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BALANCE Your Finances

Whether you're interested in developing a workable spending and savings plan, getting out of debt, taking a look at your credit report, buying a home, or planning for your financial future, Central Sunbelt Federal Credit Union wants to help. That's why we've provided access to free and confidential financial counseling and education through BALANCE.




 

Toll Free Infoline

Certified counselors are available to help answer your questions about money management and other personal finance topics.

We provide immediate access to a financial counselor by phone Monday through Thursday, 7am to 10pm (CST), Friday, 7am to 7pm, and Saturday, 10am to 7pm.

Our Infoline counselors can answer a wide variety of financial and credit related questions and send you supplementary materials on your areas of interest.

Calls to our counselors can last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your question and the amount of information you are looking for.

Call us at 855-786-2228 Option 6 and describe your concern to one of our counselors today, or email us at info@balancepro.org (please do not email any sensitive information including your account numbers or social security number).

Common types of questions we answer every day

  • I'm having trouble paying my bills and I can't get a consolidation loan. What can I do?
  • How can I design a realistic budget to achieve my financial goals?
  • I just got notice that my wages will be garnished. What can I do?
  • What are my options for getting out of debt?
  • How can I get a copy of my credit report?
  • How can I remove inaccurate information from my credit report?
  • I want to buy a home in the next few years. How can I prepare for that?
  • I am getting a divorce. Who is responsible for bills and how will this affect my credit?
Copyright © 2008 BALANCE
 

Money Management

Take a closer look at your spending and savings plan, and develop a plan of action to meet your financial goals.

A well-designed, realistic spending plan is the most important step to take in your journey to reach your financial goals.

If you're not completely comfortable with your spending plan, or would like some guidance with this or other financial issues, consider a free and confidential money management counseling session with a BALANCE counselor. Our appointments are available weekdays, evenings, and weekends. The average counseling session lasts approximately one hour, and there is no limit on the number of sessions you may have.

Counselors are qualified to discuss general money management, credit and housing topics including goal setting, spending and savings plans, credit and credit reports, debt management, buying a first home, mortgage delinquency and foreclosure prevention. Each session is goal oriented and results in a written action plan clearly outlining the steps you and your counselor decide to take in order to establish personal financial control.

Developing Your Own Spending Plan
Download our Money Management Planner (PDF), a budgeting tool (PDF), to see if you're right on track or if you'll need to increase your income or decrease your expenses in order to save enough money to get where you want to go.

The math that lies at the root of a strong spending plan is simple: The amount of money going out must always be less than, or equal to, the amount of money coming in. Most of us have a fairly good sense of how much we bring home each month through our paychecks and perhaps earnings on savings and investments. Money going out, however, may be a bit fuzzier. The checks we write and the purchases made on credit cards are easy enough to track, but cash may seem simply to disappear. As a result, there are gaps in the spending plan.

Understanding and flexibility in your spending habits is the key to successful budgeting. Once you've tracked your spending, then you are in a position to make an educated decision whether to continue spending as you have, or to make changes in order to more readily reach your financial goals.

Wonder where all of your money goes?
For one week, record all of your expenses no matter how small. At the end of the week, you'll have a clear idea of where those extra dollars could be hiding. In the future, you can use the funds you currently fritter away to increase savings, pay off bills, or buy something special.

Pay Yourself First!
Save and invest 5-10% of your gross annual income. Of course, for most of us, this is easier said than done. If you're currently living from paycheck to paycheck without seeing an opportunity to get ahead, begin by creating a solid spending plan after tracking all of your monthly expenses. Or, call a BALANCE counselor to help you get your savings plan in order.

Call Us At 855-786-2228 Option 6 or CHAT ONLINE

Copyright © 2008 BALANCE

 

Credit Report Review

A counselor will review your credit report with you, making sure you understand the content and know your rights.

Your credit report can affect your ability to purchase a home, rent an apartment, buy a car, receive favorable insurance rates, or even get a new job. Further, checking your credit report regularly is a crucial step in protecting yourself from fraud or inaccurate reporting.

