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Financial Privacy at Your Bank
Here is some information about financial privacy and your bank: (copy and paste this into your browser) https://www.fdic.gov/resources/consumers/consumer-news/2022-10.html?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
Here is some informationon help with rent and utilities in Indiana: (copy and paste this link in your browser) https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/renter-protections/find-help-with-rent-and-utilities/
Credit Reports and Credit Scores
Here is a good article that explains the basics of credit reports and credit scores. Copy this link into your web browser: https://www.fdic.gov/resources/consumers/consumer-news/2021-08.html?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
A credit freeze is free at all 3 credit bureaus. With a credit freeze, no one can take out a new account in your name. You will still be able to look at your own credit report, and so can your current creditors.
Do you need to figure out when your credit card will pay off? Or get an idea for a retirement plan? Check out this website to do all sorts of financial clculations: https://www.dinkytown.net/
Which Bills You Should Pay
You may not be able to pay all of your bills. Here is a tool to help you figure out which bills are important, and how to manage the bills you can’t pay on time: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_your-money-your-goals_prioritizing-bills_tool.pdf
Use Your Tax Refund to Start Your Emergency Fund
You can use your tax refund to get your savings started. Put some of your refund in the bank to prepare for any emergencies. Here is some helpful information: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/start-small-save-up/start-saving/how-to-use-your-tax-refund-to-build-your-emergency-funds/
You should try to keep 3 to 6 months of expenses in an emergency fund. It is not a good idea to keep this in cash. Keep this in a bank account that is FDIC insured. That is a safe method.
Cut Your Expenses
Here are some tips on how you can cut your expenses. This will allow you to then save money for your bigger goals, such as buying a car or a house: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_your-money-your-goals_cutting-expenses_tool.pdf Copy and paste the link above into your browser.
When it comes to car loan rates or mortgages, credit unions can have the best rates. Use this locator to find a credit union near you: https://mapping.ncua.gov/