Online Resources for Financial Education-Financial Distress-01-13


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Online Resources for Financial Education-Financial Distress-01-13

  1. 1. 1Online Resources to Assist Financially Distressed Individuals and FamiliesCompiled by:Dr. Barbara O’Neill, CFP®, CFCS, CPFFE, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management, RutgersCooperative Extension, E-Mail: Twitter: list includes a description of and links to Web sites and videos designed to help family and consumer scienceseducators assist financially distressed individuals and families. The financial distress category includes people whohave experienced economic shocks from causes such as a loss of income, an accident or illness, or a natural disaster.Specific topics covered in the list include: general personal finance, jobs and unemployment, federal governmentpublic health insurance programs, food assistance, home energy assistance, telephone service assistance, debt andwage garnishment, foreclosure and foreclosure counseling, credit counseling and bankruptcy, legal assistance,retirement savings plan hardship withdrawals, natural disaster assistance and recovery, and frauds and scams.General Personal FinanceFinancial Fitness Quiz: 20-question quiz assesses users’ frequency of performance of recommended financial management practices.Users receive a score, an interpretation of their score, and a list of suggested action steps to improve their finances.360 Degrees of Financial Literacy: “In Crisis” section of this Web site includes resources to assist people who are experiencing financial distress.National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) Articles on Crisis and Emergencies: Web page includes links to NEFE resources to help people experiencing a variety of economic emergencies.Jobs and EmploymentCareer Builder: Web site provides information about various categories of careers and information about job searching.Career One Stop: www.CareerOneStop.orgThis Web site from the U.S. Department of Labor provides information about jobs, salaries, resumes, interviews, etc.American Job Center: federal government Web site provides information and tools to help job seekers find employment.Vow to Hire Heroes Act 2011: Web site provides information about a job assistance and training program for service members.Unemployment Insurance (U.S. Department of Labor): Web site has links to information about different types of unemployment insurance.
  2. 2. 2Federal Government Public Health Insurance Programs and LawsMedicare: www.medicare.govThis is the official U.S. government Medicare Web site to help users learn about Medicare, find health and prescriptiondrug plans, and access other information about health insurance for older Americans.Medicaid: www.medicaid.govThis is the official U.S. government Medicaid Web site to help people find information about Medicaid in their homestate. Medicaid is a state-administered public health insurance program for eligible low-income people.Veteran’s Administration: VA Health Care U.S. Veterans Administration Web site contains information about VA medical benefits and benefit eligibility.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Web site provides information about finding health insurance, health care legislation, and related topics.U.S. Department of Labor: Continuation of Health Coverage- COBRA: Web site provides information about the federal COBRA law that allows eligible workers and their families wholose health benefits the right to choose to continue group health insurance at their own expense for a designated periodof time (generally 18 months for workers who lose group health coverage and 36 months for dependents).Lost Your Job? COBRA Lets You Keep Your Health Insurance ( Web site provides information about COBRA law eligibility, costs, and insurance continuation procedures.Food Banks and Food AssistanceFeeding America (Food Bank Locator): Web site includes a search feature to help users find local food banks in their state. It also includes informationabout hunger and food insecurity.Temporary Emergency Food Assistance (eHow): Web page includes information about the USDA Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) andfive other emergency food assistance programs.Home Energy Assistance ProgramsHome Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): Web site provides information about eligibility and application requirements for the federal HEAP program.