We can help you get a free or low-cost copy of your credit report and provide a free and confidential credit report review to ensure you have the tools necessary to maintain and protect your credit standing.

 

Credit report review and education include:

  • Understanding your credit score
  • Correcting inaccuracies
  • Protecting against identity theft and fraud
  • Overcoming identity theft

Call Us At 855-786-2228 Option 6 or CHAT ONLINE

Copyright © 2008 BALANCE

 

Housing Counseling

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever make. A counselor can help you make a plan.

If you dream of owning your own home someday, it's never too early to start planning. When you will be able to purchase the home, where it will be located, and what it will look like will depend largely on your qualifications for a mortgage. The down payment you accumulate and your debt to income ratio will affect the amount of money you can borrow.

By reviewing your cash flow, savings plan and credit history and score, you will be prepared to make any necessary adjustments to qualify for the mortgage you need. An understanding of the mortgage loan process will also enable you to have all of your necessary information ready when the time comes.

Our counselors can help make your dream of homeownership a reality. Give us a call at 855-786-2228 Option 6 or send us an email to start developing your personal plan of action that will make you a homeowner.

Foreclosure Prevention
If you have missed mortgage payments or think you will miss future payments, you may find yourself in danger of foreclosure. It is important to understand, however, that lenders do not want to "repossess" your home -- they are much more interested in seeing that payments are made each month as agreed in the mortgage terms. As a general rule, lenders only begin the foreclosure process when all else fails.

Therefore, the best way to avoid foreclosure (besides making all your payments) is to address the issue as soon as it occurs and to keep the lender informed at all times. BALANCE can help you understand your options when you are having financial difficulty.

Call us at 855-786-2228 Option 6 to speak with a counselor. Or review our publication Early Delinquency Intervention: Saving Your Home from Foreclosure (PDF).

Call Us At 855-786-2228 Option 6 or CHAT ONLINE

Copyright © 2008 BALANCE

 

Debt Management

If the bills are starting to pile up, a counselor can review your options, and even provide a structured repayment plan.

If you are having trouble keeping up with your bills, one of your options might be consolidation of your bill payments. A Debt Management Plan, made available to BALANCE clients through CCCS of San Francisco, allows you to make just one payment to all your creditors. Frequently, creditors will stop collection action, lower payments and, in some cases, reduce or eliminate interest and fees.

Getting Started
Free, confidential consultations with a professional counselor are available weekdays, evenings, and weekends for your convenience. No matter where you live, we can help. We offer counseling by phone and we pay for the call.

During your free and confidential hour-long session, your counselor will go over your income, living expenses and debt in detail and will offer information and suggestions for dealing with debt issues such as delinquent rent or mortgage payments, credit card bills, past due utilities, back taxes or student loan delinquency, or credit accounts sent to collections. You might also choose a one-hour appointment to go over first time homebuyer preparation (budgeting to pay off debt and save for a down payment, among other things).

Schedule an Appointment
Call us at 855-786-2228 Option 6 Monday through Thursday between 7am–10pm, Friday 7am–7pm, and Saturday 10am–7pm (CST) or email us at info@balancepro.org and we'll call you back to schedule the appointment (please do not email any sensitive information including your account numbers or social security number).

Preparing for the Consultation
To design the most effective plan for becoming debt free, your counselor will need to know your monthly income and living expenses as well as how much you owe to each of your creditors. Prior to the session, we suggest you complete our client worksheet Personal Financial Assessment (PDF) so the session can be spent analyzing your information and developing an effective plan of action.

Helpful Information for DMP Clients

Call Us At 855-786-2228 Option 6 or CHAT ONLINE

Copyright © 2008 BALANCE

   
           
 
 
Phone Number: (601) 649-7181          Toll Free: (855) 786-2228          Sunny By Phone: Option 1          Lost or Stolen Debit Card: (601) 649-7181
 
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