Houston Financial Empowerment Centers

Funded through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), the first Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) was piloted in New York under Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2008. the FEC model was replicated successfully in 2013 in Denver, Lansing, Nashville, Philadelphia, and San Antonio. In 2017, CFE Fund announced Houston in the next cohort of cities to implement the FEC initiative.

The Houston Empowerment Centers Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling and coaching as a free public service. Professionally trained FEC counselors help residents manage their money, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products.

The City of Houston’s Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs)will be located in Complete Communities of Acres Home and Magnolia-Park Manchester. The FECs are staffed by professionally-trained financial counselors who will help individuals and families to better manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products. The Alliance for Multicultural Community Services employs the financial counselors and manages the day-to-day operations of the program.

Please contact the respective FEC to schedule a free one-on-one counseling session.

Services

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Financial counselors can work with you to create a financial plan to meet your goals. Based on your individual situation, counselors can help you:

  • Learn how a bank account can help you save money on fees (check cashing, money orders, wire transfers, and remittances)
  • Ensure you have an affordable bank account
  • Identify ways to lower how much you pay in bank fees
  • Help you open a bank account if you do not have one
  • Help fix bank accounts in Chexsystems

Counselors can also provide referrals to other community resources to help meet any needs you may have.

Financial counselors can work with you to create a financial plan to meet your goals. Based on your individual situation, counselors can help you:

  • Read your credit report
  • Learn how to improve your credit
  • Learn how good credit can help your financial future
  • Review your credit report for accuracy
  • Dispute any inaccuracies on your credit report with the credit bureaus
  • Create a plan to pay down debt
  • Negotiate with creditors seeking payment for accounts in collection
  • Send ‘cease and desist’ letters to creditors that are harassing you
  • Create a plan to address issues with identity theft
  • Establish credit wisely if you do not have any credit history

Counselors can also provide referrals to other community resources to help meet any needs you may have.

Financial counselors can work with you to create a financial plan to meet your goals. Based on your individual situation, counselors can help you:

  • Learn how to manage debt wisely
  • Prioritize debt repayment
  • Create a plan to pay off accounts with payday lenders, auto title loans, and pawn shops
  • Review your credit report to identify current debt
  • Send verification letters to confirm ownership of past debt
  • Negotiate with creditors seeking payment for accounts in collection
  • Create a plan to pay down debt
  • Negotiate with lenders to prevent foreclosure
  • Develop a plan to pay student loans
  • Create steps to plan for wage garnishments

Counselors can also provide referrals to other community resources to help meet any needs you may have.

Financial counselors can work with you to create a financial plan to meet your goals. Based on your individual situation, counselors can help you:

  • Create a household budget to identify areas to reduce current spending
  • Save for retirement
  • Save for college or a job training program
  • Save for a down payment on a house
  • Save for other life events or emergencies

Counselors can also provide referrals to other community resources to help meet any needs you may have.