Financial Empowerment Center

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Make an Appointment

The Baltimore Financial Empowerment Center staff offer professional in-person and remote financial counseling sessions to all residents as a free public service.

Make an appointment by completing our online form.

About Our Program

The Baltimore City Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) Initiative, offers professional financial education through one-on-one financial counseling and coaching, as a free public service to area residents, regardless of income. Through a Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) partnership with Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund; professionally trained and certified FEC counselors help residents manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products.

Through partnerships with multiple community, non-profit and for-profit partners, we integrate financial counseling with other services including workforce development, housing and foreclosure prevention, prisoner reentry, benefits access, domestic violence services, and more.

Counselors work to help our clients:

  • Manage their money
  • Pay down debt
  • Increase savings
  • Establish and build credit
  • Access safe and affordable mainstream banking products

Whether you are in chronic financial trouble, an unexpected crisis arises, or you just want to make sure you are on the right track, individualized counseling can move you toward greater financial stability. Managing bills, working through debt, budgeting, improving your credit, establishing a savings habit, opening a bank account – you name it. Working with a financial counselor is client-led, so whatever circumstance or goals you come in with, a counselor can help you design a plan of action and provide encouragement along the way. Sometimes you just need someone to assure you there is a path forward.

What We Do

CREDIT BUILDING

  • Building your credit can seem like a daunting task, and there are so many myths floating around about what helps or hurts your credit score, that it can be hard to know where to turn.
  • The counselors at Baltimore Financial Empowerment Centers are here to help you understand how to best navigate your journey.

Based on your individual situation, counselors can help you:

  • Read your credit report
  • Learn how to improve your credit
  • Learn how good credit can help your financial future
  • Review your credit report for accuracy
  • Dispute any inaccuracies on your credit report with the credit bureaus
  • Create a plan to pay down debt
  • Negotiate with creditors seeking payment for accounts in collection
  • Send ‘cease and desist’ letters to creditors that are harassing you
  • Create a plan to address issues with identity theft
  • Establish credit wisely if you do not have any credit history

BANKING

  • Looking to find the right bank/credit union but don't know where to start?
  • Had a bank close your account?
  • Tired of paying fees at check cashing locations?
  • Our Financial Empowerment Counselors will connect you with safe and affordable banking options in our community that will allow you to avoid paying fees and start paying yourself

Based on your individual situation, counselors can help you:

  • Learn how a bank account can help you save money on fees (check cashing, money orders, wire transfers, and remittances)
  • Ensure you have an affordable bank account
  • Identify ways to lower how much you pay in bank fees
  • Help you open a bank account if you do not have one
  • Help fix bank accounts in Chexsystems

DEBT REDUCTION

  • Feeling overwhelmed with debt? Our counselors will help you see the light.
  • All Financial Empowerment Counselors are trained to help you with debt negotiations, debt repayment strategies, and budgeting to help you stay afloat.
  • Whether its student loans, medical debt, personal loans, home or car debt, we can help create a customized strategy to get you back in control of your finances.

Based on your individual situation, counselors can help you:

  • Learn how to manage debt wisely
  • Prioritize debt repayment
  • Create a plan to pay down debt
  • Review your credit report to identify current debt
  • Send verification letters to confirm ownership of past debt
  • Negotiate with creditors seeking payment for accounts in collection
  • Negotiate with lenders to prevent foreclosure
  • Develop a plan to pay student loans
  • Create steps to plan for wage garnishments

SAVINGS

  • Whether you want to save for an emergency fund, a new car, education, or your dream home, all savings plans start the same way- with a dream.
  • Our counselors will help you create a customized savings plan based on your goals.
  • Developing savings habits can be hard, but by keeping your eyes on the prize you can make your dreams come true.
  • Meet with a counselor today, and start paying yourself first.

Based on your individual situation, counselors can help you:

  • Create a household budget to identify areas to reduce current spending
  • Save for life events or emergencies
  • Save for retirement
  • Save for college or a job training program
  • Save for a down payment on a house