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Personal Finance: Personal Finance Web Links

Explore the world of personal finance. We have compiled a multitude of resources through the library and online to help you take charge of your finances, no matter what stage of planning you are facing.

Web Links A-M

AARP

AARP.org has built a vast library of retirement resources, calculators, articles and even video on topics ranging from Social Security distributions to long-term care insurance.

 

AARP Tax-Aide

AARP Tax-Aide is a free program run by the AARP Foundation to guide people with low to moderate incomes through their taxes, making sure they receive all the deductions and credits they’re entitled to. Available February 1 through April 15, it is the nation's largest free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service. The program has grown tremendously since it started in 1968 with four volunteers. Approximately 34,600 AARP Tax-Aide volunteers, trained in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service, now help more than 2.6 million taxpayers file their federal, state and local tax returns each year. The AARP Tax-Aide program is offered at approximately 6,500 locations nationwide in senior centers, libraries, community centers and other convenient locations.

 

Affordable Schools Online

Previously FrugalDad.com with general frugal living tips, this website has since refined its focus to advice for getting kids through college in a financially savvy way.
 

Almost Frugal is a blog about learning to manage your money in a way that helps you meet your goals. Being frugal doesn’t mean deprivation, it means being smart with spending, saving and money goals. This looks different to every person and the information offered on this site offers diverse perspectives.

 

American Association of Individual Investors (AAII)

From the beginning, AAII has answered the question, "Where can you go to get unbiased facts and effective knowledge about investing?" James Cloonan, Ph.D., founded AAII in 1978 because he firmly believed that individual investors armed with effective investment education materials and a bit of dedication could outperform the popular market averages. This site gives all sorts of help to the investor. Pages include a glossary of investment terms, building an investment plan from scratch, basic investment principles, techniques for picking stocks, and more.

 

Amortization Schedule Calculator

A quick and simple calculator using loan amount, interest rate, and length of the loan to calculate the payment amount and portion paid to principle vs. interest.
 

This site provides a list of credit counseling agencies approved by the United States Department of Justice.

 

Avoiding Fraud (Investor.gov)

Don’t be a fraud victim. A basic understanding of how scam artists work can help you to avoid fraud and protect your hard-earned money. Learning how to invest safely also can assist you in reaching your financial goals and will mean a huge difference in your retirement years.

 

Bank Rate Monitor

Bankrate, Inc. is the Web's leading aggregator of financial rate information, offering an unparalleled depth and breadth of rate data and financial content. Bankrate continually surveys approximately 4,800 financial institutions in all 50 states in order to provide clear, objective, and unbiased rates to consumers. Our flagship Web site, Bankrate.com, provides free rate information to consumers on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used automobile loans, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. In addition to rate data, we publish original and objective personal finance stories to help consumers make informed financial decisions. Our staff of award winning reporters and editors provides expert advice on just about every major financial decision facing our readers: from purchasing their first home, to selecting a new car, to saving for retirement.

 

Boston Stock Exchange

 

Budgeting 101 (About.com)

Everything you need to know about budgeting.

 

Budget Worksheet (About.com)

Use this basic budget worksheet for creating your personal budget.

 

Buying a Home (HUD.gov)

Thinking about buying a home? Here's information that can help. From figuring out what you can afford to shopping for homeowner’s insurance, this website is dedicated to providing information and help in all aspects of home buying.

 

Buying Process (Fanniemae.com)

If you are a first-time buyer or haven’t bought a home in a while, understanding how to buy a house can be daunting. Although your experience may differ, the homebuying process generally follows the same basic steps. This website explains the homebuying process one step at a time.
 
 
 

 

Chicago Stock Exchange

 

CollegeInColorado

This is a great all around resource for college students. You should create a full account in the website, which will allow you to track personal assessments, colleges you are interested, financial aid options, and more.

 

CollegeInvest

CollegeInvest is a not-for-profit division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, with the goal of helping Coloradans achieve their higher education goals. We provide expert information, simple financial planning tools, and tax advantaged 529 college savings plans to help everyone who wants to go to college.

