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Free Financial Counseling Available

The Great Recession still haunts many Michigan residents. A great many people have lost financial standing permanently.

To counter this issue and to help people learn to get by on less money in this new, lean economy, some local governments, supported with grants, are working with residents to improve their general financial stability and knowledge .This concept is called, "Financial Empowerment Centers." These centers have just opened this month.

At these centers, trained counselors can work with people on personalized budgeting, saving money, and reducing debt. One specialty is working with consumers who do not have bank or credit union accounts to avoid costly payday loans and check cashing places. The counseling sessions usually last 30 minutes, but it can be longer if needed.

The program works on the idea of having all material help in one place. Residents can also get property tax help and food assistance, for example, in the same place with financial counseling. Additionally, with concentrated help, resident can improve their overall financial health.

Where and How to Get Counseling

Oakland County residents can call the treasurer's office for free counseling at 248-858-0611 from 8:30 am - 5 pm on weekdays.

Taylor residents can call 9 am- 5 pm at 855-633-3124 on weekdays, and ask for Rita.

In Grand Haven, residents can call 8 am- 5 pm at 616-935-3270 on weekdays.

For those who live in Lansing, call 866-561-2500. For online scheduling of appointments, www.scheduling.com/scheduling/LFECLP