Tools & Resources
Bankingadvice.com offers general information and advice about banking. The site lists several articles discussing different budgeting topics.
Budgetpulse.com is a free online budget planning tool that manually tracks your spending and creates easy to read charts and graphs to help you better understand your finances. The site includes a feature where you may share your financial goals with friends and family, who may be able to help you reach them.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ “Building Wealth, A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Your Financial Future” — provides personal finance education resources to help young people, adult consumers, families and others plan for building personal wealth. Personal wealth-building strategies discussed include setting financial goals, budgeting, saving and investing, managing debt, and understanding credit reports and credit scores. Available in print and interactive versions. Also available in Spanish.
Consumer Action’s website offers an extensive library of downloadable resources, including “Building and Keeping Good Credit (2007)” — a fact sheet explaining credit history, credit reports, and how to establish good credit. The site also offers “Improve Your Credit — Put Bad Credit Behind You,” which explains the importance of good credit, consumer rights if credit applications are rejected, how to check a credit report and dispute any mistakes, and how to rebuild good credit. Many Consumer Action publications are available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston produced a brochure entitled “Identity Theft”, which is available from them in both pdf and html formats and in paper form. The brochure offers a good overview of the problem of identity theft, including topics such as “How Identity Theft Can Affect You,” “Steps to Prevent Fraud,” and “What to Do If You’re a Victim of Identity Theft.” A Spanish version, “Robo de Identidad,” is also available.
The Federal Reserve Board publishes informational brochures on credit issues, which can be downloaded on their website in online and printable versions. Many of the brochures are also available in Spanish. Titles include: Tips for Improving Your Credit Score, Choosing a Credit Card, Consumer Handbook to Credit Protection Laws, A Guide to Business Credit for Women, Minorities, and Small Businesses, and There’s a Lot to Learn About Money.
Find a Better Bank allows you to compare fees and the various features of checking and savings accounts available near you.
Designed for teenagers, "Money Talks Teen Guides", by The University of California Cooperative Extension, offers guidance to young people about banks. Topics include: Savings Account Strategies, Taking Charge of Your Own Checking Account, The E-Banking Experience, and Keys to Credit.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter, and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 92 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. NCUA this is one of the best resources for consumers to find and research credit unions.
The State of New York Banking Department’s "Consumer Help and Information" portal includes a link to a number of fact sheets and brochures that can be downloaded, including one on basic banking.