 

Colorado Department of Revenue

This is the official website for answers to any questions you have regarding filing state taxes. You can print forms, find FAQs, and search for other tax-related resources.

 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The central mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products

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A Consumer's Guide to Mortgage Refinancing

Find out what there is to know about refinancing directly from the Federal Reserve. This website provides all the details.

 

Credit and Loan information (Federal Trade Commission)

Credit is much more than a piece of plastic, and the resources on this site can help you become a savvy consumer. This site also has publications for businesses on credit issues and information on credit-related Rules and Acts enforced by the FTC.

 

Debt.org

Debt.org is geared towards helping people at all stages of life get and stay out of debt so that they can pursue positive financial goals for the future.

 

The Dollar Stretcher

This website began in 1996 and is dedicated to helping you take control of your money. There’s an abundance of great frugal living ideas and new material every day.

 

FAFSA

Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. At the office of Federal Student Aid, our 1,200 employees help make college education possible for every dedicated mind by providing more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 15 million students paying for college or career school. We are proud to sponsor millions of American minds pursuing their educational dreams.

 

FastWeb

Fastweb is the premier online resource for paying and preparing for college.  Fastweb members are matched to relevant scholarship opportunities completely free of charge. With roughly 1.5 million scholarships worth over $3.4 billion, there are scholarships for every student’s educational goals, activities and interests. Additionally, Fastweb members can depend on us for insider financial aid tips and job and internship matches in their area.

 

FAQ on Credit Counseling (U.S. Department of Justice)

The United States Department of Justice answers frequently asked questions about credit counseling agencies.

 

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Our mission is to prevent business practices that are anticompetitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers; to enhance informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process; and to accomplish this without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.

 

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation of the securities industry. This website provides many useful tools and calculators to assist with your investments.

 

Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling (HUD.gov)

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available to provide you with the information and assistance you need to avoid foreclosure. Foreclosure prevention counseling services are provided free of charge by nonprofit housing counseling agencies working in partnership with the Federal Government. These agencies are funded, in part, by HUD and NeighborWorks® America. There is no need to pay a private company for these services.

 

Foreclosure Resources (USA.gov)

If you miss your mortgage payments, you may lose your home through foreclosure. If you're facing foreclosure, find housing counseling and other assistance through the USA.gov website.
 

Created by the National Consumer League's Fraud Center, this website has invaluable information on many types of fraud that you may encounter.

 

Fraud and Scams (Snopes.com)

Snopes is an excellent resource for debunking misinformation. This is their webpage which tracks known scams. If you are ever suspicious of financial offers you are receiving or requests for money from strangers, research the request at this website.

 

FYI Publications (Colorado Department of Revenue)

FYI tax publications are developed by the Colorado Department of Revenue Taxpayer Service Division to help better understand tax obligations to the state of Colorado.

 

Green Path Debt Solutions

GreenPath Debt Solutions is a nationwide, non-profit financial organization that assists consumers with credit card debt, housing debt and bankruptcy concerns. Our customized services and attainable solutions have been helping people achieve their financial goals since 1961. Our compassionate, professional credit counselors are committed to helping you solve your financial problems and achieve your financial goals. Through debt counseling, debt management and financial education, we work with you to explore options and help you select the debt relief strategy that’s best for you.

 

House Logic

This is a National Association of Realtors site that focuses on all topics of home improvement, maintenance, and green living.  There is also information on the not so fun stuff like protecting your home, insurance, and financing.

 

How Identity Theft Works (HowStuffWorks.com)

How Stuff Works provides this video and summary of how identity theft works so that you can develop an understanding of the crime and take steps to prevent it.

 

How to Save Money

This is a nice, simple site that has a variety of calculators and worksheets for budgeting, estimating loans, determining spending trends, and more
 
This website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect, and defend against identity theft. On this site, consumers can learn how to avoid identity theft – and learn what to do if their identity is stolen. Businesses can learn how to help their customers deal with identity theft, as well as how to prevent problems in the first place.
 

ITRC provides best in class victim assistance at no charge to consumers throughout the United States. They educate consumers, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations on best practices for fraud and identity theft detection, reduction and mitigation. ITRC also provides enterprise consulting and outsourced services related to information breach, fraud, and identity theft.

