Managing Your Finances
Participating banks, credit unions and nonprofit organizations offer financial education classes, on-on-one financial counseling and financial services. Learn more>
MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government’s website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing a checkbook, or investing in a 401k, the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you do it better. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 federal agencies. Learn more>
MyMoney.gov also has resources to help you with your household budget. Learn more>
PowerPay will give you the tools to develop a personalized, self-directed debt elimination plan. Discover how quickly you can become debt free, and how much you can save in interest costs by following your debt reduction plan. Learn more>
Curious to see how much your commute really costs? King County Metro Online will help you run the numbers. Learn more>
The Self Sufficiency Calculator for Washington State site is sponsored by the Workforce Development Councils of Washington State and developed by the WDC of Seattle-King County.
The Calculator includes a variety of resources, including the Self Sufficiency Standard. The Self Sufficiency Standard measures how much income is needed for a family of a given composition – ranging from a one person household to a large family – in a given place, to adequately meet its basic needs without any public or private assistance. Learn more>
Your Credit Report
A good credit rating can help you get a loan more easily, get better interest rates, obtain an apartment and job, or pay less for deposits on utilities and auto insurance.
The first step is to find out what is in your credit report. There are three main credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These agencies collect information about consumers’ credit and debt activities to share with lenders, creditors, landlords, and others who wish to evaluate your creditworthiness. You can receive one free copy of your credit report, from each of the three major reporting agencies, every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Consider contacting a financial counselor to review your credit report with you.
- American Financial Solutions
- Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions
- El Centro de la Raza
Call (206) 717-0085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hopelink Financial Capability Program
- NW Access Fund – Financial coaching for individuals with disabilities
- Solid Ground – Financial Fitness Boot Camp
- Sound Outreach
- YWCA Economic Resilience Initiative
- AFCPE (Association for Counseling and Planning Education)
Find an AFC (Accredited Financial Counselor) in Washington here>
- CFPB Tele-Coaching. FREE professional financial tele-coaching is an initiative of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which is managed through a contract with the Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC). Financial coaching sessions are now available via phone as well as in-person. To talk to a coach, call 1-844-90-GOALS. Learn more>
Financial Counseling for Veterans
Chris Lilley, CFPB Financial Coach
9881 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood WA 98499
Office: 253-777-0556 / Cell: 253-341-8134
Ask the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Information for service members. Learn more>
Dealing with Debt Collectors
Any business collecting debts from Washington State residents must be licensed by the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). In addition, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office protects consumers from unlawful and abusive debt collection practices. A complaint can be filed by going to the Washington State Attorney General’s (AG) website, atg.wa.gov/FileAComplaint.aspx.
If you feel you are overwhelmed with debt or being harassed by debt collectors, go to WashingtonLawHelp.org. At Washington LawHelp you will find general information, self-help packets and resources to assist you with consumer and debt collection issues in Washington state. Learn more>
Answering a Lawsuit for Debt Collection
DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUIT? Washington LawHelp has a new interactive interview to assist individuals facing a debt collection lawsuit in Washington state. Answering a Lawsuit for Debt Collection allows you to create the paperwork you need to defend yourself and respond properly and on time. After you complete an online interview, the documents are created for you to print out, sign, file and serve.
This is one of several interactive “HotDocs” interviews available at Washington LawHelp, where you can also create court papers to Seal Juvenile Court Records and File for Divorce (if No Minor Children).
Buying & Owning a Car
Having a car can be an expensive proposition. The Federal Trade Commission offers tips on buying vs. leasing, negotiating the best deal, financing, getting the most out of warranties and service contracts, using gas efficiently, and avoiding repossession. Learn more>
Ask the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Take control of your auto loan. Learn more>
Student Loan Survival Guide
To assist student loan borrowers in Washington, the Attorney General’s Office has compiled a Student Loan Survival Guide. This guide provides information about student loans for students and their families. It provides tips and links to resources for all points in the process to help high school students thinking about attending college, former college students who aren’t able to keep up with their payments, and everyone in between.
At Washington LawHelp you will find general information, self-help packets and resources for to assist you with student loans. Learn more>
National Consumer Law Center: Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project is a resource for borrowers, their families, and advocates representing student loan borrowers. It provides information and resources for people who already have student loans and want to know more about their rights and options. Learn more>
For problems with your federal student loan servicer or a debt collector contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Loan Ombudsman at 1-877-557-2575 or online, or file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Attorney General’s Office.
What to Know About Credit Cards
Fees, charges, interest rates, and benefits vary widely among credit card issuers. It’s important to understand and think through what is in the “fine print” of their credit card agreements. Learn more>
What to Know About Payday Loans
A payday loan is a small, unsecured, high-interest, short-term, cash loan. In most cases, you write a post-dated, personal check for the advance amount, plus a fee. The lender holds the check for the loan period and then deposits it or the customer returns with cash to reclaim the check. In Washington State, the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) licenses and regulates payday lenders and the payday loan industry. Learn more>