What is Financial Empowerment?

Financial empowerment is possessing the knowledge and ability to make choices and take desired actions that improve one’s financial wellbeing.

What is financial coaching?

Financial coaching is a series of one-on-one meetings or check-ins between a client and a coach with the goal of helping that client set and achieve their financial goals. Coaching focuses on building the client’s financial skills to promote long-term economic well-being.

How can I sign up for free financial coaching from the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment?

Visit the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment page to sign up for coaching, workshops, or other programming. The Center can also be contacted directly at RCFE@boston.gov or 617-541-2670.

Can you help me find a job?

Yes, our staff at the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment can help you prepare a resume, work with you on interviewing skills, and assist with written and online job applications. We also offer workshops in Roxbury that assist with the job search process. The final results depend on you but we are happy to help!

Can I print my resume and cover letter in one of your offices?

Yes, the Roxbury Center has a full array of computers, printers, and Internet access. We also have a fax machine you can use if you need to send a fax to an employer.

How do I open a bank account and what is the best account for me?

We can’t decide what the best checking account is for your needs but here are some things to consider:

To open a bank account, you will generally need to provide identification and a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

There are two types of accounts that you may open:

  • Checking accounts allow for easy access to your money to pay bills and make purchases. Many banks charge a monthly fee for a checking account. When opening a checking account, make sure to compare banks and ask about fees. It may be possible to negotiate for lower fees, particularly if you are employed and can sign up for direct deposit of your pay check. Be sure to inquire about the locations of ATMs to determine if they are near your home or work.
  • Savings accounts allow you to save your money and earn interest. Again, be sure to compare interest rates, fees, and rules regarding minimum balances at different banking institutions.

Not sure where to start? Bank On Boston helps residents find accounts that fit their needs. The Find an Account page lists several banks that meet high standards for safety and affordability.

How can I submit a complaint about a bank, credit report, or other financial services to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

File a complaint with the CFPB. TheY will forward your complaint to the company and work to get a response from them.

What is the ONLY official government website where I can get my annual free credit report?

To order your credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com, or call 1.877.322.8228. You may complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

What are my rights if I am being harassed by debt collectors?

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Debt Collection Regulations prohibit many unfair debt collection practices by creditors, and regulations of the Massachusetts Division of Banks prohibit unfair debt collection practices by debt collection agencies. Visit the Attorney General’s website for more information.

Where can I find resources and advice about declaring bankruptcy? What are the costs and benefits of bankruptcy?

There are a number of helpful resources you should consult before declaring bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will affect your future credit and your reputation, so you should consider various pros and cons before you decide in bankruptcy is the best option for you.

Check out these resources:

Massachusetts Law about Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Basics from the U.S. Federal Courts

Filing for Bankruptcy in Massachusetts

I’ve been the victim of fraud or identity theft. What should I do?

The Federal Trade Commission provides helpful information on its website about recovering from identity theft.

In addition, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office may be able to help you with specific situations. You can contact their office at 617.727.8400.

How can I find a lawyer?

We cannot recommend a lawyer but the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office provides contact information for organizations that provide legal referrals and free legal services for qualifying low-income individuals.

Where can I go to receive free tax assistance?

Please visit the Boston Tax Help Coalition website to find information on eligibility, required documents, and available tax sites. Your trained volunteer tax preparer will be able to file your taxes on your behalf.

How can I volunteer with the Boston Tax Help Coalition?

Please visit the Boston Tax Help Coalition’s Volunteer Positions page to learn more and sign up.

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