad Avenue. Turn LEFT into the United Way building parking lot. We are on the second floor.

From South on US-25 : Take US-25 (Hendersonville Road/McDowell Street) towards downtown Asheville.   When US-25 turns right onto Southside, continue straight through the traffic light onto Ashland Avenue.   Continue north to Hilliard Street (next traffic light), then turn LEFT onto Hilliard Street.   Turn RIGHT at the next traffic light onto South French Broad.   The first building on the right is the United Way building.   We are on the second floor.

We maintain satellite offices at the following sites in Western North Carolina:

OnTrack has satellite offices at these sites in Western North Carolina

Cherokee County - Murphy

  • Murphy– Twice Monthly: All Counseling Services

Haywood County - Waynesville
(United Community Bank, 165 North Main Street, Waynesville)

  • Two or Three times a Month: All Counseling Services

Henderson County - Hendersonville
(722 Fifth Ave. West, Hendersonville)

  • Reverse Mortgage Counseling – Twice Monthly
  • Financial, Credit, & Housing Counseling –Once Monthly

Macon County - Franklin
(215 East Orchard View Lane, Franklin)

  • 8-10 Days a Month: All Counseling Service

McDowell County - Marion
(316 Baldwin Ave., Marion)

  • Every other Month: All Counseling Services

Transylvania County - Brevard
(45 Oak Park Drive, Brevard)

  • Twice a Month: All Counseling Services
United Way NFCC Council on Accreditation