MMI offers a wide variety of financial services to help improve your financial life. No matter what your financial situation, we can help you to establish an plan of action for achieving your financial goals.
Knowledge is the key to successful money management. Our resources are designed to inspire and assist you as you begin to make positive changes in your financial life.
Interact with MMI in a variety of formats including email, videos, tweets, blog posts, and pictures.
Since 1958, MMI has been a leading provider of financial counseling and education services. We invite you to learn more about the organization and its leadership.
When it comes to your finances, the only thing more dangerous than a lack of information is a wealth of misinformation. Because of the complex nature of financial laws, responsible consumers with good intentions can find themselves unintentionally making costly mistakes.
In an effort to help you avoid making decisions that could be hazardous to your financial health, we address six of the most common misbeliefs as they relate to credit and debt:
Fortunately, making financial decisions doesn’t have to be confusing. Visit our financial education section to learn more smart money moves.
Did you know that your paychecks in 2011 were a bit heftier than in years past? If you didn’t, then you’re not alone. According to a January poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 66 percent of respondents did not realize that, thanks to a 2 percent Social Security tax cut, their paychecks were larger this past year.
The problem is, if consumers find it that easy to overlook more money in their paycheck, they are likely overlooking the impact their spending habits – even buying one cup of coffee a day – can have on their overall financial situation.
If you’re wondering how much money a two-percent tax cut really amounts to, consider this: The 2 percent Social Security payroll tax cut puts $1,000 back into the pockets of a family earning $50,000 annually – a significant amount of money that could mean the difference between financial stability and financial distress each month.
Those aware of the increase appeared to have allocated the money responsibly, with the largest number of respondents indicating they used it to pay off debt, while the second-largest number caught up on past-due bills. Smaller percentages of respondents either increased their retirement contributions or saved the money. Only 1 percent indicated that they spent the money on something for themselves.
It’s important to remember that the key to financial wellness is having a solid budget – you have to be aware of every penny you spend and every penny you earn.
The January poll questions and answers are as follows:
With the 2011 two percentage point payroll tax cut, last year I …
The NFCC’s January Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, 2012 via the NFCC website (DebtAdvice.org), and was answered by 1,797 individuals.
Money Management International is a member of the NFCC. The NFCC is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. NFCC Members annually help over three million consumers through close to 800 community-based offices nationwide.
"How do I stop collection calls to my work phone?" is a commonly asked question to our Ask the Experts advice column.
When a credit card company issues you a credit card and you pay regularly on the account, everything is fine. But what happens if you stop paying on the account?
As a consumer, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities. This is particularly true if you fall behind on debt payments.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlines some hard and fast rules that apply no matter where you live in the U.S. For example, the FDCPA states that a collector may contact you only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Collectors are also forbidden from lying or engaging in unfair practices, such as communicating with you by postcard.
In addition to the Federal laws, each state sets laws as to what, and how, a creditor can collect on a delinquent account. Some states permit a creditor to garnish a debtor’s wages; others don't (like Texas). Some states exempt just about all assets a debtor has from seizure by a creditor to satisfy the payment of a debt. Other states can force you to sell some of your assets to satisfy a judgment.
While I don’t recommend packing your bags and moving to Texas to avoid potential wage garnishment, I do recommend knowing what is and is not possible in your state of residence. Unfortunately, learning about your state collection laws is not as easy as it sounds. There are a few law firm Web sites that offer a breakdown of state laws; however, most have disclaimers stating that the information may not be accurate or complete. Laws change constantly making it hard for anyone to maintain a list that is up-to-date.
The Federal Reserve has the role of protecting consumers (though Congress is currently considering the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency) and their Consumer Help Web site contains some good general information about consumer issues. For more specific information about your state laws, you can research state statutes related to debt collection or you can contact your local consumer protection office. A list of state and county consumer protection offices can be found on the Federal Citizen Information Center's Web site.
For more on this topic, also see:
Consumers ask about debt collection & their rights Dealing with someone else's collection calls How to resolve three common consumer complaints
Loans & Credit,
Auto Loan Resources,
Financial Literacy Month,
Kids & Money,
Debt Management Program
Foreclosure Prevention Counseling
Reverse Mortgage Counseling
Free Financial Counseling
How To Fix Your Credit
How To Manage Your Money
Money Management For Kids
Credit Lesson Plans
How To Budget
Money Management Tips
Blogging for Change
Ask the Experts
Share Your Stories