News

Check out some of the latest financial news here!

AT&T Access Program will provide low-cost option for home Internet access to low-income households April, 21 2016

The Access program from AT&T provides a low-cost option for wireline home Internet access to low-income households in the 21 states where we offer wireline home Internet services. To be eligible, at least one person in your household must be a participant in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Other eligibility requirements also apply.

Coming April 22, 2016

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Extreme Poverty in Ohio: How Many People in Ohio Live on Less than $2.00 Per Day? April, 6 2016

The World Bank and other international organizations frequently cite incomes of less than $2.00 per person per day as a benchmark for poverty levels in developing countries. Policy experts in this country have also analyzed data on the extremely poor in the United States using this same standard. Next week, the authors of $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, will visit Ohio to talk about the plight of Americans living in extreme poverty.

By Joseph Ahern, Research Fellow

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The Community Prepares For Akron Summit The Community Prepares For Akron Summit April, 5 2016

Community Financial Center's Evelyn Burnett will be participating in the panel on Saturday April 9th.

The Black Male Summit events include more than 60-panel discussions, breakout sessions, and workshops on April 8-9, at The John S. Knight Center and The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio.

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Empowering Women: A Financial Literacy & Business Opportunities Conference April, 1 2016

"Empowering Women:A Financial Literacy and Business Opportunities Conference" will be held on April 29, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Payday lenders and regulators are gearing up for new showdown March, 31 2016

If you got a loan whose interest rate over a year amounted to 391 percent, what would you call your lender?

By Stephen Koff

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2016 VITA Awareness Day is March 15; Get Involved Today! March, 7 2016

For over 45 years, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) has been an invaluable free tax preparation resource for hard-working, low-income taxpayers in communities across the country. Utilizing highly-trained community volunteers, the VITA program ensures that taxpayers can file their taxes accurately and access their tax refunds quickly and for free.

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Advancing Financial Aid Reform through the Proposed SUCCESS Act March, 1 2016

On February 11, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the bipartisan Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success (SUCCESS) Act.

By Wayne Taliaferro

By Wayne Taliaferro
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Women get EMPOWERED to start or grow businesses. February, 28 2016

The Women's Network of Northeast Ohio is launching its second year of the EMPOWER! Women’s Business Mastery Program

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For residents of Buckeye & Fairfax neighborhoods Strengthening the Neighborhood Loan Pilot Fund February, 18 2016

HFLA of Northeast Ohio has been lending interest-free since 1904 to individuals without access to conventional funds.

A loan fund has been created just for you ~residents of the Buckeye & Fairfax neighborhoods of Cleveland ~to help overcome financial hurdles.

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Bringing the American Dream within Reach January, 27 2016

This week, as part of the first-ever Assets & Opportunity National Week of Action, we are joining with advocates nationwide to call attention to the issues of economic insecurity and inequality that too many families across this country face and highlight the successful solutions that create an opportunity economy in which everyone has the chance to get ahead. Today, we're focusing on the importance of building strong credit.

By Dara Duguay and Ravi Aurora

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Borrowers Need Better Options than Predatory Payday Loans January, 27 2016

This week, as part of the first-ever Assets & Opportunity National Week of Action, we are joining with advocates nationwide to call attention to the issues of economic insecurity and inequality that too many families across this country face and highlight the successful solutions that create an opportunity economy in which everyone has the chance to get ahead. Today, we're focusing on the need to rein in predatory lending.

By Emanuel Nieves

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An Important Question for Every Relationship: “What’s Your Credit Score?” January, 26 2016

By Mohan Kanungo on 01/26/2016 @ 01:00 PM

This week, as part of the first-ever Assets & Opportunity National Week of Action, we are joining with advocates nationwide to call attention to the issues of economic insecurity and inequality that too many families across this country face and highlight the successful solutions that create an opportunity economy in which everyone has the chance to get ahead. Today, we're focusing on the importance of building strong credit.

