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Financial Literacy

We have provided links to the following sites because they have information that may be of interest to our users. The Office of Financial Aid at Hostos Community College/CUNY does not necessarily endorse the views expressed or the data and facts presented on certain sites.

Helpful Documents

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Credit and Debt Management Websites

National Foundation for Credit Counseling
A national non-profit network to assist individuals with credit counseling.

General credit information Check your credit Credit watch - identity protection.

Ordering a credit report Restoring credit Credit card fraud - protection tips.

General credit information Credit repair Credit refusal.

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer education on credit reporting, repairs and debt relief.

Sponsored by CNBC to provide credit card, investing, tax-money management tools and on-line calculators.

Advice on debt management, consumer credit and more.

MSN Money
On-line calculators, an article index, tool list and other resources.

Credit scoring, ways to improve your FICO score and information about identity theft prevention.

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Choose To Save
This is the best online calculator for figuring out how much you'll need in retirement, and how much you should be saving now.

Health Grades
Now you can compare costs of procedures at hospitals in your area. As an informed consumer, if you're spending your own money on co-payments or coinsurance, you will want to know what hospitals and physicians charge for common procedures ranging from the heart surgeries to childbirth.

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Investing & Money For Kids

Saving For College
Every state has one or more "529" College Savings plans - either pre-paid tuition plans or investment plans that allow you to withdraw all gains tax-free if used for college expenses. Learn about them at this website, and also use their "search and compare" feature to see your state plan's performance and features- since you do not have to use your own state's plan.

Lets you start investing with only a few dollars, and has special information packages for children to teach them about the stock market.

Start early to teach your children about wise use of credit cards. This site links you to banks that offer a re-loadable debit card - perfect for the student going off to college. Mom and Dad can re-load a monthly allowance directly from their bank. And both student and parents can securely view all spending and cash withdrawals from the account, using a PIN. No more midnight pleas for money without knowing where it all went!

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Financial Planning

The Association of Certified Financial Planners
The Association of Certified Financial Planners. You can search for a planner by zipcode, or learn more about becoming a CFP.

Financial Planning Association
Find a Certified Financial Planner in your area, or search by name or specialty. This site will connect you to professional members of the Financial Planning Association.

Mint is a modern, powerful, easy and secure Web–based solution for on-line financial management. And it's free. Mint automatically categorizes all your purchases, showing you how much you spend on gas, groceries, parking, rent, restaurants, DVD rentals and more, with amazing precision. An advanced alerting system highlights any unusual activity, low balances, unwanted fees and charges, and upcoming bills so you're in constant contact with your money—effortlessly.

It's worth changing over to Quicken 2007, because the new program is greatly simplified, and the new home page lets you view your finances in a "what's coming in/what's going out" format that's truly useful. While you're there, click on the new Quicken Home Inventory manager -- something you'd be glad you had used in case of a fire, flood, or other disaster.

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Credit & Debt

Access Group WiseBorrower® Tutorials
Tutorials designed to help you understand the basics of personal finance and debt management.

Annual Credit Report
This is the website to get your free annual credit report from each of the three major bureaus. Just click on the links to the bureaus, and space your reports throughout the year.

Card Web
Here's the place to search for credit cards with lowest rates and fees, secured cards to help you build, or re-build, your credit, and even get answers to your credit card questions.

My Public Info
If you're worried that someone's using your Social Security number, or that someone else with the same name is being confused with you in public records, you'll be interested in this in-depth public records check -- searching billions of databases including bankruptcies, criminal records, etc.

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Saving & Interest Rates

Treasury Direct
Everything you need to know about Treasury bills, notes and bonds - including how to open an account and buy them online. Also, everything you need to know about U.S. Savings Bonds - including how to value your old bonds.

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Compare term life insurance prices, and save money! A toll-free number puts you in touch with individual assistance in choosing the best policy.

Amsterdam Financial
If you have cash value life policies, you need to understand the consequences and costs before you make a switch. Take advantage of their free policy analysis - before letting an agent make money by changing an old policy to a new one.

The place to search for health insurance coverage, whether long or short term, Health Savings Accounts, student policies, etc. You can compare online, and their toll-free number connects you to individual advice.

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Permission to use from the CUNY School of Law


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