Being able to make informed and effective decisions about finances has never been more important. Check out this section to learn about credit and money management, budgeting, savings and many more topics.

    College.gov
  • General Literacy Sites
  • Reality Check - Careers
  • www.cdr.state.tx.us/realitycheck/
  • This state web site connects lifestyle choices with the salaries required to fund them. Users select the Texas city in which they live and answer questions about desired housing, clothing, entertainment and other personal aspects. Then, based on those answers, you will see a calculation of the annual income required to live in that fashion. You'll also see jobs that pay that income.
  • AIE - Managing Your Money
  • Adventures in Education (AIE) Managing Your Money
  • www.aie.org/managing-your-money/
  • Are you a skilled spender and saver? This page provides financial literacy tips and resources to help you manage your money, minimize debt and get started on a road to prosperity. The site is designed for high school and college students.
  • Mapping Your Future - Financial Fitness Tools
  • http://mappingyourfuture.org/money/
  • Learning how to manage your money the right way is an important step toward taking control of your life. Understand where your money is coming from, where it’s going to, and how to make sure that the way you manage your money falls in line with the values that matter most to you. Sections are designated for middle school, high school, undergraduate and graduate for more age appropriate content. Consider this site as learning the A,B,C’s of personal finance – starting with the basics and moving up.
  • What's My Score
  • Practical Money Skills for Life
  • www.practicalmoneyskills.com
  • To help students of all ages learn the essentials of personal finance, Visa has partnered with leading consumer advocates to create the Practical Money Skills program. Students can access free educational resources including personal finance articles, games, lesson plans, and videos.

    Supporting Site:
    What’s My Score
    A comical look at a serious subject. Learn about the importance of credit and your credit score through funny videos, games, blogs, guides, and top 10 lists.
  • MSN Money – Personal Finance
  • http://money.msn.com/personal-finance
  • One page of the MSN family of web sites, the personal finance section has a wealth of easily-navigated offerings. The site is geared more toward adults, but the information is good no matter your age. Topics include saving, budgeting, loans, retirement and debt. Much of the information is presented simply and in an entertaining way through videos, graphs and pictures.
  • MyMoney.gov
  • MyMoney.gov
  • www.mymoney.gov
  • This site organizes financial education help from over 20 different federal web sites. Content is organized by where you are in life ("Life Events"), who you are ("My Resources"), and by specific hands-on tools ("Tools"). Popular Topics are also highlighted. This site provides summaries of resources available at other official government sites and allows you to open those pages in a new window ("Learn More").
  • Credit Information & Assistance

  • Equifax
    (800) 685-1111 (general) // (888) 766-0008 (fraud)

    Experian
    (888) 397 - 3742 (general & fraud)

    TransUnion
    (800) 888-4213 (general) // (800) 680-7289 (fraud)
  • Credit Bureaus
  • There are three major credit bureaus: all use some form of the FICO model to calculate credit scores. Each bureau compiles their own credit reports, so it is important to check your report from each of them to ensure against inaccuracies and fraud. By federal law, each credit bureau is required to provide you with one free copy of your credit report per year upon request. Each bureau will also provide you with your credit score for a small fee. All offer consumer assistance and help with identity theft.

