Bank on Houston
Bank On Houston is a non-profit organization that offers information to open your first bank account or learn about second chance banking options. Find the right bank account for you with no or low monthly fees and no minimum balance required, even if you have had problems in the past with bounced checks or overdrawing your account.
Annual Free Credit Report
Annual Credit Report is the only government authorized source for free annual credit reports. This site gives unbiased information to help you understand what a credit report is, get an authorized copy of your credit score, and ways to protect yourself from identity theft.
How to Read your Credit Report
TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus, offers an easy to use guide to help you understand what is on your credit report and how long accounts affect your credit. Explore their website for helpful credit tips, quizzes to test your credit knowledge, and facts about identity theft.
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau - Submit a Complaint
If you feel you have been treated unfairly by a bank, pay day lender, cash advance company, or other financial institution, you can submit a complaint to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau will review your complaint and how it relates to federal law, contact the company about your experience, and anonymously share your complaint and similar issues so that other individuals can avoid the same problem in the future.
Credit Karma allows you to check your credit score for free and get weekly or monthly credit score update emails. This is a great way to track your credit score as you build your credit or pay off debt. It is important to remember that these credit score reports are free because Credit Karma is paid by credit card companies and banks to advertise their services. You may receive credit card offers by mail or email as a result of using this site.
Experian - Opting Out of Credit Card offers
You can choose not to receive credit card offers by mail or phone. Explore ways to opt out of these offers by following this link.
Find an IDA Program Near You
IDA or Individual Development Account programs help low income families reach their saving goals for buying a home, starting a small business, or paying for your own or a family member's college education. IDA accounts match your savings up to a certain amount, so for each dollar you save another dollar is added to your savings by the organization offering the IDA program.
Neighborhood Tax Centers
Neighborhood Tax Centers offer free tax preparation by trained professionals for individuals and families making $58,000 or less a year. If you have been employed in 2015 you may be eligible for a tax refund.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) was created by the IRS as a volunteer program for tax experts to help their community. If you earn less than $53,000 a year, have a disability, or have limited English you qualify for free tax preparation.
David Ramsey's Every Dollar
Every Dollar is a free budgeting tool that can be accessed online and as an app. Enter in your expected monthly income and create a personalized budget by planning how much you would like to spend by categories such as rent, utilities and groceries. No bank account required. Learn more about David Ramsey's Baby Steps and track your progress toward becoming financially stable.
Mint is a free budgeting and finance tool that can be downloaded as an app or accessed at www.mint.com. Mint helps you make a monthly budget, notifies you when you are close to or over your spending goals, and allows you to set reminders for upcoming bills. Mint securely links to your debit and credit accounts to help you track your spending and reach your financial goals.
Wally is a free budgeting mobile app that simplifies expense tracking for receipt savers. Simply take a picture of your receipt or type in your purchases and Wally will update your expenses by category - no need to link to your bank account. Enter your income and savings goal and Wally will calculate what you can afford to spend daily and monthly to meet your goal.
PocketGuard is a free budgeting application you can use from your phone or online. PocketGuard links to your bank account to make it easy to know how much money you have right now, review your monthly income and how much you spend on bills, while look for areas to cut back on spending.
If you love the envelope system or share expenses, Goodbudget is a great budgeting tool to track your spending by category on your phone or online. Create envelopes with goals for what you want to spend in each category. Track your spending by linking to your bank account or entering purchases into the app. Sync your Goodbudget account with other members of your household so each person you're sharing with knows what's spent, where, and when.
Mvelopes is another free online or mobile app option to track your spending with virtual envelopes and pay bills directly from your app. Mvelopes links to your bank accounts to update your purchases in real time. Users that upgrade to Mvelopes premium can contact a money coach for more budgeting and saving help.
Track your spending and learn tips and tricks for reducing your expenses with the free Spendee mobile app. Spendee can be used with or without linking the app to your bank account. Review how your spending has changed over time. Sync with members of your household to keep track of shared expenses in one place.
Watch your savings grow toward goal purchases in using the free Unsplurge mobile savings app. Manually enter the savings you've contributed to your goal in the app. Learn savings tips from fellow Unsplurge users striving toward the same goal and receive encouragement from other savers.
More Opportunities to Learn
Houston Money Week
Houston Money Week is a community wide initiative to bring financial education to adults and children in the month of April. Check out their calendar to find an event happening near you!
FDIC Money Smart Online Classes
Take free online classes at your own pace from the same Money Smart curriculum we teach in The Women's Resource classes. Register for free to access the 11 free topics in English or in Spanish.
FDIC Money Smart Podcasts
Stream or download free podcasts that talk through topics such as the Basics of Banking, Checking Accounts, Savings and Spending Plans and Borrowing Money based on the same Money Smart curriculum we teach in The Women's Resource classes.
Wi$e Up Online Classes
Take free online classes at your own pace from the Wi$e Up curriculum that we teach in The Women's Resource classes. Register for free to access the 8 free classes in English or in Spanish and other online resources like live Expert Q&A sessions and bimonthly teleconferences on financial topics.
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers free unbiased information about finances including budgeting help, information about pay day loans, cash advances and title loans, building and repairing credit, and protecting yourself from identity theft.
Hands on Banking
Handsonbanking.org offers free unbiased self-paced financial education classes online in Spanish and English. Course material is tailored to Adults, Military, Seniors, Entrepreneurship, Young Adults, Teens and Kids. Curriculum topics include budgeting, building credit, protecting yourself from identity theft, and investing in the future.
Better Money Habits
Choose from a list of common financial goals and situations to find video tutorials and articles to help you make the best decisions to reach your goal while avoiding common financial pitfalls. Topics include improving your credit score, reducing debt, creating an emergency fund, teaching your children about money, transitioning from military to civilian life, and saving for retirement.
Texas Health Care Guide
The Texas Health care guide provides information about health care coverage. Learn more about choosing an insurance plan, eligibility for free or low cost health care coverage, applying for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and how health insurance affects your income taxes.
Financial Games and Activities
o Bite Club: Save for retirement while running a vampire nightclub;
o Celebrity Calamity: Manage celebrity credit cards and spending; o Farm Blitz: Manage farm resources to build savings and survive financial emergencies;
o Groove Nation: Dance and budget on the Road to LA;
o Refund Rush: Help clients split tax refunds and save during tax time.
Hit the Road - A Financial Adventure
A throwback to The Oregon Trail® type game play, "Hit the Road" takes you on a virtual road trip across the country, but the journey is not an easy one. You must save and spend your money wisely to complete challenges along the way.