Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sponsorship for Three Washington Educators to Attend the National Jump$tart Educators Conference

Here’s a great opportunity for Washington teachers:

Jump$tart Washington will be sponsoring three teachers to attend the National Jump$tart Educators Conference in Los Angeles November 8-10, 2014.

The Jump$tart Coalition National Educator Conference is the only national conference for classroom teachers dedicated to personal finance education in the classroom. Each year, the conference provides PreK-12 educators with financial education resources, personal and professional development, access to a nation-wide network of colleagues, and general support for financial education.

Jump$tart Washington will be covering the expenses (airfare and the conference fee which includes meals and hotel) of three qualified and motivated educators.

How to Apply
To apply for sponsorship, fill out the application linked below and submit it by September 12.

Sponsorship Application (Word)

About the National Jump$tart Educators Conference

Friday, July 25, 2014

Loan Modification Scams – How to Spot One

DFI recently filed actions against two companies for operating unlawful mortgage rescue or loan modification schemes.

See press release from DFI: http://dfi.wa.gov/consumers/news/2014/loan-modification-scams.htm

The scams tricked consumers into paying large upfront fees but did nothing to help them stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure.
The actions are part of a joint federal-state sweep by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and 15 states targeting scam operations that prey on delinquent homeowners or those facing foreclosure.
Homeowners looking to modify their loan should keep their guard up and be able to recognize the warning signs of a loan modification scam.
Warning Signs of a Possible Loan Modification Scam
  • Company is not licensed with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
  • Company claims license is not required because attorneys are involved
  • Out of state attorneys are not licensed to practice in Washington 
  • Money is required upfront before any paperwork is reviewed or signed
  • Company tells you NOT to contact your lender
  • Company requires direct access to your bank account or credit card
  • Claims that a modification is guaranteed
Federal law bans law firms from requesting or receiving payment from you for help obtaining foreclosure relief.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Financial Education Apps for the Classroom

Two weeks ago at the Financial Education Public Private Partnership teacher training in Bremerton, I had the opportunity to showcase a few apps that can be used in the classroom for financial education.

There are plenty of apps out there that can be used to supplement financial education topics. Finding the right one depends on what you are teaching and your audience.

Below are a few of my favorite that can be found for free on iTunes.

Plan it Prom
Developed by VISA,  Plan it Prom is a prom planning and budgeting app for students and parents. The app features a prom count down, timeline, budget calculator and budget health meter into a layout that is fun and easy to use.

The Cars.com app helps you find new and used cars for sale near you. Students can use the app’s finance calculators to get a real taste for how financing works and how to budget appropriately for a major purchase.

Thrive n Shine
Thrive n Shine is a free game that challenges users to create a character, master a craft, and earn money through games and challenges. Students will encounter lessons such as budgeting, saving and earning money.

Financial Education Videos on YouTube
DFI has published a playlist of financial education videos to our YouTube channel. Videos including financial advice and lessons from other students, money success stories, and complex topics explained in simple terms. Visit the YouTube playlist at http://bit.ly/1reU5nO

Friday, June 13, 2014

Get Help with Your Health Insurance Questions

This week’s featured resource is the SHIBA program.

SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) is a free, confidential and impartial counseling resource sponsored by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

The program consists of volunteer advisors across Washington who help consumers understand their rights and options, and offer up-to-date information so that the consumer can make an informed decision concerning their health insurance needs.
SHIBA volunteers can help you
  • Understand your health care coverage options and rights
  • Find affordable health care coverage
  • Evaluate and compare health insurance plans
In addition to counseling services, SHIBA also offers free public workshops to people of all ages and diverse backgrounds across the state.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Free First Time Homebuyer Education Classes

June is National Homeownership Month.
At the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) we believe in providing resources and education to Washington residents seeking homeownership.

We believe better educated consumers make better financial decisions and that it’s important for people to understand exactly what they’re getting into before they sign anything.

Free Homebuyer Classes
A good place to start is free first time homebuyer education classes sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
The seminars are at least five hours in length, covering all major aspects of the home buying process. No direct marketing or sales presentations may be given either by the instructor or any guest speakers.

To learn more about the free homebuyer education classes and to find a class near you, see: First Time Homebuyer Education Classes.