The City of Roanoke has contracted Freedom First to act as the financial counseling provider of Roanoke’s Financial Empowerment Center, the first of its kind in Virginia. Financial Empowerment Centers offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a no-cost public service to enable residents to address their financial challenges and needs and plan for their futures.
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As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Freedom First is positioned to funnel secondary capital and other funding sources back into our community for even greater impact. Freedom First acquires outside funding, often from the national level, that is then brought into our region through initiatives that meet our community’s needs. This means that we are not only keeping our members’ money local, but we are also bringing new capital into our region for local benefit.
Installment or payday loans can be deceptively expensive. Customers are pushed by predatory lenders to renew their loans over and over again, which causes mountains of interest debt to accrue. According to Pew Research and The Economist, every 90 seconds, $67,000 in new payday loan debt is issued in the U.S. and roughly 2.5 million American households use payday loans each year, making it a $40 billion industry. That’s why Freedom First offers payday loan alternatives and debt consolidation options to our members.
For example, Freedom First’s Payday Relief and Flash Cash loans act as a tool for people who have already fallen into a cycle of mounting high-interest debt to pay off their loans at a more manageable interest rate, which in turn can give them the room they need to break out of the predatory lending cycle.
One way Freedom First gives back is by engaging in community redevelopment and rehabilitation projects, by providing capital to developers who invest in neighborhoods facing continued disinvestment. Freedom First’s commercial and business banking teams are an integral part of the organization’s mission to give back to the community. Every local business that we help by providing necessary capital often means more local jobs. Every commercial loan funded in a target reinvestment area means more economic vitality, which will in turn encourage more businesses to follow. It’s a ripple effect.
Q: I’d love to improve my credit score, but I can’t get ahead of my monthly payments. I also find that my spending gets out of control when I’m paying with plastic. How do I use my credit cards responsibly?
A: Using your credit cards responsibly is a great way to boost your credit score and your financial wellness. Unfortunately, though, credit card issuers make it challenging to stay ahead of monthly payments and easy to fall into debt with credit card purchases. No worries, though; Freedom First is here to help!
Here’s all you need to know about responsible credit card usage.
Debt can destroy a budget, make long-term financial planning impossible, and shadow every purchase you make with guilt. No one wants to live with that debt burden. But how do you kiss your debt goodbye?
Crawling out from under this mountain won’t be easy, but if you’re ready to realign your priorities and do what it takes, you can shake off debt no matter how large.
Let’s take a look at two popular approaches for paying down debt and explore the pros and cons of each.
With unemployment levels rising and many employers cutting work hours, lots of college grads are now struggling to meet their student loan payments. Thankfully, the federal government has passed legislation to ease this burden. Unfortunately, though, many borrowers are confused about the terms and conditions of these changes.
Here’s all you need to know about the changes to student loan debt during the Coronavirus pandemic.
This article was originally written on June 1, 2020.
Steve Devlin, Senior Financial Consultant with Freedom First Wealth Management, and Jason Fletcher, Financial Consultant with Freedom First Wealth Management, share their thoughts on what to do with your finances if you recently lost your job.
Are you getting the most out of your credit card? We listened to our members and added new rewards you can earn in the first three months and beyond. We also have nationally competitive rates that rival many banks* — right here in your community.
Are you getting the most out of your Business credit card? We listened to our members and added new rewards you can earn in the first three months and beyond. We also have nationally competitive rates that rival many banks* — right here in your community.