See full story NHS and CFED co-release 2016 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard January, 25 2016

In collaboration with our national partner CFED, we co-released the 2016 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard today. Ohio has made some improvements in job creation and public policy supports for working families but overall, the statistics and grades regarding the status of Ohio’s housing and financial assets are below average.

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Paid Tax Preparers Need Regulation, Say Critics January, 21 2016

You would not give your Social Security number to your hairdresser or your bank account password to a hot dog vendor, and yet both of those people are more regulated than a tax preparer, says a consumer advocate.

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Do you have a business idea or want to grow your business? January, 15 2016

JumpStart’s Core City: Cleveland Program can give you FREE access to the people, dollars and resources you need to make that idea a reality!

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Planning for Retirement, an interactive tool to help consumers with Social Security. November, 12 2015

Every year more than 2 million Americans make one of the most important financial decisions of their lives: choosing when to begin collecting Social Security retirement benefits. Today, we are releasing Planning for Retirement, an interactive tool to help consumers make this important decision.

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Protecting the finances of Ohioans serving in uniform November, 9 2015

More than 2,000 Ohioans are deployed overseas serving in our nation’s military, according to a recent count. Not only do these Ohioans put their lives on the line to defend our nation, but they also often face significant risks to their personal finances while they are on deployment.

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United Way focuses on boosting community's financial knowledge October, 7 2015

As United Way of Greater Cleveland CEO Bill Kitson sees it, it's great to help people in need, but what his organization really wants is for those people not to be in need anymore.

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Seven wonders of the Cleveland Public Library October, 2 2015

The Cleveland Public Library (CPL) will celebrate its 150th anniversary year in 2019, and already a campaign has started to develop bricks-and-mortar updates, re-imagine some popular spaces and make plans for the next 150 years.

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Reverse Mortgage Warning Issued October, 2 2015

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a warning specifically for seniors on the possible deceptive nature of 'reverse-mortgage' advertisements. According to a report from Market Watch, the agency observed that many ads claim these schemes have the backing of the federal government.

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Inside the government's student loan problem September, 26 2015

Come January, dozens of private companies will bid to win lucrative government contracts to manage a chunk of the nation’s outstanding $1.3 trillion in federal student loan debt.

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New forms seek to simplify mortgage loan process September, 19 2015

Earlier this year, I wrote about two new disclosures that were coming to the mortgage loan industry late this summer. Even though the proposed disclosures have been several years in the making, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau realized many software vendors might not be ready in time, so the implementation date was extended until October. The extra time has allowed most lenders to install new software and train employees on using the new forms for consumers. So what does this mean for anyone obtaining a mortgage loan this year?

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'Zombie debts' harm Ohioans' credit reports (with NHS) September, 8 2015

With thousands of Ohioans impacted by errors on their credit reports, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged federal regulators to crack down on so-called “zombie debts” that are no longer owed by consumers, but linger on their credit reports or can be sold by banks to debt collectors – who then harass consumers and attempt to illegally collect settled debt.

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9 Ways Consumers Can Avoid or Minimize Bank Fees August, 25 2015

From monthly maintenance fees to overdraft fees to online bill pay fees, banking is becoming more expensive.

A checking account that fits your lifestyle can reduce the amount of money you'll give away to your bank.

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Foster youths receive help at Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University August, 18 2015

Cleveland State University has enrolled 10 students who aged out of the foster system but will have all expenses covered under a new scholarship program.

By Karen Farkas

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Mortgage closing costs drop 7% in last year, but you should still negotiate August, 11 2015

Ohio has the lowest mortgage closing costs of any state nationwide, according to a new survey.

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Land bank helps college grads, students buy homes; KnowBase changes name: Local Business Briefs August, 5 2015

New land bank program helps students, recent grads get discounts on renovated homes

The Cuyahoga Land Bank is handing over the keys to the first home sold through the Buying and Retaining Academic Investment Now program to a Cleveland State University student.

