Financial Literacy Month may be ending, but you should never stop learning!
Each year, companies like Consolidated Credit mark April by encouraging people to build financial literacy so they can lead financially healthy lives. But even though Financial Literacy Month has gone, we encourage people to continue using all the free resources and education programs we have available.
“National Financial Literacy Month helps us raise awareness of all the great financial resources that we offer,” says Gary Herman, President of Consolidated Credit, “but building financial literacy is essential year-round. You should never stop learning about finance. The more you know, the more likely you are to be able to handle any financial challenges that life throws at you.”
Consolidated Credit Celebrates Our Financial Literacy Partnerships
This video takes a look back at Consolidated Credit’s financial literacy initiatives and partnerships over the past year. We’re proud of the work we do with our nonprofit, municipal and private partners to provide free financial literacy education to communities and populations in need.
Narrator: Consolidated Credit’s mission is to assist families throughout the United States to end financial crises and solve money management issues through education and counseling.
COVID-19 brought many challenges and personal finances were threatened on various levels. In response, Consolidated Credit reached out to the community to assess their needs. We modified our curriculum, social media messaging, and how we connect with clients are partners. Being able to act and pivot allowed us to provide education to meet those needs.
Seminars and workshops had to be reimagined and brought 100% online. In 2021, our financial educators presented 229 webinars with over 4,000 attendees and distributed more than 11,000 educational financial publications.
We also focused on, and promoted, our COVID-19 online resource center that includes short-term and long-term financial advice, scam alerts, government updates, and how to adjust finances around reduced income, navigating job layoffs and advice for coping with financial stress.
But none of this would be possible without our partners.
Change is inevitable, and we look to our partners to collaborate on a cohesive strategy. Several leaders stepped up to join on Financial Education Advisory Council.
These volunteers are industry experts who will guide us in spreading financial education beyond the usual delivery methods. They will help us devise innovative ways to provide resources crucial to financial stability.
Narrator: Developing financial knowledge, skills, and habits is an important steppingstone on the path to financial well-being. We are proud to partner with schools, universities and nonprofits to bring financial education to our youth from elementary grades all the way to college levels.
Our Commitment to the Military
Rebecca Heinl: Hi, I’m Rebecca Heinl from ESGR. I’m the area chair for Broward County. It’s my pleasure to be with Consolidated Credit today and be a part of the affirmation that they have made to support our military in the times that we need them all. Thank you so much for having us here today and it’s our pleasure.
Narrator: Our counselors receive thousands of phone calls from active Service Members, Veterans and their families.
We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Army Garrison in Miami at Southern Command. We are facilitating access to our debt management program, and credit and housing counseling for Service Members and their families.
Working with the United Way’s Mission United our educators provide Veterans budget and credit counseling as well as rental and foreclosure prevention counseling.
The Hispanic community is a crucial and thriving part of South Florida and the country. In the spirit of financial literacy, we presented 20 Spanish-language webinars with 330 attendees in 2021. And in collaboration with the Hialeah Housing Authority, we taught “1st Steps to Homeownership”, “How to avoid the most common money mistakes” and “Make your credit score sore” to residents receiving Section 8 housing.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, we provided insight on money management from an immigrant’s perspective at GANNET Newspapers, which publishes USA Today and hundreds of local media outlets in 46 states across the country.
With Florida Atlantic University and Broward County libraries, we joined virtual events to further the message of financial stability and how to achieve it. And Univision, the leading Spanish-language media outlet invited us to be on their community affairs program to share financial advice.
Education in the Community
Collaborating with our longtime partner, Sapoznik Insurance, a premier employee benefits agency bringing wellness to people around the country, we presented financial education to improve their members’ financial health. In the last 18 months, our financial educators delivered 59 webinars attended by over 1,300 consumers.
Working with the Miami YWCA and the Jack and Jill foundation, we provided one-on-one counseling, financial coaching and webinars. Sessions addressed budgeting, savings, and credit with the goal of achieving financial stability.
The City of Plantation-Fire Department had us on two podcasts about making the most of a gig economy and how to survive damaging weather events from a financial perspective. On-demand webinars for City of Plantation residents included information about homebuying and refinancing and how to avoid common money mistakes.
Addressing Economic Development
We presented four Business Readiness Certification Trainings in collaboration with Riviera Beach and the New Mount Olive Baptist Church. The 6-week training is designed for small business owners and startups. Participants learned how to develop a business plan, how to secure funding, and business essentials such marketing, accounting, credit, insurance and more.
We were pleased to also partner with the Warrington School of Business at the University of Florida and with the City of Miramar’s Economic & Business Development Office to provide information to small business owners.
Library & Publications
In partnership with Broward County and Palm Beach County Library Systems, we presented multilingual webinars and in 2021 we distributed nearly 5,000 financial education publications.
Homebuyer Education & Counseling
If the past 12 months has shown us anything it’s that the need to adapt is critical, particularly for those pursuing the dream of homeownership. And that’s also true for those who help make it happen. I’m talking about Realtors®, lenders, title insurance agents, home inspectors, home insurance agents and, of course, HUD-certified housing counselors.
We are pleased to introduce “Pathway to Homeownership” – a monthly virtual event that introduces that introduces the process of purchasing a home.
KOFE stands for Knowledge of Financial Education and it’s our financial wellness benefits platform for financial institutions, credit unions and businesses. Organizations contract with us to use the platform to connect their users with the tools they need to be financially successful.
KOFE uses a 3-pronged approach of self-paced learning, classroom learning, and one-on-one coaching. The coaches and counselors help people to find and achieve key goals, from improving their credit to buying a home.
Our community outreach team is often asked to share their expertise at panels to promote the principals of financial stability and economic development. Such opportunities happened at the ReIgnite Small Business Leadership Summit and the Counselor Forum of the Florida Housing Coalition’s 2021 Conference.
