Meet one-on-one with a financial coach to get you back on track.

Financial Coaching

No bank account? Overdue bills? Bad credit? No savings?

CEP's Progress Program provides free, confidential, and personalized financial coaching to help you manage your money and improve your financial future. Your goals and achievements will be driven by you with the focus on long-term progress, not emergency relief. This is a 3-month program that requires a commitment to meet with an assigned coach every other week.  Learn more

Useful Tips

To move toward financial stability, it's important to use these opportunities for better money management:

Your credit report

Employers, landlords, banks and lenders check your credit report before they offer you a service. If you don't know what's on it, you could get a nasty surprise when trying to take out a loan, make a big purchase, move into a new home or start a new job.  Checking your credit report can also tell you if someone is trying to steal your identity!

You can get your credit report for free once a year by signing up for the Progress Program or clicking here - it only takes a minute to check!

The W4 - A Powerful Tool

The W4 is a form you fill out at work when you start a new job.  It lets the IRS know what you plan to put on your tax return the next time you file. What you put on your W4 will also determine how much is taken out of your paycheck for taxes.

Tax Time

If you've filed your taxes before, you know it can be confusing, time consuming and sometimes expensive. That's why CEP offers free tax preparation to anyone who qualifies. We make sure to help you claim every tax credit you're eligible for and even offer you ways to save some of your refund for a rainy day. Learn more about this free service.

Banking

In this day and age, you need to have a bank account.  A good bank account can help you conveniently keep your money safe, build your credit, help you track your spending habits and even earn interest.  At CEP, we work hand in hand with many Illinois banks at our tax sites, making sure to bring you only the bank accounts that are the best for you.