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Ohio's Sales Tax Holiday: What to know before hitting the stores Aug. 7-9 August, 4 2015

By Janet H. Cho, The Plain Dealer

With one in seven Ohio families sending children to school this fall, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants is expecting a huge surge in back-to-school shopping during Ohio's first Sales Tax Holiday Aug. 7-9

In response to the tremendous interest by Ohio families and residents about the State of Ohio's first back-to-school Sales Tax Holiday from Aug. 7-9, the Ohio Department of Taxation offers the following tips for consumers:

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10 Reasons You’re Not Financially Free August, 3 2015

By Jocelyn Black Hodes Money Magazine Daily Worth

As a financial advisor, I have spent many years helping other people overcome financial stumbling blocks so they can become rich. Ironically, the one person I have had the most trouble helping is myself.

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CFPB releases new database of consumer complaints July, 23 2015

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced that it was releasing consumer complaints filed with the bureau against financial institutions — more than 400,000 complaints sent to nearly 3,000 companies, to be exact.

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A $1,000 Loan Can Balloon Into A $40,000 Debt--And It's Legal July, 20 2015

The idea that a $1,000 loan could balloon to $40,000 or more sounds ludicrous, but it’s often legal. In many states, payday and auto title lenders charge triple-digit interest rates on loans  that often leave borrowers worse off than before. These are just among the many ways in which lenders set borrowers up for failure.

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Legal clinic helps people expunge criminal pasts July, 15 2015

Last year, James Levin approached the Famicos Foundation about opening a legal clinic to help people deal with minor criminal issues that can prevent them from finding jobs, renting apartments, buying a house or a car and so on. The idea was inspired when he was embroiled in a homicide case and was unable to convince key witnesses to testify on behalf of his client because they had warrants for traffic violations, minor felonies or misdemeanors on their records.

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How to spot and correct credit report mistakes July, 13 2015
Credit report mistakes are like mosquitos. It’s hard to tell how many there are and, in many cases, they’re nothing more than an annoyance. But, in both cases, if they bite, move quickly before things get nasty.
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CFPB Proposes Two-Month Extension of Know Before You Owe Mortgage Rule July, 7 2015

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today issued a proposed amendment to the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, which proposes to move the rule’s effective date to October 3, 2015.

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CFPB Identifies Illegal Practices Uncovered Through Supervision June, 23 2015

Supervisory Resolutions Across Industries Recover $11.6 Million for More Than 80,000 Consumers

The CFPB found problems with dual-tracking at mortgage servicers that could mislead consumers to believe their trial modifications were canceled. The Bureau also found a lack of quality control measures in place at consumer reporting agencies.

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CFPB Takes Action Against Companies For Unfair Billing Of Credit Card Add-On Products And Services June, 1 2015

Consumers Billed for Credit Reporting and Identity Theft Protection Benefits They Did Not Receive

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against two credit card add-on product vendors – Affinion Group Holdings, Inc., Affinion’s affiliated companies, and Intersections Inc. – for unfairly charging consumers for credit card add-on benefits they did not receive.

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Budish and EITC Coalition Announce Record Breaking 2015 Tax Program Results May, 1 2015

Income Tax services for low to middle-income families

The year’s program brought in 13,234 tax returns totaling $18,200,216 in refunds to the community. That is an increase of $4M from last year’s results. Earned Income Tax Credit customers claimed a total of $6,799,196 in EITC refunds for 4,360 program users.

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Neighborhood Progress launches financial coaching program March, 3 2015

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress launches a new one-on-one financial coaching program today.

By Sheryl Harris, The Plain Dealer

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Community Financial Centers Launches to Provide Financial Empowerment to Cleveland March, 3 2015

The CFC will provide financial guidance to consumers and employees in new model of service provision

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Student video contest, hacking demo highlight National Consumer Protection Week in Cleveland February, 27 2015

Young consumers are fresh meat for scammers. So this year, local consumer advocates are tailoring National Consumer Protection Week events to college students.

By Sheryl Harris, The Plain Dealer

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New Pew study finds financial security remains elusive for Americans February, 26 2015

Americans have a sunnier outlook about the economy, but about half of the nation's households remain anxious about their own financial security, a new study released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts finds.

By Sheryl Harris, The Plain Dealer

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