Nonprofit offers free financial counseling 

Financial stress is no secret, but is seldom openly discussed. One organization, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma, offers free financial counseling. The nonprofit is committed to giving people the tools to help themselves become financially strong through counseling, debt management and education.

"In 2006, we counseled 13,000 people," said Jennifer Wallis, vice president of the organization.

The nonprofit, which sports offices across the state, offers professional, certified counselors to assist clients in working through financial problems like how to:
" manage money,
" buy a home or
" clean up credit.

In addition to in-office visits, counseling is available via:
" telephone,
" mail or
" e-mail.

WORKSHOPS
Each counseling session is tailored to meet clients' individual needs. Participants do not have to be low-income to benefit from CCCS's services, as Wallis said many people with high incomes still live on credit cards and try to make it from paycheck to paycheck.

"We can help people break that cycle," she said.

In January, CCCS is holding a $15 "Personal Money Power Workshop," a two-night class in which participants learn about the basics of money management.

"We are excited about that," Wallis said. "Some may go through their entire lives without knowing how to manage their money, which can cause stress and marital problems. I want people to know that they don't have to live that way. We can help them live better for free."

For more information, call 789-2227 or visit their site. "Gina Dabney

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Gina Dabney

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