In addition, a pre-discharge debt education program must also be completed. The Debtor Education course generally covers a variety of financial topics, the goal of which is to give filers, who are seeking a fresh financial start, the necessary tools to build a strong financial foundation. Debt education courses may provide information on the following: setting short-term and long-term financial goals, living within a budget, obtaining credit reports, protecting the filer's identify from theft, determining net worth and re-establishing good credit.
Most credit counseling agencies provide debt education courses on-line, over the telephone or in person. Upon finishing the program a certificate should be issued to the filer to provide proof of completion, and the certificate must be sent to the bankruptcy court. It is important to find a credit counseling service which is approved. The course should be at least 2 hours of instruction. Debt education courses should be provided regardless of the filer's ability to pay. Failure to complete the debt education coursework may be grounds for refusal of discharge of debt.