Helpful Links for Consumers

Free Tax prep info for Forsyth County Area.  Click Here.

AARP. This is a nonprofit membership organization for people 50 and over. It is dedicated to enhancing quality of life for people as they age and provides a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for its members. Click here.

Annualcreditreport.com. This is a centralized service for consumers to request free annual credit reports. It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Annualcreditreport.com provides consumers with the secure means to request and obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Click here.

The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans’ financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care and Education.Click here.

The Best of the best This website keeps an updated collection of college rankings to keep you informed about what schools across the country have to offer in terms of top-rated academics and student lifestyles. From degree programs to campus amenities. Bestcolleges.com understands what makes a college the “best” looks different to every student, and each college search comes with it’s own unique challenges. Click here.

Consumer Action. This nonprofit advances consumer rights nation-wide by referring complaints, publishing educational materials in multiple languages, advocating for consumers in the media and before lawmakers, and comparing prices on credit cards, bank accounts and long distance services. Click here.

Consumer Handbook. The 2013 Consumer Action Handbook published by the federal information center offers help with consumer purchases, problems and complaints as well as consumer contacts at hundreds of companies and government agencies, and more. Click here.

Elder Law Clinic of Wake Forest University. This clinic provides free legal help to moderate income seniors and is a resource center for lawyers and other professionals. Click here.

Equifax Data Breach. If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies. click here.

Federal Trade Commission. The FTC works to promote business practices that are fair to consumers. It administers a wide variety of consumer protection laws, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Click here. To read their report on how to dispute credit reporting errors, click here.

How Banks Generate Billions of Dollars in Overdraft fees. A new report released today by North Carolina consumer advocacy group Reinvestment Partners shows that banks are on pace to generate approximately $10 billion in overdraft fees from consumers in 2015. Click here.

HUD. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development is the principal federal agency responsible for programs concerned with the nation’s housing needs, fair housing opportunities, and the improvement and development of the nation’s communities. Their website has a wealth of information and resources for consumers. Click here.

National Foundation for Credit Counseling. The NFCC is a member organization for financial counseling organizations like Financial Pathways. Their website offers a list of counseling agencies in the US and Puerto Rico. Click here.

NC Attorney General. The Attorney General oversees the NC Department of Justice. One of the four primary functions of the office is to protect the state’s consumers. Click here.

N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund. The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund helps North Carolina homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage due to job loss or other temporary financial hardships, such as divorce, illness or death of a co-borrower. The fund also assists returning veterans transitioning to civilian life. If you qualify, the Fund can pay up to $36,000 towards your mortgage and related expenses for up to 36 months while you search for work or complete job training. If you are re-employed but earning less so you are still struggling to pay your mortgage, the Fund may still be able to help by reducing your principal loan balance so that your monthly payments are more affordable. Click here.

Sharpen Your Financial Focus. The program is an initiative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and a broad cross-section of supporters who are committed to increasing the financial well-being of Americans. Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc.® promotes the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and builds capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services. Click Here.

The NC Division of Aging and Adult Services. This division of NC’s Department of Health and Human Services works to promote independence and enhance the dignity of North Carolina’s older adults and persons with disabilities. It serves the state’s citizens through a community-based system of opportunities, benefits, and protections. Click here.

The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund. More than 50 homeowners crowded the American Red Cross meeting room in Winston-Salem for information on a no interest loan that would help pay their mortgage payments. The North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund is a program through the NC Housing Finance Agency that helps homeowners in hardship pay for the mortgage while they get back on their feet. Click Here.

The NC Housing Finance Agency. This public agency works to create affordable housing opportunities for North Carolinians whose needs are not met within the commercial housing market. Its services include low-cost mortgages and down-payment assistance, financing for the development of affordable homes and apartments, development of housing for people with special needs, and more. Click here.

New Online Retirement Toolkit. The U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, in cooperation with the Social Security Administration, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, launched a new online retirement toolkit to help workers identify key issues related to retirement planning.  The retirement toolkit addresses employment-based retirement plans, Social Security, and Medicare. Click here.

Student Loan Borrower Assistance. This organization has an array of useful information for people who have borrowed to further their education. Click here.

Wage Standards that can boost the economy. Across the country, advocates, workers and business leaders are joining together to call for wage standards that can boost the economy and ensure that working families can make ends meet. For too long wages have eroded in the face of rising costs for the basics—food, gas and a roof over ones’ head—and all of our economic security is held back as a result. Click here.