Sand Creek EAP
Sand Creek is LCL’s counseling partner. Sand Creek provides resources, information, and counseling on a variety of topics, including financial wellness.
Members of the Minnesota Legal Profession may access Sand Creek’s library of materials online by clicking on the “Member Portal & App” link located at the top of the Sand Creek website. First-time users can create their free account by using the word “lawyers” as the Company Code.
Government and Quasi-Governmental Agencies
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
A website operated by the federal government to provide consumers access to resources, rules governing consumer financial transactions, data and research, and a complaint process.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Money Smart Program
The FDIC’s Money Smart financial education program can help people of all ages enhance their financial skills and create positive banking relationships. First released in 2001 and regularly updated since then, Money Smart has a long track record of success. A portion of the modules is dedicated to small businesses (See “Money Smart for Small Business” at https://www.fdic.gov/resources/consumers/money-smart/money-smart-for-small-business/index.html). The Money Smart program is available in English and Spanish.
Minnesota Attorney General
The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office provides information regarding consumer financial transactions, various scams perpetrated on consumers, landlord and tenant information, and a complaint process.
Debt Management Resources
Please note that LCL has identified these options but does not endorse any specific provider. The descriptions are provided by each organization or business and are excerpted from the websites or other marketing materials provided by the companies.
FamilyMeans is a multi-service, nonprofit organization that was founded in 1963. FamilyMeans is headquartered in Stillwater, Minnesota, with branch offices located throughout the Twin Cities metro area, southeastern Minnesota, and western Wisconsin.
FamilyMeans Financial Solutions offers tools and education for people to regain financial stability and reduce unmanageable debt. Financial Solutions serves individuals and families in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Lutheran Social Services
LSS Financial Counseling is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency. We equip and enable people in our communities around the United States with quality guidance, knowledge, and tools to skillfully achieve freedom from debt and worry about their finances. LSS has offices in Minnesota and Wisconsin, with services locally and nationally over the phone and online.
LSS Financial Counseling is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, a National Foundation for Credit Counseling member. It is one of the most trusted credit counseling organizations in the U.S. For more information, please call 1-888-577-2227 or online at https://www.lssmn.org/.
Prepare + Prosper
Prepare + Prosper, a nonprofit organization, works to build financial health and provide access to quality tax and financial services, and so much more. We are reshaping the financial landscape by partnering and innovating to offer services, products, and options that build wealth – not strip it – for families working hard to build a brighter financial future. We strive to work with people, communities, and systems to break down barriers and develop solutions to real financial opportunity and success.
Specifically, we provide free tax and financial services, financial coaching, and access to financial products. We also advocate and work to advance policies and practices that directly affect people with low- to moderate incomes in the areas of tax credits, asset-building, and consumer protection.
Volunteer Lawyers Network
The Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) offers walk-in clinics where individuals can receive 15-20 minutes of free legal advice, including bankruptcy and debt collection.
Navicore Solutions is a national leader in the field of nonprofit financial counseling. What sets our organization apart is the quality and depth of our counseling model, as well as our longstanding commitment to acting in the best interest of our clients. We provide compassionate counseling solutions to consumers nationwide in personal finance, consumer credit, student loans, foreclosure prevention, and housing. A national 501(c)(3) organization, Navicore Solutions operates 12 offices in 11 states nationwide. Our certified counselors assist more than 100,000 consumers each year through in-person, telephone, and Internet counseling across the United States. For more information, please call 1-800-772-4557 or email [email protected]. The Minnesota Navicore office is in Roseville.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling
Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® is the nation’s first and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving people’s financial well-being. With nearly 600 member offices serving 50 states and Puerto Rico, our NFCC® Certified Credit Counselors are financial advocates, empowering millions of consumers to take charge of their finances through one-on-one financial reviews that address credit card debt, student loans, housing decisions, and overall money management.
Money Management & Budgeting Websites
Please note that LCL has identified these options but does not endorse any specific provider. The descriptions are provided by each organization or business and are excerpted from the companies’ websites or other marketing materials. Information regarding service pricing is included for reference only.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
This easy-to-use and comprehensive web app allows for better money management, spending and tracking, and offers classes on financial literacy and money management that you can access from your mobile device. As of July 2021, YNAB offered a free 34-day trial, after which a monthly service charge of $11.99 (discounted to $84 if one year is paid in advance).
Mint is a web-based money management app that helps keep track of spending, pay bills, investment tracking and offers security alerts. Mint is owned and operated by Intuit, the makers of the Quicken personal finance products, Quickbooks professional accounting products, and TurboTax tax preparation products. Per the Mint website, “Mint is free and makes money from carefully selected partner offers that could help take your money further. We never sell your data.” (Retrieved from https://mint.intuit.com/how-mint-works, last accessed 7/2/2021).
Expensify is an automated web and mobile app for expense report management, receipt tracking, and business travel expense tracking. As noted on the Expensify website, for individuals, Expensify is “Free up to 25 SmartScans/month. Upgrade for unlimited SmartScans.” (Retrieved from https://www.expensify.com/pricing, last accessed 7/2/2021).
Student Loan Resources
Federal Student Aid
Find the right repayment plan for you, learn how to make payments, get help if you can’t afford your payments, and see what circumstances might result in a loan being forgiven, canceled, or discharged.
National Consumer Law Center / Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project
The National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project is a resource for borrowers, their families, and advocates representing student loan borrowers.
Articles and Publications
“Nine Rules for Billing Ethically and Getting Paid on Time” by Todd. C. Scott is available online at https://www.mlmins.com/Pages/Articles/Nine-Rules-for-Billing-Ethically-and-Getting-Paid-On-Time.aspx
Budgeting for Irregular Income
Your Money, Your Life (PBS)
Your Life, Your Money features compelling, real-life stories of young people facing and overcoming intense economic challenges. This one-hour special will empower our youth with sound, simple financial advice – raising awareness on banking, credit, investments, budgeting, insurance, self-employment, and more.
Loaded with practical, engaging information, Your Life, Your Money has a full team of personal finance experts – including, best-selling author Beth Kobliner and syndicated columnist Michelle Singletary. The show also provides celebrity insights from hip-hop icon Russell Simmons and R&B pop singer D. Wood.
Beyond the program, Your Life, Your Money will host a number of national outreach events to improve money management skills for young adults. Teachers and parents can also find tools and resources to help create their own activities and lesson plans.
A 12 Step recovery program for people who want to stop incurring unsecured debt.
Business Debtors Anonymous
Business Debtors Anonymous (B.D.A., formerly known as Business Owners Debtors Anonymous, or B.O.D.A.) is a distinct and dynamic but not separate part of D.A., created to focus on the recovery of members of the fellowship who are business owners. Together, members of B.D.A. support one another in applying the D.A. principles and tools when owning and running a business.
Credit Reporting Bureaus
Annual Credit Report
This website offers all three credit reports for free (without a credit score) once a year.
Please note credit reports are available through Sand Creek. See above for information regarding accessing their financial counseling services.