King County is rich in resources to assist residents with financial planning. Take advantage of these free or low-cost community resources, whether you’re just getting started with banking, saving for college or other life stages, or interested in putting together a debt management plan. Here are a few to consider.
Setting up a bank account
Interested in setting up a bank account, but not sure where to start?
- Bank On Seattle-King County is a network of agencies that offers free or low-cost one-on-one support to Puget Sound residents. It includes resources such as getting started with banking by explaining the steps to open a new account, using bank and credit union comparison charts, and links to additional community resources.
• Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides a wide range of tools, such as this checklist for opening up a new bank or credit union account, and answers to hundreds of financial questions.
Financial education workshops
There are many free courses on financial topics available. Whether online, in person or at your own pace, consider these tools:
- American Financial Solutions (AFS) offers free personal finance courses. Their series of programs teach the essentials of smart money management including, debt management, credit card debt management, budgeting and investing.
- BECU offers a wide range of free seminars, webinars and self-paced courses through its program, Getting Help Making Informed Financial Decisions. Learn how to read your credit report, manage your investments and more.
- ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions: Resource Center offers free courses on financial topics. Additional resources include money management articles, interactive tools and calculators and Money ebooks.
- MyMoney.gov provides information about preventing elder abuse, rebuilding after financial disasters, and much more through a variety of worksheets, games and more. MyMoney.gov is designed to assists consumers through different ages and stages of financial well-being.
Financial wellness coaching and counseling
In addition to King County’s My Secure Advantage, which provides 90 days of free financial coaching, there are other resources such as:
• CFPB Tele-Coaching offers free professional financial tele-coaching sessions are now available via phone as well as in-person. To talk to a coach, call 1-844-90-GOALS.
• YWCA’s Economic Resilience Initiative offers a variety of resources for individuals to build skills and confidence with their personal finances.
Retirement and investing
If you’re changing jobs or retiring, one of the most important decisions you may face is how to handle the money you’ve worked hard to earn and save. King County offers many opportunities to help you plan for retirement. See also Get ready for Retirement to learn more about retirement classes offered through King County.
In addition, you may want to check with your bank or credit union. Many banks and credit unions offer free initial consultations to help you understand your 401k, 403b or other retirement plans.
King County Disclaimer: King County does not guarantee the financial stability, proper licensure and professional certifications, and/or fair business practices of a business or organization and does not warrant or assume any responsibility related to the performance of the service/products provided. The resources listed do not in constitute the County’s endorsement of any organization, the beliefs of the organization or group, nor does it provide an expression of any opinion regarding the recommendation, retention, election or defect of any issue.