  • CNN Money
  • CNN Money: Personal Finance
  • http://money.cnn.com
  • CNN Money is a good all-around website that carries a wide array of contemporary articles and information on daily personal finance concerns.
  • Free Annual Credit Report
  • www.annualcreditreport.com
  • By federal law, each of the 3 major credit bureaus is required to provide you with one free copy per year of your credit report (though not your credit score) upon request. It is important to review this information not only to track and improve your financial health, but also to ensure against fraud and identity theft. This is the site that offers the free copies. Experts recommend that each credit bureau be checked annually via one of these reports.
  • Adventures in Education (AIE) Managing Credit and Debt
  • www.aie.org/managing-your-money/credit-scores-and-reports/managing-credit-and-debt.cfm
  • Adventures in Education created this interactive site as an introduction to credit for high school and college students. Learn how a credit card works, how to read a credit card statement, financing terminology and important things about credit scores. The site tries to keep subject matter light and entertaining.
  • My FICO
  • My FICO
  • www.myfico.com
  • This is the web site from the company that basically invented the credit score system. Get advice on how to fix your FICO score, pay for credit monitoring service to defend against identity theft, or just find out more about credit and how it works. For a nominal fee you can also find out what your score really is.
  • Bankrate.com
  • www.bankrate.com
  • Bankrate.com provides free rate information to consumers on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used automobile loans, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans, and online banking fees. They also publish personal finance stories to help consumers make informed financial decisions: purchasing a home, selecting a new car, saving for retirement, and other life events. This site is complex, but can be helpful.
  • Consumer Protection & Identity Theft
  • OptOutPrescreen.com
  • www.optoutprescreen.com
  • OptOutPrescreen.com is the official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry web site to accept and process requests from consumers to Opt-In or Opt-Out of firm offers of credit or insurance. There are pros and cons for both sides, but by Opting-Out you forbid all three credit reporting agencies from selling your name and personal information to other firms for soliciting purposes. This stops your credit info from going to any one without your OK and reduces the junk mail you receive. The choices are to Opt-Out indefinitely or for only 5 years, and you can always choose to Opt back in. Consult the web site for detailed reasons on both sides.
  • American Consumer Credit Counseling
  • American Consumer Credit Counseling
  • www.consumercredit.com
  • American Consumer Credit Counseling is a non-profit credit counseling agency that helps consumers take control of their financial lives through credit counseling, debt consolidation and financial education. Since 1991 they have been improving lives and providing solutions to people in need of financial help.
  • CNN Money: Cyber-Security
  • http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/cybersecurity/
  • The Complete Layman's Guide to Cyber Safety is an easy to navigate guide to guarding against ID theft, online scams, computer break-ins and other 21st century threats. It covers computer use at home, at work and by children.
  • Credit.com: Identity Theft Basics
  • Credit.com: Identity Theft Basics
  • www.credit.com/credit_information/id_theft/Identity-Theft-Basics.jsp
  • A quick Q & A on the types of identity theft.
  • Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Site
  • www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
  • This website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. On this site, consumers can learn what to do in the event of identity theft.
  • FTC Consumer Information
  • FTC Consumer Information - Identity Theft, Privacy, & Security
  • www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/data/idt.shtm
  • The Federal Trade Commission offers various free government publications concerning identity theft that can be downloaded. Related consumer alerts are posted along with indexed links to other consumer categories.
  • Calculators
  • Kiplinger: Monthly Budgeting Worksheet
  • Kiplinger: Monthly Budgeting Worksheet
  • www.kiplinger.com/tools/budget/
  • Start with their basic budgeting worksheet to get on top of your monthly living costs by projecting expenditures in various categories, and then comparing those projections to what you actually spend.
  • Bankrate: College Finance Calculators
  • www.bankrate.com/student-loans.aspx
  • With the college student in mind, Bankrate has developed calculators to consider their needs. There are calculators for student budgets, loans, spending and even lunch savings. You’ll also find articles on student saving and ways to help pay for college.
  • CNN Money: Debt Reduction Planner
  • CNN Money: Debt Reduction Planner
  • http://money.cnn.com/tools/debtplanner/debtplanner
  • Find out how long it will take to become debt free with either credit cards or fixed payment loans. Or find out how much interest you’ll pay by making minimum monthly payments.
  • FinAid
  • www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml
  • This loan payment calculator computes an estimate of the size of your monthly loan payments and the annual salary required to manage them without too much financial difficulty. This loan calculator can be used with Federal education loans and most private student loans. (The calculator can also be used to calculate your auto loan or mortgage payments).