While our goal is to keep our readers coming back for more, we also know we have a group of followers who are all about doing their own due diligence. They want to know where we get our information, and more importantly, where they can find other information to use along with what they learn here. To that end, we’ve put together five government websites designed for consumers and their money, credit and retirement. The more all of us know, not only about our own money, but just as importantly, what the government is saying, doing and perhaps even not doing with our money ensures we are always on top of our financial game. So, with that in mind, here four of our favorite go-to sites for everything credit card, bank and money related.
FDIC offers Money Smart, which is described as “a comprehensive financial education curriculum designed to help low and moderate income individuals outside the financial mainstream enhance their financial skills and create positive banking relationships”. To date, close to 3 million American consumers have participated in the money education program. The research reveals this program can play a significant role in how consumers see their finances and how they ultimately manage them. Not only that, but the site reports these changes are lifelong. Often, all we need is a bit of money education to change our perspective and Money Smart provides it. It costs nothing and the wealth of information – even if you never choose to participate in the program – is available to provide further insight.
This site is easy to navigate, too and offers resources from close to two dozen federal financial sites.
Also, the Money Smart program is often available in your local bank and different organizations designed to develop consumer education and confidence when it comes to finances. The program is often used to fulfill your bank’s obligations to the Community Reinvestment Act. Contact your bank to find out if it’s participating in the Money Smart program. You might want to visit your bank’s site, too. Find the government website at mymoney.gov
This is an exciting program that Capital One played a role in developing. It’s a national campaign that brings together more than 1,000 groups – non-profits, government and corporate entities – and it encourages consumers and their families to save money while building their wealth. There are many tips on credit card usage, how interest rates play a role in our bottom lines and how to choose the best checking accounts. The services are free, as are the financial tools, advice and other resources for consumers on every income level. It’s all about taking control of your money while finding better ways to manage it.
You can sign up as a member and once you do, you’ll find access to some impressive financial tools while also (and this might be the best part) finding a support system of other consumers who are at various stages of their own financial makeovers. It’s all about finding encouragement and hope – no matter how difficult your financial situation is.
There are usually financial experts on site, too. They can provide information on how to set and achieve your goals as well as how to make important decisions on everything from saving for your children’s education to deciding the best route for retirement.
Department of Treasury
This is a great site for small business owners as it provides information on a number of its programs, including those associated with the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. Here, you’ll find assistance for small businesses of all types – including women owned small businesses and veteran owned small businesses. Plus, you’ll find a host of resources, articles and forms if you’re looking to start your own business.
The Small Business Lending Fund can also be accessed from the Department of Treasury’s site. You may recall this was enacted into law when the Jobs Act of 2010 went into effect. It’s an investment fund that encourages lending to small business owners around the nation. It provides help for different communities wishing to encourage their own small businesses via community development loan funds. Main Street lenders can work closely with the small business owners in their area to not only pump money into the local economy, but provide jobs, too.
Visit the Department of Treasury site at treasury.gov.
We chose this site for a number of reasons – including the countless publications on everything from banking to credit to bankruptcy. Here, you’ll discover statistics and resources to help with any financial situation you can imagine. Need help with your taxes? You’ll find a wealth of the kind of help you need for every stage of your life. There’s also an impressive number of resources for scams and fraudsters with assistance for seniors looking for ways to protect themselves against investment fraud, check overpayment scamps, a consumer fraud guide, tips for investors, identity theft protection, ways to earn extra income while avoiding bogus fraudsters.
Also, there’s an important section that every parent should read that has to do with protecting your little ones from identity theft. You can learn more, too, about ways of helping your children learn strong money habits. There are resources for parents seeking help with child support payments as well as investing and retirement too. It’s truly an incredible culmination of agencies and information that’s difficult to find anywhere else. Visit the site at usa.gov. You don’t have to register or sign up for anything – the information is there for the taking.
Of course, we want to be your go-to source for all things related to your credit cards, finances and other money issues, but we know, too, that sometimes you need something a bit more. Any of these sites should help you take it to the next level. If you’ve used the sites and have a story to share, we encourage you to do so. Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter too.
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