Managing your personal finances can seem overwhelming and researching the topic on your own sometimes creates more questions than answers:
Here are some resources to learn more about financial literacy on your own time and when the information is relevant in your life. Most of these resources are provided by non-profit or federal entities, and all have been recommended by an Accredited Financial Counselor®.
If you want facts about financial aid, you should go to the source. Start with the Financial Aid office of the school you attend or plan to attend. To better understand financial aid types and terminology, consider these resources:
Federal Student Aid office of the Department of Education
The authority on federal financial aid. Click on Types of Aid and Loans for information to consider before taking out student loans.
This site was founded by a nationally recognized financial aid and college planning author Mark Krankowitz as a public service and incudes useful calculators, information about scholarships and other non-federal financial aid, plus other tools.
Developed by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) with a target audience of students. Used by more than 1,000 schools across the country as part of a financial literacy curriculum. Register for free.
Smart About Money
Also developed by NEFE with a target audience of the general population, especially adult learners. “Nonprofit. Noncommercial. Unbiased.”
FTC Consumer Information
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace.
My Money Five
Spend, Earn, Save & Invest, Protect, Borrow
“This website is a product of the Congressionally chartered Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission, which is made up of more than 20 Federal entities that are coordinating and collaborating to strengthen financial capability and increase access to financial services for all Americans. The Commission was established by the Financial Literacy and Education Improvement Act, Title V of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-159).”
A comprehensive self-paced computer based training program that is part of the Consumer Protection resources prepared by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Register and select from Young Adult Course (users between 13 and 20 years) or Adult Learning Course (users 21 years of age or older).
More than just a way to compare bank rates, this site is a reliable source of short, informative articles and useful calculators.
Check out their Credit Card Calculator to find out how long it will take to pay a credit card purchase and what it actually cost when factoring for interest.
Compare credit cards at this site.
AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to get your free annual credit reports. This right is guaranteed by Federal law, and this is the ONLY site you should use for this purpose. You don't need to give a credit card number for this free service, so if you're being asked to enter your credit card information, pay very close attention to what site you're on and what service agreeing to pay for.