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Transcript of CCCS of Buffalo to enjoy it to the fullest without financial distress before, during, or after....

  • SUMMER 2016

    This newsletter is a publication of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc., a not-for-profit agency. It is provided as a

    source of information for clients, sponsors, representatives of the credit industry and the

    human service networks supportive of the mission and vision of CCCS.

    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc.

    40 Gardenville Pkwy., Suite 300 West Seneca, NY 14224 716-712-2060 [phone]

    800-926-9685 [toll free] 716-712-2079 [fax]

    cccs@cccsbuffalo.org www.ConsumerCreditBuffalo.org

    Twitter: @CCCSbuffalo

    CCCS Main Office 40 Gardenville Parkway West Seneca, NY 14224

    Dale Association 33 Ontario Street

    Lockport, NY 14094

    Evans Bank 2800 Niagara Falls Boulevard

    Tonawanda, NY 14150

    Family & Children’s Service of Niagara

    1522 Main Street Niagara Falls, NY 14305

    Key Bank 306 West Ferry Street

    Buffalo, NY 14213

    M&T Bank 750 Main Street

    Niagara Falls, NY 14301

    Veteran’s One-stop Center 1280 Main Street, 2nd Floor

    Buffalo, NY 14209

    Veterans Outreach Center 403 Main Street, Suite 320

    Buffalo, NY 14203

    Community Counseling Centers: Please call

    716-712-2060 to schedule an appointment

    at any of our locations:

    n

    CCCS of Buffalo NEWS Now Offering First-time Homebuyer Education Courses By Lisa Frankenberger

    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc. is excited to announce our expanded involvement with Pre- Purchase Homebuyer Education.

    We’ve become an approved Homebuyer Education Provider through the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. This allows us to provide homebuyer education counseling for individuals who enroll in the First Home Club Program, a down payment/closing cost assistance savings program available to first-time home buyers.

    CCCS offers a homebuyer education course which covers topics such as becoming financially ready to

    buy a home, managing a budget, understanding credit, the process of obtaining a mortgage, and shopping for a home. The course is offered periodically throughout the year in a workshop setting

    and also available to take online at any time. For more information, call 716-712-2060.

    We understand that purchasing a home

    can be a very exciting time, as well as a newfound responsibility in one’s life. Whether someone is a first-time homebuyer or just looking to become more educated about homeownership, we can help them prepare.

    Please join us for our next workshop on Saturday, July 16th, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register for the workshop by calling 716- 712-2060 or by visiting us online at www. consumercreditbuffalo.org.

    Lisa Frankenberger

    http://blog.cccsbuffalo.org http://blog.cccsbuffalo.org

  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc. Summer 2016– 2 –

    By Geoff Williams, US News & World Report, June 3, 2016

    If you’re buried in credit card debt and can’t make your payments, you may have wondered if you should tap a credit counseling service. And you may

    well need one. But what you may not realize is that

    these days, credit counseling services do far more than help consumers with credit card bills. In recent years, the scope of

    Booted by Your Bank? Up to Your Ears in Student Loans? Help Awaits.

    Beyond Debt: Other Ways Credit Counselors Can Help Consumers

    their offering has expanded and evolved. If you have a money problem, chances are, a credit counseling service can help you.

    That doesn’t mean you should drop everything and seek one out automatically.

    While credit counseling services are nonprofits, they do charge money for many of their offerings, although your first introductory meeting should be free. What’s more, not every credit counseling service is on the up and up. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to find out whether the service you’re eyeing is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or NFCC, or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies, or AICCCA.

    In any case, if you feel you need help with your

    finances, these are some of the services credit counselors frequently offer— beyond helping you whittle down your credit card debt.

    Student loan counseling.

    According to Edvisors.com, which offers information about college financial aid, on average, each member of the class of 2015 graduated with $35,051 in student debt. That may not be so bad if you land a well-paying job, but that could really weigh you down if you don’t. Which is how many credit counseling services have come to include student loan counseling as one of their offerings.

    Financial coaching. You could argue that all a credit counseling service does is offer financial coaching, but the field has become much more specialized than it used to be. Many credit counseling services offer free financial advice to members of the military, some of whom historically have had trouble adjusting their finances to the civilian world. There are programs for the Hispanic community, and many nonprofits have homeownership education programs, post-bankruptcy programs and even programs to help children become more financially savvy.

    In other words, if you fear you’re financially in over your head, and you’re mulling over the idea of going to a credit counseling service, now’s the time. You probably don’t want to discover what might happen if you wait until later.

    The full article can be read at: http:// money.usnews.com/money/personal- finance/articles/2016-06-03/beyond- debt-3-other-ways-credit-counselors-can- help-consumers

  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc. Summer 2016– 3 –

    Vacationing on a Budget By Robert Dunn

    Many individuals have varying financial goals, but often an annual vacation or trip with family top the list of most.

    Of course they don’t just happen with the snap of a finger. Vacations take financial planning, budgeting, savings, and research and creativity for finding affordable transportation, accommodations, and activities upon arrival. Vacations are well- deserved treats that are the result of hard work, and with the right preparation you should be able to enjoy it to the fullest without financial distress before, during, or after.

    First and foremost planning for a vacation should start with setting an overall budget for the trip. This will allow to you determine how much you need to start systematically saving, ideally for several months up to a year in advance of the trip depending on the anticipated cost.

    The total cost can be the most difficult task to accurately estimate as you have to account for all expenses during your vacation, including and not limited to: airfare and transportation, lodging, travel documents, food and groceries, dining out, entertainment, activities, local transportation expenses, souvenirs, and gifts.

    After you have determined your allotted budget for the trip, and most importantly begun saving for the adventure, it’s time to shop around for the necessary and most costly travel expenses: airfare and lodging. One thing that appears not to be changing anytime soon is increasing flight prices. With continued rising fuel costs, the era

    of cheap travel is over. Although that doesn’t mean you can’t find an affordable flight, or perhaps even a “cheap” one at that. The best way to ensure that you do find an affordable ticket is by booking your reservation well in advance. About two to three months in advance used to be plenty of time, but nowadays you will want to purchase your flight as soon as

    you know you want to go. Also, having some flexibility in your dates of travel can help reduce the cost. Flying on weekends is almost always more expensive, and if you can manage to travel on Tuesday through Thursday you will significantly reduce your cost of flying. You will also want to try and avoid holidays if possible as this

    is when many people are flying, which drives the prices up.

    As for lodging, some of the same rules that apply to flying can be followed in order to find cheaper accommodations. First and foremost though, you need to decide what level of quality lodging you want. Are you looking for somewhere that is simply clean and has a bed to lay

    your head at night and take a shower? Or are you looking for somewhere with flat screen TVs, a luxurious pool, and a five-star restaurant downstairs?

    Once you decide on the quality of lodging you would like, you can begin your research. In addition to standard lodging accommodations such as hotels and hostels, where you can find potential discounted rooms on websites such as www.priceline. com, take a look at options for renting from owners, such as www.VRBO.com (Vacation Rental By Owner) or www. airbnb.com. These could be great options for saving money, and staying somewhere that will fit your expectations.

    As for tips when you arrive at your destination, whether you are traveling locally or internationally, spending more time at “local” spots you will find that you take less of a hit on your wallet. For example, you will find in Europe that most

    restaurants near tourist locations (parks, squares, museums, etc.) tend to have far more expensive prices, and likely a subpar quality of food. Invest in a good gui