  3. 3. 3Telephone Service AssistanceLifeline Program for Low-Income Consumers: Web site describes a program that provides discounts on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers.Debt and Wage GarnishmentWage Garnishments (U.S. Department of Labor): Web site explains how the wage garnishment process works and specifics about garnishment laws.How Wage Garnishment Works-and How to Avoid It: Web site explains how the wage garnishment process works and includes a link to specific state laws.Foreclosure and Foreclosure CounselingAvoiding Foreclosure (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development): Web site describes federal government programs to help financially distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure.National Mortgage Assistance Center: Web site describes an organization that provides foreclosure assistance to troubled homeowners.Making Home Affordable: Web page describes a federal government program to assist struggling homeowners with mortgage payments.Credit Counseling and BankruptcyNational Foundation for Credit Counseling: Web site provides information about how credit counseling works and links to credit publications and resources.Bankruptcy Basics: Department of Justice Web site includes information on filing bankruptcy and different bankruptcy chapters.MyFICO: How Will my FICO Score Consider a Bankruptcy?: Web page discusses how a variety of personal factors impact how filing bankruptcy affects a person’s credit score(e.g., the amount, type, and duration of previous negative credit history information).Legal AssistanceLegal Service CorporationThis Web site describes an organization that provides free civil legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney. Itincludes a “Find Legal Aid” link to search for legal services offices in a particular state.
  4. 4. 4Retirement Savings Plan Hardship WithdrawalsInternal Revenue Service Web Site: www.irs.govOn this Web site, search the words “401(k) Hardship Withdrawals” to find IRS resources about hardship withdrawals.Should You Borrow From Your 401(k) or 403(b)? (Smart Money): Smart Money article includes information about the pros and cons of borrowing money from a retirement plan.Natural Disaster Assistance and RecoveryFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): federal agency Web site contains information about emergency preparation, disaster survivor assistance, how tofile a claim for losses, and other related topics.Small Business Administration (SBA): this Web site, search the words “Disaster Recovery Assistance” for information about SBA disaster loans.After the Disaster: Watching Out for Fraud and Scams ( Web site includes links to articles about common types of frauds and scams that follow natural disasters.Hurricane Sandy Scam Fact Sheet (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission): fact sheet describes common types of scams that are often pitched to disaster victims who are receiving insurancesettlements for damage claims.Frauds and Scams (General)Watch Out for Debt Settlement Companies (NBC 4 New York) Web site contains an article about fraudulent debt settlement companies and “red flag” signals of fraud.Job Search Fraud Rising in Recession: Five Job Search Scams to Avoid (FindLaw): Web site contains a description of five common types of unemployment-related scams.Financial Crimes and Scams ( Web site provides a list of links to information about common money, tax, and phishing scams.Scams By the Season (AARP): Web site provides information about a variety of scams that are seasonal in nature including snowbird scams,bedbug scams, door-to-door home improvement scams, and Who’s Who directory scams.
  5. 5. (Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force): federal government coalition Web site (20 federal agencies, U.S. Attorneys offices, and state and local partners)contains information about a variety of types of financial fraud. There is information about how to protect againstfraud and how to report fraud as well as advice for fraud victims.Job-Hunting/Job Scams (FTC): Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Web site provides information about dealing with job placement firms and “redflags” of scams involving misrepresentation of services, outdated or fictitious job offerings, and high fees.Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams: federal government Web site has information about “foreclosure rescue” and mortgage modification scams.Common Loan Modification Scams: Web site provides information about common loan modification scams that take advantage of financially-distressed homeowners. It is sponsored by a coalition of government and non-profit organizations.VideosStruggling to Save for Emergencies? 2-minute video discusses research about the percentage of families with emergency savings.The New Face of Poverty: Meet Yolanda: two-minute, 38-second video features a woman describing her ongoing financial hardships.Wage Garnishment FAQ (eHow): one-minute, 22-second video explains how the wage garnishment process works.Who Can Garnish Your Wages: two-minute, forty-second video explains how the wage garnishment process works.Credit Counseling Sessions: Web page includes links to five National Foundation for Credit Counseling videos about counseling sessions.Types of Bankruptcy (eHow): one-minute, eight-second video describes different types of bankruptcy. It is part of a five-part video series.Individual Development Accounts: four-minute, 56-minute video features successful IDA program participants discussing their experiences.Loan Modification Scam Alert (Federal Trade Commission): short Federal Trade Commission (FTC) video features financially-distressed homeowners talking about theirexperience with loan modification scams and FTC staff talking about “red flags” for loan modification fraud.