NDF’s Financial Fitness learning course is an interactive course that requires your attention and participation. It is not a lecture course and written assignments are required to gauge your learning experience.
The Financial Literacy and Education Commission established under Title V, the Financial Literacy and Education Improvement Act was part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT) Act of 2003, to improve financial literacy and education of persons in the United States. The FACT Act named the Secretary of the Treasury as head of the Commission and required 19 other federal agencies and bureaus to participate in the Commission. The Commission coordinates the financial education efforts throughout the federal government, supports the promotion of financial literacy by the private sector while also encouraging the synchronization of efforts between the public and private sectors.
Financial literacy is the ability to understand finance. It is with this set of skills and understood knowledge that an individual becomes equipped to make informed and effective decisions regarding their finances.
The Neighborhood Development Foundation’s (NDF) 9-hour Financial Fitness Learning Course is designed to provide its participants with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to examine their financial status, eradicate credit blemishes, build a good credit profile, & create asset building movements among persons who have low and moderate incomes.
NDF’s basic curriculum guide is composed from information created through the Money Wise Consumer Action financial education project. Its module outline includes:
Tracking Your Money: covers basic money management and develop a budget or spending plan to control your expenses
Banking Basics: provides information regarding the main services offered by banks and credit unions, including checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit and debit cards. It also covers opening an account and resolving problems.
ID Theft and Account Fraud: provides information regarding steps to prevent ID theft, or if you are a victim, to clear up the problems created by ID theft and to lessen its impact on your life.
Personal Bankruptcy: provides information that covers bankruptcy’s new rules (effective in October 2005) in order to give debt-burdened consumers an organized and systematic way of paying back creditors.
Good Credit: explains what credit history is, what a credit report is, how to get your credit report, how to establish good credit and where to complain if you have a problem.
Rebuilding Good Credit: covers the importance of having good credit, your rights if your credit application is rejected, how to check your credit report, how to dispute mistakes on your credit report and how to begin to rebuild good credit.
Saving to Build Wealth: covers information about the importance of saving, setting short- and long-term goals to promote saving, opening a savings account and ways to make your money grow faster, including certificates of deposit (CDs), individual retirement accounts (IRAs), U.S. Savings Bonds and college savings accounts.
Keys to Home-ownership: Because buying a house has a steep learning curve, home buyers need to learn the meaning of unfamiliar terms, be prepared for unexpected costs and peruse piles of paperwork. This training module offers suggestions to help people successfully complete the many stages of the home buying process and making sense of this complicated system in order to achieve the goal of home-ownership.
Successful Home-ownership: covers the financial responsibilities of home-ownership and how to manage them, how to maintain and protect your property, and how to build and preserve your home equity.
NDF believes these life skills will provide participants with the confidence that is needed to approach any financial institution and/or employer with confidence, boldness, and a sense of negotiating from a position of strength.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- During the one-on-one session the counselor will pull your tri-merge credit report with scores
- The counselor will calculate your expenses and income to determine your debt to income ratio’s
- The counselor will provide recommendations for improving your credit profile and your credit score
- You will receive copies of your credit report and a copy of the counselor’s recommendations
- You will receive a schedule of the dates for the learning course
- You will receive a follow up appointment to track your progress