Personal Finance Publications

We have developed numerous articles on a wide variety of topics that should be helpful in your efforts to improve your personal financial situation.The following is a list of financial education publications. Electronic document titles are available for viewing or downloading. A brief description follows each title. To open a title, click on it.

Printed copies of these documents are available to appropriate audiences without charge. Contact any counselor for very small quantities, or our Outreach Department for quantities of more than 100.

Spending | Credit & Debt | Home Ownership | Life Events | Privacy & Fraud | Saving

Budget/Spending Plan

Checks Have Changed: Living With Check 21

Check management tips in light of the recent law allowing your checks to be replaced with electronic copies.

Making Cents Of The Holidays

Six steps for minimizing holiday stress, gift ideas that are inexpensive, activity ideas for making memories instead of debt, and a simple Holiday List Planner.

Reaching Your Financial Goals

Six steps for defining your financial goals and turning them into concrete plans.

Tax Time Topics

Enlightening information on taxes, ways to minimize the burden, and where to get help.

Holiday Survival Guide

Seven strategies for avoiding a holiday debt-hangover, many seasonal money-saving ideas and a simple Holiday Spending Planner.

Managing Your Money

Basic tools for money management – checking, savings, electronic banking – and questions to ask when choosing providers.

Ready For Tax Time

Reasons to file, organizational tips, what’s new, filing methods, and finding help.

The Spending Plan: Simple Steps To Financial Wellness

A complete budgeting packet: important facts, clear worksheets, and simple step-by-step directions for creating a successful spending plan.

Keys To A Smart Ride

Transportation options, steps to buying a vehicle, buy vs lease considerations, and ways to minimize post-purchase costs.

More With Less

Five key strategies with dozens of suggestions for dealing with reduced income.

Taking Your Financial Pulse

Explanations of basic financial measurements, warning signs of debt trouble, and guidance for shaping up.

66 Ways To Save Money

Practical ways to cut everyday costs on transportation, insurance, banking, credit, housing, utilities, food, and more.

Credit & Debt

Building Good Credit

The definition of credit, the aspects lenders consider before extending credit, 10 steps for building credit and rebuilding credit.

Dangers Of Debt Settlement

Critical information for anyone considering settlement: detailed explanation of the process and consequences as well as other options to consider.

Raising Your Credit Scores

Information on how your score is calculated and 21 tips for raising your scores.

Credit And Your Consumer Rights

Practical ways to cut everyday costs on transportation, insurance, banking, credit, housing, utilities, food, and more.

Identity Theft: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Clear definitions and facts about identity theft along with warning signs, tips for protecting yourself, and what to do if you become a victim.

Credit And Divorce

Practical ways to cut everyday costs on transportation, insurance, banking, credit, housing, utilities, food, and more. Please click on a selected topic to the left for a list of documents that may be of interest to you.

Choosing A Credit Counselor

Defines debt repayment plans, explains the differences between secured and unsecured debt, and offers questions to ask credit counseling agencies if you consider using their services. FTC text.

How To Check Your Credit Reports

Critical information on how to obtain and understand your credit reports.

The Biting Price Of Payday Loans

The truth about the real cost of these quick loans as well as a list of better options.

Getting Credit: What You Need To Know About Your Credit

Provides tips on shopping for credit cards, using cards carefully, and keeping your credit record clean. Also explains credit reports and credit scores, how to protect your identity, improve your credit record, and what to do if you are a victim of identity theft. A good source of information for people learning about credit.

The Spending Plan: Simple Steps To Financial Wellness

A complete budgeting packet: important facts, clear worksheets, and simple step-by-step directions for creating a successful spending plan.

Credit Card Smarts

Education about the different types of plastic money, potential benefits and pitfalls, key terms, and seven tips for using wisely.

How To Dispute Errors On Your Credit Reports

Clear directions for disputing errors on your credit reports.

Your Rights In Fair Debt Collection

Answers to commonly asked questions about your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. FTC text.

Knee Deep In Debt

If you or someone you know is in financial hot water, consider these options: realistic budgeting, credit counseling from a reputable organization, debt consolidation, or bankruptcy. Tips on getting back in the black.

66 Ways To Save Money

Practical ways to cut everyday costs on transportation, insurance, banking, credit, housing, utilities, food, and more.

Home Ownership

Home Equity Borrowing

Descriptions of the two basic forms of home equity borrowing, typical uses, potential benefits and dangers, alternatives, and pointers.

Home Equity Loans: Borrower’s Beware

Explains common abusive lending practices and how to avoid becoming a victim, and possibly losing your home.

Home Sweet Home

Considerations for buying or renting, 9 steps to homeownership, types of financing, and where to find live help.

Looking For The Best Mortgage? Shop, Compare, Negotiate

Use these three steps to save money on a mortgage or home loan. Includes a mortgage shopping worksheet.

Keeping Your Home

Education about the foreclosure process, options you may have, things to watch out for, and how to find help.

Reverse Mortgages

Explains how reverse mortgages (RMs) work and how they can help older homeowners who are “house-rich but cash-poor” remain in their homes and still meet their financial obligations.

Life Events

Help In Times Of Crisis

Guidelines for finding assistance during hardships with a resource list of social services (disaster, employment, food, clothing, shelter, health & medical, justice, charities).

Insurance: What’s Your Risk?

Explanations of life, disability, and health insurance, as well as tips for saving on insurance.

Credit And Divorce

Practical ways to cut everyday costs on transportation, insurance, banking, credit, housing, utilities, food, and more. Please click on a selected topic to the left for a list of documents that may be of interest to you.

Privacy & Fraud

Consumer Protection

Clear definitions and facts about identity theft along with warning signs, tips for protecting yourself, and what to do if you become a victim.

Wallet Or Purse Stolen

Steps to take if your wallet or purse is stolen.

Identity Theft: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Clear definitions and facts about identity theft along with warning signs, tips for protecting yourself, and what to do if you become a victim.

How Not To Get Hooked By A ‘Phishing’ Scam

Tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of this type of fraud.

Avoiding Credit And Charge Card Fraud

Tips for guarding against this type of fraud and for reporting losses.

Saving

Be A Saver

Motivation for saving, six steps to saving, and information on America Saves.

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