None of the outreach and financial education would be possible without our funders… To whom we would like to thank for your dedication to the community and financial stability.
Recognizing our partners in education
Each year during the month of April for National Financial Literacy month, Consolidated Credit hosts our Annual Financial Literacy Breakfast. Our leadership team and financial educators meet with community organizers, business leaders, and local government representatives to talk about the financial education successes we’ve had over the past year and make plans for the coming year.
We’d like to thank all our partners for helping us make financial education accessible to our communities, so we can improve lives here in South Florida!
Hear from Consolidated Credit’s Partners in Financial Education
Watch this video to hear from our partners in education and how Consolidated Credit works with them to provide financial education in the community.
Gary Herman: Our mission is to provide financial education in the community. It is impossible for us to do it without the help of everyone in this room.
April Lewis-Parks: I’m so happy to be here in a room full of people that love to help other people. It really touches my heart and I feel like we’re dedicated to financial stability and helping our community, you know, grow and move in positive ways.
Sandra Tobon: My name is Sandra Tobon and I’m the director of housing counseling and community outreach at Consolidated Credit. I’m new to the team, but I cannot be happier.
C. Ron Allen: Words cannot express or even describe what has happened since our relationship began with Consolidated Credit. There’s so much they learn that help prepare them for life in this our global society.
Laurie Sallarulo: Consolidated Credit has been a long-time supporter and partner of Junior Achievement of South Florida. We have board members from Consolidated. So, we’re very very intertwined, which makes sense because our missions are so well aligned.
Ana Castilla: So many people that come to the bank looking for credit or having a lot of questions about their credit. It’s great to have a partner in the community that we can refer them to.
Nick Sortal: I’m a city council member. Part of my goal is to help make people’s lives better. Look, that’s what you guys do every single one of you in some way shape or form. I want a city where people are financially literate.
Nick Sortal: I’m on the Plantation city council and what we always want is informed residents that spend their money better because the more financial literacy you have among a city, the better your city is going to be. We have to reach out to the public and we have to find a way to do that. That’s what Consolidated Credit is good at.
Ana Arce: I was working with family self-sufficiency for 25 years, helping families to become financially independent. And we also help them to become first time homebuyers by providing education. So, that’s why we work closely with Consolidated Credit.
Dawn William-Bobo: We do the first-time homebuyer classes for Consolidated Credit and, you know, sharing the pleasure of contributing back to our community.
Maria Gaitan: I would like to recommit that we are going to continue doing what we’re doing in bringing financial education to help promote our communities.
Paul Atkinson: I’ve served 14 years in the U.S. Navy and I’m delighted to also come back after all these years that I’ve served to see that Consolidated Credit is still here. When I came to this community in 2003 and discovered that they’re around, I wanted to be a part of that just to support because I know what they do for the community.
Monique Corker: We’ve partnered with Consolidated Credit for many years due to their continuous impact and perseverance as it relates to providing financial education, homebuyer assistance. And we actually help sponsor a lot of those programs because we know that our community partners are only stronger when we collaborate together to raise expectations in the communities that we serve.
Monique Corker: One that this is so troubling for people is to talk about financial literacy. Because half of us have, like the people we serve, struggled. Half of us are embarrassed of the things that have happened. I’m the first to say that I’ve come from bad credit to good credit back to bad credit. I know what it feels like to struggle despite how good I look.
Michelle Edwards Collie: The topic for the scholarship competition was “What are the pros and cons of student loans?”
Dawn Clark: For me, financial literacy means the opportunity to better not only yourself but your family, your friends, your loved ones…
Ana Arce: Education and time is very important in life to succeed and to have a more happy life.
Monique Corker: It means opportunity, it means creating generational wealth, it means creating and breaking barriers.
Laurie Sallarulo: I think this is a lifelong skill. I am thrilled it is finally a mandate because this is just as important as math and reading.
Ana Castilla: Financial literacy is really about empowerment and giving people confidence to make the money decisions that they need to make every day.
Paul Atkinson: It’s very important that you understand that financial literacy—you understanding how many works, and what you need to do with money is very important.
Nick Sortal: It’s a whole compendium not of just one huge secret to financial success but a bunch of little secrets.
C. Ron Allen: No matter what kind of education you have, no matter all the connections you have, if you do not have a solid financial foundation, chances are you’re going to have some challenges in life.
Bookmark Consolidated Credit’s Financial Literacy Resource Center!
“Financial education is essential, but it’s not always easy to find the resources that you need,” Herman explains. “That’s why our team has created a free Financial Literacy Resource Center that provides everything someone needs to build financial literacy all in one place.”
“Our goal with our financial literacy resource center was to provide vital financial education resources to suit every learning style and level of knowledge,” says April Lewis-Parks, Director of Financial Education for Consolidated Credit. “That way, we can meet people where they are in their financial education journey.
“Whether you need to master fundamentals like budgeting and credit, or you’re working to achieve major milestones like buying a home or reaching retirement, we have resources that can help you.”
Consolidated Credit’s financial literacy center allows you to browse resources by type or by topic. It includes:
- A video library
- Virtual publication library
- How-to guides
- Free financial calculators
- Free live webinars and webinars on-demand
Start learning today with these key topics
“We’ve also taken our resources and grouped them by topic” Lewis-Parks explains. “That way, if someone needs a comprehensive guide to budgeting, saving money, or rebuilding their credit, they can go to one place to get all the resources they need to master that topic.”
“If we do our job right when it comes to financial education, then fewer and fewer people will need debt relief services like credit counseling,” Gary Herman explains. “The goal is to get Americans to a point where they can plan effectively for the future, achieve key financial goals and overcome challenges on their own without a need for professional assistance or relief programs.”