If you are in financial trouble, you are not alone. Thousands of people face money problems each year. Some fail to accurately calculate their income, expenses, and debts, and some experience unexpected changes in their financial circumstances. Debt, defaults, and bankruptcy are on the rise. 

Chestnut Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) helps individuals and families with financial problems by analyzing personal finances as well as financial planning, money management, and planned debt repayment. We are non-profit and are affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

How it Works

CCCS will work with creditors. We are able to negotiate waivers of late fees, over-the-limit fees, and lower interest rates. Doing so allows one to pay down credit card debt much more quickly.

Clients make a monthly payment to CCCS. In turn, we send payment to your creditors. You receive a monthly statement from credit card companies, which helps to monitor progress. You also get periodic reports from us.

Financial Education

Education is critical to preventing financial problems and learning from past mistakes. We offer financial education programs to employers, schools, service clubs, and community groups on topics like establishing a spending plan; setting financial goals; improving your credit; preventing identity theft; building a better credit report; payday lenders; and avoiding credit repair scams.


This free tool assesses one’s overall financial health-related to budgeting and credit management; saving and investing; retirement planning; and managing home equity. An assessment of financial health and financial behaviors also includes suggested changes to help one become more financially independent. Click here to register

Student Loan Counseling

The average public university student with a four-year degree graduates with more than $30,000 in debt. With 30+ loan types and more than 100 repayment solutions, you need an expert who can identify the best repayment plan for your situation. CCCS offers a federal student debt analysis. A final report lists recommendations, tax implications and other considerations before making any changes, and steps to take to implement the solution(s) you choose. Click here to see a demo, view sample reports, and get started.

Debt Management Plan

CCCS provides periodic reports to the client. This is a summary of monies disbursed to each creditor. Our success is measured in several ways: 

  • We are successful when clients complete their repayment program
  • We are successful when clients feel a sense of accomplishment as they see a reduction in credit card balances
  • We are successful when clients experience relief from creditor phone calls and frequent demand letters
  • We are successful when we help each client regain financial control over his or her credit card bills

NOTE: If you have already counseled with us and need the Debt Management Plan Enrollment forms to sign up, please click on the following link to download and review: Debt Management Plan Enrollment Forms 

Current clients: log in to the Debt Management Program record here.

Bankruptcy Counseling

CCCS offers credit counseling for bankruptcy by telephone, in person, or online. Such counseling is required before filing bankruptcy and is offered to those considering filing in the Central, Northern, or Southern District in Illinois. For online counseling, click here. (Embed link here rather than at bottom.) The fee is $50.00. 

In-person counseling for Pre-Discharge Debtor Education – required for the discharge of a bankruptcy – is offered at our offices in Bloomington, Granite City, and Joliet, Illinois and online. For online counseling, click here. The fee is $49.00.

For more information on obtaining counseling for bankruptcy or bankruptcy discharge, please call us at 800.615.3022 or send an email message to us at bnirwin@chestnut.org

Contact Us

Please contact the office nearest you to schedule an appointment.

Central Illinois Area (Bloomington/Normal and Peoria)

Main Office:

1003 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
Bloomington, IL 61701

Northern Illinois Area (Chicago, Crete, Frankfort, Joliet, Kankakee, Morris, Wheaton): 

Main Office:

829 Campus Dr.
Joliet, IL 60435 

Metro East Illinois Area (Belleville, Granite City, Maryville)  

Main Office:

50 Northgate Industrial Dr.
Granite City, IL 62040


Privacy Policy

Our agency is committed to ensuring your privacy. We assure you that all information shared orally and in writing will be managed within the legal and ethical considerations. Your "personal financial information", such as your total debt information, income, living expenses, and personal information concerning your financial circumstances will be provided to creditors and, possibly others with your specific authorization.

We may also use aggregated case file information for the purpose of evaluating our services, gathering valuable research information and designing future programs. Your anonymity will be maintained by the use of your client number or by using aggregate data in all circumstances.

In all other situations, your information may be released to appropriate individuals or agencies ONLY UPON YOUR WRITTEN REQUEST OR when our staff has been served by a valid subpoena.

The following PRIVACY PRACTICES detail the circumstances under which we will release your information to a third party:

  1. We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information about our customers or former customers to anyone except as permitted by law.
  2. We may compile data and aggregate information that you give to us but, this information may not be disclosed in a manner that would personally identify you in any way.
  3. We may disclose some or all of the information we collect as described below, to creditors or third parties that you have authorized or who need this information in order for us to assist you after a counseling session.
  4. We may disclose all of the information that we collect as described below, to creditors and related financial institutions that need this information in order to put you on a debt solver program (DSP).
  5. We restrict access to nonpublic personal information about you to those employees who need to know that information to provide services to you. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard your nonpublic personal information.
  6. We collect nonpublic personal information about you from the following sources:
    1. Information we received from you on our applications or other forms you provide
    2. Information about your transactions with us, your creditors or others; and
    3. Information we receive from a credit-reporting agency
  7. We may disclose the following kinds of nonpublic personal information about you:
    1. Information we receive from you on applications or other forms such as your name, address, social security number, assets and income
    2. Information about your transactions with us, your creditors or others such as your account balance, payment history, parties to transactions and credit card usage; and
    3. Information we receive from a credit reporting agency, such as your credit history

Chestnut Credit Counseling Services is a non-profit service agency consisting of professional credit counselors, dedicated to enable all individuals to reduce budgetary stress and regain financial control. Our objective is to provide consumer education confidential budget counseling and/or debt management programs, regardless of income or amount of debt through personal contact in a timely manner at convenient locations. We do not lend money.