Ask the Financial Counselor: Navigating Money Setbacks

 By Susana Raya

Susan is a financial expert with GreenPath Financial Wellness, the national nonprofit organization that provides financial counseling, education and products to empower people to lead financially healthy lives. Through their work with GreenPath, Susana has helped people with debt and credit management, homeownership education, and foreclosure prevention.

Many Americans are trying to figure out how to juggle expenses and keep current with housing and other essentials.

You may find yourself in such a predicament. Having access to options is one way to reduce worry.  Perhaps you’re simply motivated to find better ways to manage your finances, including paying down debt and saving more for your future. Or you have dreams of buying a home, but feel discouraged about your progress. It may be time to consider financial counseling. I’ve helped many individuals on their financial journey, and I know getting help when you need it is key to changing your life for the better.

Financial Counseling Can Help

SchoolsFirst FCU  has partnered with our team at GreenPath Financial Wellness to help Members develop a financial strategy and learn to make the most of your money. If you’re facing financial stress during this challenging time, financial counseling can give you a sense of relief. A recent study conducted by GreenPath found that 90% of people who speak with a financial counselor feel better prepared to handle their finances. There are no rules about how severe or mild your financial concerns need to be. Trust your instincts, and if you sense that talking with someone would help, credit counseling is a great step to start a new chapter in your financial life.

Financial Counseling is for Everyone

Financial counseling is for anyone who wants to improve and maintain financial health. Maybe you’re looking to buy a house, or refinance your car — or just be prepared for financial changes. It’s a great way to help you be ready for whatever life throws your way.

Financial counseling could be helpful if you want to:

  • Get out of debt
  • Make and live on a budget
  • Improve your credit
  • Relieve stress and anxiety about your
  • finances
  • Buy a house or save money for a big goal

How Does the Process Work?

We understand that every person’s situation is unique so the advice we share will be tailored to your specific situation. When you call, the first person you talk to will ask you some questions about your financial situation and what you need, and then will connect you to a financial counselor who is an expert in your area of concern.

A typical counseling session takes about an hour and includes:

  • Reviewing your current financial situation
  • Sharing different options for accomplishing your goals
  • Providing recommendations that fit your circumstances
  • Developing a personalized action plan

Take the Next Step

All it takes is a phone call. Remember, your session is free and confidential. All GreenPath counselors have completed comprehensive training and certification from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). This ensures our ability to provide quality education and assistance. NFCC is the oldest and largest organization in the U.S. Call 800.572.5923 or visit our website1 to learn more.

GreenPath’s Resource Center1

If you’re not ready to meet with a counselor, we do offer advice to help as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues.

Managing Debt
Housing and Bills
Student Loans
Tax and Unemployment


1.  When you click on external links, you are linking to alternate websites not operated by SchoolsFirst FCU, and SchoolsFirst FCU is not responsible for the content of the alternate websites. The fact that there is a link from SchoolsFirst FCU’s website to an alternate website does not constitute endorsement of any product, service, or organization. SchoolsFirst FCU does not represent either you or the website operator if you enter into a transaction. Privacy and security policies may differ from those practiced by SchoolsFirst FCU, and you should review the alternate website’s policies.

Extra Credit provides general information to help improve our Member’s financial lives. Every situation is different, so please contact us for guidance on your specific needs. The advice provided in Extra Credit is not intended to serve as a substitute for speaking to a loan representative, financial advisor, or GreenPath Financial Wellness counselor who can help tailor a solution for you.

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