Part VII: Additional Financial Education Resources

This is Part VII of the guide, Understanding Loans and Credit At Every Stage of Life.

The following links may help you as you further investigate the basics of good financial planning – most of these sites extend far beyond simple loan advice. There is highly useful, highly detailed info on improving your credit score, maintaining an improved credit score, as well as some suggestions on how to best plan months, years, even a lifetime’s worth of frugal living.

Credit Management

  • MyMoney:  Twenty-one federal entities comprising the U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission bring information to this comprehensive website. Credit management topics like comparison shopping and improving your credit score are just a few of the topics this extensive site covers on financial well-being.
  • Lighthouse Credit Foundation: Affiliated with professional credit counseling associations in the U.S., this website offers financial advice on diverse topics such as debt management, mortgage and refinancing issues, credit and collections assistance and budgeting tips, among others.
  • 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy: This website, maintained by the American Institute of CPAs, offers free services to help consumers understand credit and debt management. Coverage of current legislation, credit card shopping services, debt management calculators and in-depth discussion of credit-related topics are all found here.
  • Credit Card Nation: Operated by a U.S. public policy organization, this website includes consumer education about credit, calculators and a budget-estimation tool. Detailed articles about credit card scams and legitimate credit card companies are also included.
  • CreditReport.com: Maintained by the Experian Credit Reporting Agency, this site offers consumers quick, easy, and inexpensive access to their credit profile. In addition to its subscription services, the site also contains articles about improving your credit score, identity theft, debt management and credit management services.

Loans and Lending Services

  • Ask CFPB: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers this website in Q&A format. Ask your own question and get an answer from a CFPB specialist, or browse numerous categories on all types of loans, lenders and your legal rights in the loan marketplace.
  • Loans Glossary: Operated by the independent non-profit Global Development Research Center, this website provides a detailed glossary of the terminology used by lenders, explained in plain-English language.
  • Federal Student Aid: This website is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and seeks to provide unbiased information on financial aid. Detailed information on federal student loans, grants, work-study options and post-college loan management is all offered here free of charge.
  • Federal Reserve: This government-sponsored resource provides comprehensive information on mortgage lending, identity theft, honest banking practices, foreclosures and other topics relating to home lending and financial responsibility. Contact information is provided for local assistance.
  • Freddie Mac: The U.S. government-based entity has been in the business of stabilizing the housing market since 1970. Currently, Freddie Mac serves as a source of mortgage funding and other financial assistance for homeowners during the current housing crisis. Learn about types of loans available, tips to avoid foreclosure, refinancing options and more.

Retirement Planning

  • FPAnet: The Financial Planning Association’s website offers free articles from its Journal of Financial Planning, a free Financial Planning 101 class, articles on investment tools and contact information for local certified financial planners.
  • 10 Most Frugal States: U.S. News and World Report’s listing of the ten states with the lowest spending in the country. Factors such as travel and leisure, transportation spending and monthly shopping budgets are weighed to create this list of potentially good locations for retirees.
  • AARP: The American Association for Retired Persons’ website on financial planning has articles on investment vehicles, budget calculators, quizzes on financial readiness for retirement and numerous other useful tools and sources of financial wisdom.
  • Taking the Mystery out of Retirement Planning: This website, maintained by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, breaks down retirement planning into easy-to-understand language. Interactive worksheets accompany detailed discussion about creating future income sources, planning for expenses and preparing yourself financially for retirement.
  • NIH Resources: This comprehensive resource site is provided by the National Institutes of Health. Specifically devoted to retirement and estate planning, this lengthy list of resources can help you educate yourself and begin planning for a safe and comfortable retirement.

Back to Table of Contents.