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Financial Literacy

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the largest serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. Find various topics in this blog, including personal finance, credit counseling, housing, budgeting and student loan help. Click here to speak with an NFCC-certified Consumer Credit Counselor.

An Introduction to 3% Down Conventional Home Mortgages

 By Henry Ochoa For the past few months, private banks have been introducing 3% down conventional mortgage packages. These 3% down mortgages are a way to get first-time homebuyers into a home with a low down payment, as opposed to having to pay the typical 5-20% conventional down payment. Low down payment mortgages are an attractive option for people who live in cities where rent is high and it’s tougher …Read More

The Last Word on Financial Literacy Month: National Survey Reveals Small Gains in Savings but More Americans Carrying Credit Card Balances

By Bruce McClary The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and BECU, the nation’s fourth largest not-for-profit credit union, have released the results of the 2016 Financial Literacy Survey. Conducted online in March and April 2016 on their behalf by Harris Poll, the survey includes responses from more than 1,600 U.S. adults ages 18 and over. In its tenth year, the report provides a fresh look at the American consumer’s …Read More

5 Things Every New American Should Know About Personal Finance

As the nation celebrates Independence Day, many Americans think about what it was like for the early settlers arriving on our shores for the first time. Those early pioneers faced much uncertainty when it came to basic survival and the ability to provide a secure future for themselves and their families. Today’s immigrants may not face such extreme conditions, but they do have some significant hurdles to clear when it …Read More

Majority in Survey Ignore Credit Reports, Scores

By Cliff Goldstein If you haven’t checked your credit reports or credit scores in the past 12 months, you’re in the same boat as most people, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s 2015 Financial Literacy Survey, sponsored by NerdWallet. In the study, which included more than 2,000 U.S. adults, two-thirds of respondents said they hadn’t ordered copies of their credit reports in the past 12 months. That includes 69% of women …Read More

Credit Counselor Nitzsche: Once Helped, Now He Helps

By Cliff Goldstein Like a lot of young adults, Thomas Nitzsche was able to get approved for several credits cards with high spending limits when he was in his early 20s. And like a lot of people, Nitzsche soon found himself buried under a mountain of debt. “I always maintained good credit, but I was facing about $10,000 in combined debt,” Nitzsche says of that stressful period a decade ago. …Read More

Providing Financial Literacy to the Unbanked

By Jason Alderman In today’s world of Internet banking, smartphone shopping apps, and web-based access to investment accounts, it’s easy to forget that billions of people around the world – including many millions in our own country – lag far behind when it comes to accessing even the most rudimentary financial management tools. Indeed, according to the World Bank’s Global Findex Database: Approximately 2.5 billion adults worldwide don’t have a …Read More

How Housing Counseling Could Help You

By Lauralynn  Schueckler Whether you are thinking of buying your own home or are already a homeowner, housing counseling can offer valuable help when you need it most. It is a common misconception to believe that housing counseling is only for people whose mortgages are underwater or those who have bad credit.  For those who are interested in becoming a homeowner, housing counselors can offer some compelling arguments to support the …Read More

Understanding the Importance of a Credit Report

By Gail Cunningham The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced that it would soon begin examining credit reporting agencies to confirm, among other things, that they are producing accurate credit reports and that consumers have ample ability to dispute errors on their reports. An accurate credit report is critical to a person’s financial future, and consumers need to be aware that the responsibility for reviewing their report lies with …Read More

What to Discuss With Your Potential Financial Advisor– Part 3

 By Gary Silverman We continue the series on how to find a financial advisor. Today we’ll whittle down your list. You’ve found an advisor or three who look like they might be a good fit for you…but how do you know? First, I’d schedule a meeting. Most financial planners and advisors will offer a free introductory meeting so that you can kick their tires and they can see if you’re …Read More