No matter where you are in life, if you want your future to be financially secure, you need a plan and you need to stick to it. Not sure where to get started? We put together a group of resources to help you get started.
AnnualCreditReport.com is the only source for free credit reports and is authorized by Federal Law. You can request all or a few of your credit reports at one time online, by phone or in writing. The site also explains the ins and edits of credit reports and how to determine if you’ve been a victim of identity theft.
Understanding Credit Reports and Scores – This section of the Federal Reserve website explains the ins and out of credit reporting, credit history, credit scores as well as errors.
Understanding Credit Cards – This section of the Federal Reserve website provides a basic guide to navigating the credit card process as well as regulations and tools to help consumers make informed decisions regarding these lending products.
Mint.com is a website that pulls all your financial accounts into one place to see where your money is going. It allows you to set a budget, track goals, set reminders and develop financial plans for free. It also contains a blog with helpful, financial advice.
Calculators and Tools:
Bankrate.com Calculators – If you’re looking for financial calculators for saving, debt, cost of living, mortgage, college, retirement, home equity, auto and more bankrate.com most likely has a calculator for you.
Annuity.org is the leading online resource for information on annuities and structured settlements. The website provides information on the different types of annuities, the process of selling a structured settlement and the taxes and regulations that go along with selling future payments.
Bankruptcy Basics – General information about federal bankruptcy laws and the bankruptcy process.
ConsumerFinance.gov – The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established by Congress to protect consumers by carrying out federal consumer financial laws. They are responsible for writing rules, supervising companies, and enforcing federal consumer financial protection laws. They restrict unfair, deceptive or abusive acts. They take consumer complaints, provide financial education, research consumer behavior, monitor financial markets for new risks as well as enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance. Their website contains many resources for consumers including the ability to take complaints.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – Since the EEOC enforces laws about discrimination in the workplace their website contains information regarding hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits but it also contains information on how to report an employer for discrimination.
Federal Student Aid – This website contains information about the various types of aid available to make paying for college, career school, graduate school and professional school more affordable including grants, loans, work study and programs. In addition, the site provides information about eligibility, fraud, repayment, defaulting, forbearance, consolidation and disputes.
Fraud Protection – Learn about the various forms of fraud and scams directed at consumers as well as how to avoid becoming a victim.
FTC.gov – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prevents fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace as well as provides consumers with information to spot, stop and avoid those practices. In addition, consumers can get help resolving issues with businesses that practice improper business tactics.
MakingHomeAffordable.gov – The website for the Making Home Affordable Program (MHA) ® a program developed by The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Treasury to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, stabilize the country’s housing market, and improve the nation’s economy. This website contains information about the programs available as well as other resources.
Mail Fraud, Theft and Vandalism – Protect yourself against thieves and vandals with this tips from the United States Post Office.
Money and Coins – If you’re considering buying or collecting coins, it’s important to get all the facts so you know what you’re buying.
IRS Withholding Calculator helps you to avoid having too much or too little Federal income tax withheld from your pay.
Investor.gov is a government website containing clearly written, educational materials about investing and saving. Regardless of investment experience, this site contains valuable information for everyone interested in investing or saving money including: investing basics; how to avoid scams; researching investments; calculating interest; investment professional background checks and more.
The Securities and Exchange Commission website contains information about securities exchanges, investments, money market funds, mutual funds and fraudulent practices. Consumers can also research securities brokers or dealers and investment advisors.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) preserves public confidence by insuring deposits in banks and thrift institutions for at least $250,000. They also identify, monitor and addressing risks to the deposit Insurance funds. This website contains information for consumers about banking, savings, financial literacy and other topics.
MyMoney.gov is a comprehensive, government website containing information about making the most of your money. The website covers the 5 building blocks for managing your money: Earn; Save & Invest; Protect; Spend and Borrow, with easy to understand tips, articles, worksheets and calculators. The site also provides helpful information on financial issues based upon life events like getting married, having a baby, etc.