Financial Counseling

With financial loss on the rise, many are finding that we must improve financial education for consumers. However, research shows that broad financial literacy programs do not translate into positive change toward a family’s financial stability. This is especially true for Latinos and immigrants, who are often steered toward predatory car loans, mortgages, and credit cards despite such interventions.

Research and practical experience demonstrate that individualized financial advice can set families on the path to truly improving their fiscal health. Coupled with strong consumer protections, financial counseling can change the landscape for low- and moderate-income consumers.

Thank you to all who participated in the national call, “What Is Financial Literacy Anyway? Tell Congress We Need True Consumer Empowerment" (2/4/2010).

Your work and leadership have laid a solid foundation for financial counseling throughout the nation. You continue to show the success of personalized financial advice and how it can improve families’ spending and saving behavior for the long haul. Below are key materials and contacts we hope will be useful as you as you forge ahead in helping families achieve solvency and stability. Click here to tell the Senate Banking Committee to expand the CDFI Fund's Financial Education and Counseling pilot program when they consider their bank reform legislation, the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act." 

In these tough economic times, families are confronted with the dissolution of their financial future. Millions are experiencing unemployment, loss of income, foreclosure, depressed property values, or bankruptcy. To get back on the path to financial security, families need relevant, real-time advice from professionals who offer objective guidance on a range of financial issues. Counselors can help families open bank accounts, build credit, identify an affordable car loan or credit card, and recover from foreclosure or bankruptcy. 

Additional Resources
Recording of “National Call: What Is Financial Literacy Anyway? Tell Congress We Need True Consumer Empowerment” (link to transcript)
Letter in support of financial education (link to letters)

Janis Bowdler, Deputy Director, Wealth-Building Policy Project, National Council of La Raza
Jackie Lynn Coleman, Senior Director, National Programs, National Community Tax Coalition
Jose Quinonez, Executive Director, Mission Asset Fund
Kristen Komara, Director, Financial Services, The Resurrection Project
Anthony Santiago, COO, Newark Now