Responding to the widespread availability and use of predatory and fringe financial products such as Refund Anticipation Checks (RAC), pawn shops, rent-to-own stores, pricey pre-paid debit cards and high fee check cashing in our neighborhoods, University Neighborhood Housing Program offers free financial education to help local residents avoid these services.
UNHP works to reduce the use of predatory services by offering topic specific workshops, community resource fairs, and financial education opportunities. Community Resource Fairs provide on the spot assistance and an opportunity for follow-up to the attendees. Our 2014 credit extravaganza attracted 55 attendees and included two credit presentations, hands-on help printing out their credit reports, a brief credit report analysis and access to services from a variety of non-profits. UNHP also provides topic specific workshops around budgeting and money management to groups organized by other local nonprofits.
UNHP offers two types of financial education opportunities: one-on-one coaching and a 5-week group financial course. All financial education and coaching services are provided by trained professionals and are free of charge. To offer these services, UNHP works collaboratively with the Financial Clinic and Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners.
Working one-on-one with a trained financial coach, you can learn how to manage your personal finances. These sessions are geared to your needs, and topics can include student loans, debt management, budgeting, and planning for the future. Our financial coach is available each Tuesday and Wednesday, but you must call (718) 933-2539 to make an appointment. (We do not accept walk-ins.)
The Getting Ahead Program takes place one evening per week for five weeks. Topics covered include basic banking, financial goal setting, spending plans, debt management, and more! Graduates of the course receive a copy of their Credit Report and Score along with an analysis, as well as a certificate which can be used to access innovative products at local credit unions. Courses are available in English and Spanish.
With both the Coaching and the Getting Ahead Course you can really get in control of your spending plan, reduce your debt and save for a rainy day, as well as build your credit. These are all key to making the most of your income!
“Everyone seemed to know their stuff! They were all comfortable and confident answering questions and seemed committed to our financial success. It was simple and easy to understand and bilingual and gave me immediate solutions.”
— Satisfied Credit Extravaganza Fair Attendee