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Worrying about money can affect every part of our lives; adding stress and keeping us from moving ahead.
If you feel overwhelmed by your financial situation and don't know where to go for help, look no further. Hopelink's Financial Capability program provides free tools and services to help you achieve your financial goals and make financial decisions that will help increase financial stability and long-term security.
Program options focus on gaining knowledge, developing skills, and accessing effective financial products and services:
Meet one-on-one with a trusted financial coach who cares about your financial goals and wants to help you reach them.
Financial Coaching is a personalized service where you can work with a coach to identify your financial goals and design an action plan to help you reach those goals. Your financial coach is there to guide you along the way by providing support, encouragement, accountability, and tools to help you address your most important financial priorities.
Financial coaching is directed by you and assisted by a trained professional. It is confidential, non-judgmental, and offered at no cost to you.
Attend a small group workshop or class on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit, banking, risk management and planning for times of financial uncertainty and hardships.
Hopelink's financial education workshops and classes are intended to be flexible and convenient. Rather than Hopelink scheduling set times and locations for classes, we come to you and build classes to meet your needs.
We can work with clients and services providers to arrange classes at local libraries, community centers, parent groups, schools, housing sites, and even staff training events. Our team of dedicated facilitators can lead classes in your community so it's convenient and relevant for your needs.
Hopelink and Express Credit Union (ECU) are excited to announce a new partnership to ensure their members and clients have access to the necessary tools to make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals. Hopelink hosts an ECU Community Teller at its Bellevue location on Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm.
The Community Teller is an ECU employee who is available to open savings and checking accounts, help members and nonmembers apply for loans, and answer basic banking questions. Community Tellers are full-time ECU employees who are onsite at various partner locations in the community offering services to those who are unable to come to ECU's main branch located in Seattle.
ECU is a safe and affordable solution for residents of Washington State to open a bank account with an insured financial institution that has alternatives to traditional banking products designed to support low- and moderate-income families. Learn more about Express Credit Union at www.expresscu.org or call 206.622.1850 to make an appointment to open an account or apply for membership and/or loans.
Finding trusted and reliable financial information can be challenging. We have gathered some helpful resources for valuable financial information.
The Financial Empowerment Network Seattle-King County (FEPN) is a network of agencies offering free or low-cost support to King County residents who want to understand more about their money, make good financial decisions, and have choices for savings and loans.
Washington LawHelp is a guide to free civil legal services for low-income persons and seniors in Washington. This site provides legal education materials and tools that give you basic information on a number of legal problems, and in some cases, detailed instructions and forms to help you represent yourself in court.
How do I check my credit report?
You are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Here’s how:
Online - www.AnnualCreditReport.com
Phone - 1-877-322-8228
Mail - Download and complete the Annual Credit Report Request form and mail to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
How can I learn more about building or rebuilding my credit?
There are many free and reliable resources to help you learn more about credit. Here are some of our favorites:
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) Learn and take action.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Know your rights and take action.
AnnualCreditReport.Com Order and understand your credit report.
I have debt that is past due and I don’t know what to do about it?
Debt collection issues are challenging and can be frightening. We wanted to provide some resources that can help you understand how debt collection works and what your rights are:
Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). Find a credit counselor to help you.
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) Know your rights and take action.
What is the best way to negotiate a settlement with a debt collector?
Before negotiating a settlement with a debt collector, learn about the debt and plan for making a realistic proposal. The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) suggests a three-step approach:
Learn more about negotiating a settlement from the CFPB.
How can I get started with budgeting and learning more about managing my finances?
Washington State Department of Financial Institutions offers information and resources to help you make the most of your money at www.dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/information/budgeting.
How can I protect myself from identity theft or scams?
While identity theft can happen to anyone, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. If you think someone is using your personal information to open accounts, file taxes, or make purchases, visit www.IdentityTheft.gov to report and recover from identity theft. Looking for identity theft resources to share in your community? Visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
If you still have questions that have not been answered here, we encourage you to visit the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s website www.consumerfinance.gov.
The CFPB is an independent agency of the US government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. The website provides educational information on financial topics and access to the federal consumer complaint network.
The Attorney General's office acts as "the people's attorney". Through its website you can access consumer education information, resources, and file a consumer complaint on the state level.
The FTC is the nation's consumer protection agency. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace.
The Washington State DFI regulates and examines a variety of state chartered financial services. The Department also provides education and outreach to protect consumers from financial fraud.