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Personal Finance

Everyday Personal Finance

Financial Counseling & Education

  • Dakota County Financial Counseling: Free counseling is available for Dakota County residents seeking to reduce debt, increase savings, and meet financial goals. Counseling is provided by Accredited Financial Counselors®. Services include budget and debt counseling, student loan education, credit report review education and support to help repair damaged credit, planning for major purchases, and connecting customers to valuable community supports. Call 651-554-5763 for an appointment to get started on your goals.
  • Family Means Consumer Credit Counseling Services: Offers tools and education so people can regain financial stability and reduce unmanageable debt for residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • Neighborhood Development Alliance (NeDA): Serves the Latino population in the metro area with issues such as home purchase counseling and workshops, financial counseling, and foreclosure prevention counseling.
  • CLUES Economic Vitality Services: Programs which promote self-sufficiency for Latino families through employment services, workforce development programming, financial coaching, resource navigation and asset-building initiatives. 
  • LSS Financial Counseling Service: Provides assistance state-wide for customers seeking help with credit and debt issues, homebuyer education and reverse mortgage counseling.
 
Self-Help for Financial Well-Being
Good credit and financial health creates opportunities to access credit quickly and with better terms, obtain employment, and get better rates on car insurance. There are steps you can take to understand, improve and protect your personal finances. Check out these resources. 
 
  • AnnualCreditReport.com: Know what’s on your credit report by obtaining a free copy every 12 months from each reporting company. Visit the website or call 1-877-322-8228. 
    • Lots of websites promise credit reports for free. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only official site explicitly directed by Federal law to provide them.
  • Federal Trade Commission: If you’re having trouble making ends meet, this site outlines the steps you need to take to get back on track.
  • Office of Minnesota Attorney General: Reliable, user friendly, information on a variety of personal finance issues from dealing with debt to help with financial scams.
  • Federal Trade Commission - Complaint Assistant (FTC): This federal agency has the authority to take action against deceptive, fraudulent and unfair business practices. Find more information or file a complaint.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): This federal agency has authority to enforce various federal regulations and laws and to advocate on behalf of consumers as it relates to problems with banks, mortgages, credit cards and financial institutions. Find more information or file a complaint.
  • Bankrate.com: This website provides financial calculators which will help you work on your monthly budget, compare borrowing costs and plan for your future.

Buying a Car

Purchasing a vehicle doesn’t have to be a hassle. Try these resources to make the process a little easier:
 
 
Identity Theft and Scams
It is estimated that about 9 million Americans have their identity stolen every year. Learn how to avoid identity theft and what you can do if it happens.
 
 
Removing your name from mailing and telemarketing lists reduces your risk for identity theft. Try these sites:
 
 

Last updated: 5/25/2016 3:22 AM