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Welcome to the Financial Wellness Center

New resources each week for the iTHINK Financial community.

This Week

Caring for Aging Parents

As parents age, adult children may need to provide financial guidance and support. This week, we look at some of the issues common to many families.
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Financial Wellness
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Identity Theft Prevention
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Financial Wellness Courses

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Paying for College

40 minutes

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The basics of financial aid, including the types of aid, applying for aid, borrower responsibilities, and repayment strategies.

  • Financial Aid Introduction
    Whether you're considering higher education for yourself or starting to plan for the education of your kids, understanding the financial aid process is the first step to meeting your education goals.
  • Types of Financial Aid
    The main types of financial aid are education loans, grants and scholarships, work-study, and service programs.
  • Creating an Aid Strategy
    Considerations when planning to pay for school, including school choice, employment options, accounting strategies, and the importance of borrowing wisely.
  • Understanding Financial Need
    Some aid is based on financial need and some is not. What exactly is "financial need?"
  • Applying for Aid
    The aid application process, including descriptions of the FAFSA and Profile forms.
  • Education Loans
    A description of the main types of student loans, including government loans, consolidation loans, and private loans.
  • Choosing the Right Loan
    Questions every student should be able to answer before taking on a student loan.
  • Selecting a Private Loan Lender
    When federal loans are not enough, private lenders such as banks, credit unions, and non-profit lenders can help to fill the gap.
  • The Master Promissory Note
    An introduction to the agreement that specifies your rights and responsibilities when accepting a student loan.
  • Repaying College Debt
    A look at common repayment plans, including how different plans affect your monthly payment and overall cost.
  • Borrowing Wisely
    Making smart choices about student loans, including a description of the impact of loan capitalization.
  • Independent Student Status
    Understanding your financial aid dependency status, including a discussion of what to do if the parents of dependent students refuse to help them pay for college.
  • Dealing with Too Little Aid
    Why some students find themselves with too little aid and what can be done to make ends meet.
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Financial Trouble

28 minutes

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What to do if you're in financial trouble, from creating a debt reduction plan to your rights when dealing with debt collectors.

  • Spotting the Signs of Financial Trouble
    Many Americans find themselves in debt, but for some, debt turns into a serious problem with lasting consequences.
  • Dealing with Financial Trouble
    If you ever find yourself experiencing financial trouble, there are steps you can take to get back on track and to minimize the damage to your credit.
  • Debt Reduction Plans
    Whether you do it yourself or work with a credit counselor, creating a debt reduction plan is an important first step for those with financial trouble.
  • Credit Counseling
    The role of credit counseling organizations and how a debt management plan works to restore credit over time.
  • Choosing a Credit Counselor
    The best way to find a good credit counselor is to know what questions to ask.
  • Credit Repair Scams
    There's a big difference between a non-profit credit counseling service and a credit repair scam. Learn how to tell the difference.
  • Debt Collection
    Your rights and responsibilities when dealing with debt collectors.
  • Debt Collection and Legal Actions
    What to expect if you are sued over debt.
  • Understanding Bankruptcy
    The types of bankruptcy and why bankruptcy should be used only as a last resort.
  • Alternative Financial Services
    Understanding why payday loans, check cashing services, and similar services may be bad deals for consumers.
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Identity Theft

21 minutes

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An overview of identity theft, including strategies for preventing it and what to do if it happens to you.

  • Identity Theft
    Understanding ID theft and how to prevent it.
  • Social Media and Identity Theft
    What you reveal online can compromise your personal and financial security.
  • Medical Identity Theft
    Medical identity theft is a little-known form of identity theft with consequences affecting more than just your wallet.
  • Avoiding Identity Theft
    The three Ds of identity protection: Deter, Detect and Defend.
  • Protecting Your Digital Information
    There are many data backup solutions available designed to protect personal information that vary in their security and ease of use.
  • Dealing with Identity Theft
    Understanding the different types of identity theft and what to do in each scenario.
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Financial Basics

26 minutes

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Learn the basics of managing money, including financial health, budgeting, managing credit, plus more.

  • Financial Health
    The concept of financial health is the foundation of any financial plan.
  • Introduction to Budgeting
    Why budgeting is important, no matter how much money you earn.
  • Choosing a Bank or Credit Union
    Key factors to consider when choosing a financial services provider.
  • Credit vs. Debit Cards
    Credit and debit cards each have pros and cons. When should you use each?
  • Credit Reports and Scores
    Credit reports and scores determine the rates you pay when borrowing and can affect your ability to get certain jobs.
  • Managing Accounts
    Account management strategies for checking and savings.
  • Building Credit
    Understanding the decisions and behaviors that can lead to improved credit scores.
  • Identity Theft
    Understanding ID theft and how to prevent it.
  • Financial Goals Exercise
    A goal-setting exercise that includes weekly, monthly, yearly, and long-term goals.

 Enter the Budget Challenge for a Chance to Win $1,000!

As we approach the holiday spending season, now is a great time to review your spending plan. Simply update your monthly budget to be entered to win. Sign up or log in to get started!

Promotion ends 12/31/22.

Details

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