 

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  

The IRS website is the official resource for answers to any questions you have regarding filing federal taxes. You can print forms, find resources for filing online, and find answers to a variety of other questions.

 

International Securities Exchange

 

Investopedia

Investopedia is a good tool for investors of all levels. It provides investing news, market analysis, and tutorials.

 

Khan Academy: Finance and Capital Markets

The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. All of the site's resources are available to anyone. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge. This link includes videos on financial topics that may be of interest to you.
 
Living on a Dime 
Feel like your grocery bill is out of control and don't want to cut coupons? Need help getting out of debt, paying off your credit cards, and lower your bills? Weld county residents and creators of of this website, Jill and Tawra give fresh inspiration to help.

 

Making a Budget (CNN.com)

This lesson on budgeting begins with learning how to budget by following 10 steps on how to bring your spending under control. Then continue on through the lesson to learn about the dubious joys of budgets, listing expenses, setting goals, and cutting costs. Going through this lesson will give you information and tools to give you control of your money.

 

Manage Your Money (Colorado Virtual Library)

Don’t let overwhelming information and fine print deter you from finding basic financial freedom in your life. With just a little bit of consistent effort and some basic financial understanding, it is still possible (and relatively simple) to build a successful financial future for yourself. The six quick lessons below will give you a start. Understand the basics, put them into practice, and you’ll be on the path to achieving your financial goals. Along the way, you’ll discover lots of web resources and free online to help. The website includes some tools for learning about financial matters, spending plans and debt management.

 

Market Data Center (Wall Street Journal)

Use this section of the Wall Street Journal website to view up-to-date charts as well as quarterly summaries by company and industry.

 

MyMoney.gov

MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.

Web Resources N-Z

National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) is a non-profit association of attorneys and consumer advocates committed to representing customers’ interests. Our members are private and public sector attorneys, legal services attorneys, law professors and law students whose primary focus is the protection and representation of consumers. NACA's mission shall be to promote justice for all consumers by maintaining a forum for communication, networking, and information sharing among consumer advocates across the country, particularly regarding legal issues, and by serving as a voice for its members and consumers in the ongoing struggle to curb unfair or abusive business practices that affect consumers.
 
This site offers a full range of information for home buying, selling, and ownership.  If you are interested in buying a home you will find a comprehensive real estate listings and financing information. For those in the market to sell, you’ll find an informative seller’s guide. Finally, for the most fun, check out the home and garden tab for great ideas on decorating and remodeling to make it your dream home.
 
National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc.® (NFCC®) promotes the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and builds capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services. As the nation's largest and longest-serving nonprofit credit counseling organization, the NFCC has played the key role in providing financial counseling and education to consumers for 60 years. With 90 member agencies and more than 700 offices throughout the US and Puerto Rico, the NFCC is the national voice for its members, which are nonprofit, mission-driven, community-based agencies.
 
MyMoney.gov provides this list of all of the fantastic information that you can get from various government agencies all in one site. The agencies include the Department of Labor, Medicare, Social Security Administration, and Department of Health and Human Services among many others.
 
This website is a great resource to learn about refinancing and all the steps that are required.  Start with deciding if it’s the right decision by using the refinance calculator, learn about your options, and get prepared for the process.
 
Use these resources to help you estimate your retirement benefits, learn about factors that could affect your retirement, and more.
 

Smart Asset uses software and data to provide simple, easy to understand answers to complex financial questions. This website provides information and calculator tools for home buying, refinancing, retirement, college loans, credit cards, and life insurance.

 
This online version of Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning includes interactive worksheets that you complete as you read each chapter. You can also download this as a print publication.
 
We all have questions about Social Security.  The Social Security Administration website is an extremely useful and convenient resource to learn about your benefits.
 
Wise Bread is a community of bloggers here to help you live large on a small budget.  Despite what you may have heard, you don't have to sacrifice your financial independence to enjoy life.
 
This blog, maintained by Cash Advance, covers a wide range of financial topics and has guides on many of the financial issues you may be dealing with.