One of my favorite resources for financial education is the non-profit National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the nation’s largest network of community-based credit counseling agencies, with more than 600 community-based offices across the country. Its stated mission, “to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest quality financial education and counseling services,” dovetails perfectly with the Black Enterprise Wealth for Life mission. As a result, I consider the NFCC a major, go-to, resource and ally in my personal mission of promoting financial literacy and empowerment, both for this blog for Black Enterprise, as well as my daily Money Matters syndicated feature for American Urban Radio Networks. To be more direct: I’m a fan of the NFCC.
For that reason, I was thrilled to hear, and am happy to promote, the organization’s latest effort to advance the financial education cause: the Sharpen Your Financial Focus (SYFF) initiative. SYFF is a comprehensive, grassroots effort to help you and others who want to improve their finances to identify and resolve immediate financial concerns, gain a deeper understanding of the critical issues related to your particular situation, and move forward toward long-term financial stability. The NFCC has financed the launch of SYFF with contributions of at least $1 million each from financial institutions such as Bank of America, Chase, GE Capital Retail Finance and Wells Fargo.
“The Sharpen Your Financial Focus initiative provides an ideal opportunity for the NFCC and the financial institutions to join together in taking a national stand in support of financial education, and lead efforts to positively impact American consumers’ knowledge and behaviors related to personal finance,” said NFCC President and CEO Susan C. Keating in a press statement released last week.
SYFF consists of of the NFCC’s online financial self-assessment tools, My MoneyCheckUp and ChequeoDeMiDinero, a one-on-one financial review with an NFCC Certified Financial Professional, and a “deep dive” educational program tailored to the specific consumer. The program is designed to be adaptable to meet your needs based on where you are currently in terms of your financial health and knowledge.
I believe this is an excellent and much-needed resource for those of us who are trying to fix our finances and better manage our money toward future goals. However, as with most tools and resources, they can’t help if you won’t use them. Only you can improve your finances; financial web sites, blogs and other online resources, and organizations such as the NFCC, can only help. So, as I’m always asking in this blog, how badly do you really want financial freedom? If you want it enough to take action, check out SharpenToday.org as well as DebtAdvice.org, and do what you need to do to achieve wealth for life.