The Washington Literacy Center Celebrates Financial Literacy Month
Washington, DC (April 7, 2021) - Over a year into the pandemic, the struggle to pay bills, avoid eviction and feed their families continues to challenge many DC residents. Many of these same residents also struggle with low literacy and basic math skills, which is why the Washington Literacy Center is celebrating Financial Literacy month by sharing free educational resources and services for DC residents, as well as small business owners.
“Even with economic stimulus checks and improved vaccine distributions, the drain on personal finances will likely continue, and we want to help youth and adults by supporting their financial literacy. Regardless of a pandemic or any other catastrophe, individuals need to know how to best manage money, find support when they need it and work toward worry-free independence,” said WLC President and CEO Jimmie Williams.
The DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) offers the following free educational resources:
• The Financial Navigators Program helps District residents who are facing critical financial struggles during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The program connects District residents with trained Navigators by phone. Navigators help individuals and families access programs and services to manage income disruptions and other financial concerns.
• Financially Fit DC is an initiative designed to strengthen the financial stability of individuals, families and the District community. The program helps residents identify short-term needs, make a budget and set plans to reach long-term goals through a personalized roadmap.
• The Student Loan Ombudsman helps families and prospective students identify alternate resources of funding and minimize student loan debt. Also, the Ombudsman can show college graduates how to understand loan repayment options and identify debt relief programs and resolve complaints.
• The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a special tax break tailored for low- and moderate-income workers. To be eligible, individuals must have earned income or certain disability income. The Department supports the District’s EITC campaign through a contract with Capital Area Asset Builders. Free tax preparation services for the 2020 tax season are also available on a modified schedule.
• DC BizCAP facilitates access to capital for District entrepreneurs and small businesses and helps create sustainable economic development. It provides alternatives to traditional commercial financing to facilitate private lending and investments in District small businesses.
• The Bank on DC program provides mainstream access to financial services, products and financial education to unbanked and under-banked households in the District. The program partners with banks and credit unions to offer bank accounts that have low minimum balance requirements and no or low-cost monthly fees.
• A library of Consumer Alerts and Guides is available with information to help consumers avoid being a victim of fraud or unfair and fraudulent business practices. The alerts and guides also include helpful information on insurance, mortgages and investing.
• The Foreclosure Prevention and Mediation program provides resources to help District residents avoid foreclosure, including foreclosure mediation, housing counseling and legal aid for homeowners.
For an updated list of resources and services, visit disb.dc.gov/flm or follow @DCDISB on Twitter.
About the Washington Literacy Center
The Washington Literacy Center (WLC) has been helping DC residents with the greatest barriers and fewest resources learn to read since 1963. Starting off as an all-volunteer initiative, the WLC has grown into a dynamic nonprofit focused on teaching skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century. We help students overcome some of the most difficult challenges including dyslexia, reading, math, and other barriers to education. We began more than 50 years ago with a mission: to raise the literacy level of adults in Washington, D.C., so they may function on the job, in the family and in society.