Financial health
FAQs

  • What is financial coaching? Is it different from financial advising?

    As a model, financial coaching recognizes that changing personal financial habits can be very difficult, in the same way it is difficult to change any other lifestyle habits. While people may be aware of the types of changes they should make in order to improve their long-term financial health, consistently incorporating these changes into one's daily life can be difficult.

    Financial Coaches work with clients to help them understand and clearly define their personal financial goals, and to develop concrete, actionable strategies to help meet them. In this way, coaching puts clients in the driver's seat. The coach provides guidance, support, resources, and accountability as the client works toward their goals. (NeighborWorks America)

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial advising, financial counseling

  • What is the difference between financial coaching and financial counseling?

    Financial coaching often builds on financial education and counseling services by helping people apply the knowledge they may have already gained through these other programs. Rather than crisis management, financial coaching focuses on building financial habits that help clients secure long-term financial health. Accordingly, research has shown that financial coaching can be transformational for people, empowering them to take control of their finances. (NeighborWorks America)

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial advising, financial counseling

  • Can I make a financial coaching appointment?

    To make an appointment with a financial coach, sign up for our Project Money program.

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial coach, appointment, apply

  • What is Project Money and how do I apply?

    Project Money is CEP's no cost financial coaching program open to residents of the greater Chicago region. The program can be completed in three months. We accept applications in the spring, summer, and fall. Please see our Project Money page for more info.

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial coach, appointment, apply

  • What kinds of things could I work on with a Financial Coach?

    Financial Coaches in our Project Money program help with the following:

    • Goal-Setting Skills
    • Money Management Skills
    • Credit-Building Skills
    • Negotiating and Handling Debt
    • Building Healthy Financial Habits

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial coach, appointment, apply, savings, debt reduction, credit building

  • Who qualifies for federal student aid?

    To view eligibility criteria, please visit: www.studentaid.gov/eligibility.

    Keywords: student aid, student loans

  • How can I apply for federal student aid?

    Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you need a paper FAFSA, you can print a copy here or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). You can apply between January 1 and June 30. You will need your prior year tax return to complete the FAFSA. Visit one of our tax sites or file for free online to get help preparing your tax return.

    Keywords: student aid, student loans

  • Where can I go to get college scholarship information?

    Visit www.collegescholarships.org or www.scholarshipexperts.com.

    Keywords: student aid, student loans, scholarships

  • Can CEP help with creating a payment plan for my student loans?

    Yes! Through our Project Money program, a Financial Coach can help you to organize your loan bills and create a plan to repay your student loans. 

    Keywords: student aid, student loans, financial coaching, financial coach, debt reduction

  • Where can I go for assistance when having problems paying my student loans?

    To check eligibility for deferment or forbearance, visit Student Loan Borrower Assistance.

    Keywords: student aid, student loans, financial coaching, financial coach, debt reduction

  • Where can I go to consolidate my student loans?

    If you are looking to consolidate your student loans, visit studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/consolidation for more information.

    Keywords: student aid, student loans, consolidate, debt reduction

  • Can CEP help me with establishing better credit?

    Yes! Through our Project Money program, a Financial Coach can help you establish, build, or rebuild your credit. Your coach will share valuable tools to help you dispute errors on your credit report, find beneficial credit products, and manage your credit responsibly.

    For shorter-term help, you can visit a Credit Geek at one of our Money Action Days. The Credit Geek will provide a free copy of your credit report and a 5-step action plan for building or rebuilding your credit.

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial coach, credit score, credit report

  • How can I get a copy of my credit report and score?

    Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to pull your free credit report on your own. You can pull one free credit report each year from each of the three credit bureaus. To request it by mail, go to the same website and download the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Services, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. To get your report by phone, call 1-877-322-8228.

    To get help from CEP you can do one or both of the following:

    • Meet with one of our Financial Coaches to obtain your credit score and set up a plan to build and improve your credit.
    • Attend one of our Money Action Day events (running monthly between May and October) to see a Credit Geek volunteer who will pull your TransUnion credit report and help you consider ways to build your credit.

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial coach, credit score, credit report

  • Will it hurt my score if I pull my credit report with CEP?

    No. All credit reports pulled at CEP are soft-pulls, meaning they do not affect your credit score in any way.

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial coach, credit score, credit report

  • Does my score automatically come with my credit report?

    If you pull your credit report with CEP, you will obtain your FICO & Vantage credit scores. If you pull your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com, you will not receive your credit score. You will have to either pay for your FICO score on www.myficoscore.com or pull your Vantage Score for free at one of the following websites:

    • Credit Karma (individuals can check their score as often as they want)
    • Quizzle (individuals can check their score and report twice a year)
    • Credit Sesame (customers can check their score monthly)

    These sites also provide financial development and debt management tools, as well as links to various financial products. Please note that CEP does not promote any of these products directly.

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial coach, credit score, credit report

  • Does CEP handle bankruptcies?

    Unfortunately, we do not. The Legal Assistance Foundation offers a free clinic for individuals wishing to file chapter 7 bankruptcy on their own without an attorney (Pro Se). Call 312-431-2231 to register.

    Keywords: bankruptcies, debt reduction

  • I have a Payday or Title loan I am behind on. Where can I go for help?

    If you have one ore more of these types of loans, call the Client Screening Unit of the Legal Aid Foundation at 312-341-1070. They take calls as soon as 8:00am. They may be able to help you consider payment strategies.

    Keywords: financial coaching, financial coach, debt reduction, payday, title, loan

  • Where can I get information about SNAP or Medicaid Benefits?

    The Greater Chicago Food Depository helps people determine if they are eligible for these benefits and, if so, helps them apply. For more information, call 777-843-5416.

    Keywords: benefits, SNAP, Medicaid, income support

No matches were found.