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  • Archive for July, 2012

    A Little Help on the Road to Financial Independence

    Monday, July 2nd, 2012

    On this 4th of July, when we celebrate America, we also know that many Americans are struggling to get by in this difficult economy.  The good news is that numerous city and state governments and also the federal government are trying to help. Here are a few programs that might help you, your friends or your family, to save money, stay in your home, pay down debt, and move towards a more secure, independent financial future.

    Mortgages: A number of federal programs are helping people who are struggling to make mortgage payments. The America Built to Last program is a federal program helping service members and responsible homeowners pay down their mortgages. The Making Home Affordable Program is another federal program that aims to help homeowners get mortgage relief and avoid foreclosure. The deadline to apply has just been extended to December 31, 2013. To talk to a federally-approved housing counselor who can help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company, call 888-995-HOPE (4673) or for the hearing impaired, call 877-304-9709 TTY. Local and state governments also have mortgage assistance programs.

    Bills & Expenses:  State and local governments and organizations can help in many ways, from medical bill assistance to free legal advice. The National Council on Aging’s Benefits Check Up website can help you find state and local resources for covering health care, prescription, and food costs for yourself or for other older members of your family. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federal program that can assist you in paying your home energy bills. It is important to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and LIHEAP can help you stay safe and healthy in your home.

    Legal Advice: The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a non-profit that was established in 1974 with the goal of promoting equal access to justice in America and to provide high quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons. Nearly 75% of their clientele are women.  Today LSC is the single largest source of funding for civil legal assistance to low-income Americans, and deals most frequently in cases involving Family Law, Housing & Foreclosures, Consumer Issues, and Income Maintenance.

    Jobs: The Hire Heros Act and Veteran Retraining Assistance Program are federal programs that specifically help the veterans of our country find jobs. For recent grads who are struggling to pay down student debt, some cities are creating special incentives that can help you. In an effort to attract new brain power and reverse trends of declining resident populations, some cities are offering to pay off the student loan debt for people who come to live and work in their city, as a way of enticing new, young residents to their communities.

    WISER

    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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