Ask Our Experts: Do You Need A Financial Assessment?

 

 

 

Ask Our Experts: Do You Need A Financial Assessment?

 

Introduction

Thanks for joining us today everyone, my name is Christina, Copper State Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Program Manager. Our guest for today is Jessie G. Jessie has been in the financial industry since 2005 and with our partner Greenpath since 2017. A fun fact about her is that she speaks fluent Spanish! She loves what she does at GreenPath in helping people get on the path to financial wellness.
We’re here today to talk about financial assessments. We've had quite an interesting year with a lot of ups and downs, and people are left floundering and even more aware than before of their financial situation. Knowing what a financial assessment is and knowing when we need one is important!

 


What is a Financial Assessment?


Jessie G., Greenpath:


A financial assessment is simply a conversation to help you understand where you are financially. It’s looking at the facts, creating a plan and a path to get you to where you need to be or where you want to be. GreenPath is a Nonprofit Financial Wellness Organization and we're here to help people get out of debt or help people stay in their homes. We're just here to help. And that's what we do is with a financial assessment at the beginning of each of our calls. So during the intake process, when you call GreenPath, you're going to hear empathy from people answering the phone. And we want you to know that you're not alone. It's not your fault. It's going to be okay.

Goals - Needs - Income - Expenses - Current Reality - Action Plan


We'll start the financial assessment conversation by understanding what your goals are and what your needs are. So that's going to be special and specific for each person. There's no two families or individuals that are alike. We're going to continue our conversation by talking about your income and your expenses. And so we want to learn about what you're dealing with currently in order to help you to create that plan to achieve your goals. So then finally, we'll finish that financial assessment with a customized action plan. We're going to work on that together throughout our call. So you have a plan and a path as I mentioned to move forward.

 

 


How Much Does A Financial Assessment Cost?

 


Greenpath's calls are free and confidential, so you can call Greenpath anytime that we're open and there's no cost to talk to us. Even a follow up call after the initial financial assessment is free, as well as student loan counseling and credit counseling.
Some of our more specialized services may potentially have a fee, but that's going to be a conversation later on after your free financial assessment call, where you're going to know and understand what those services are before you start.

 

 



What Are The Benefits Of Getting A Financial Assessment?

 


Yeah, that's the number one thing that we hear from people is that "I'm so stressed out and I don't know where to start". And then they give us a call. And the biggest feedback that we get is that "I wish I would have called you sooner". So just pick up the phone, give us a call, have a conversation. There's no obligation to do anything, you're not tied to do anything, we are just going to talk through the situation with you as certified NFCC counselors.
This conversation or financial assessment will be a tool to help provide that snapshot of that person's overall financial picture. And as I mentioned, those who complete their financial assessment with GreenPath will get a personalized action plan or a list of those steps to take, to achieve their goals. You're going to have a partner in GreenPath, so you have someone here to help you along the way. So we had this conversation, we created the list, we can check back in with you, you can check back in with us. And we can help to create that plan for you to help you effectively manage your debt and effectively reduce that financial stress.
Financial stress is tied into everything! if you're stressed about money, that's going to affect your health. It's going to affect your relationships with your friends, your family. There's a whole webinar that we did about the productivity at work being reduced if you're stressed out. Getting a financial wellness assessment is the first step to create that path to become debt free and stress free.

 

 



Who is GreenPath?

 


GreenPath is a partner of Copper State Credit Union. Being able to chat with a GreenPath representative for free is a benefit of membership and that's something we just want everyone to know at a very basic level. But more specifically, GreenPath Financial Wellness is a trusted national nonprofit organization and we've been helping to rebuild people's financial health since 1961. And this is whether you're paying off credit cards, student loans, preparing for a major purchase, or just helping to build that personalized spending plan. We have National Foundation of Credit Counseling certified financial wellness experts to help take the time to understand your unique situation. And again, work with you to create that game plan, to help reduce that stress. Our trained financial counselors will successfully guide more than 200,000 people to financial health each year.

 

 



Reasons You May Need A Financial Assessment

 

  • Routine Financial Checkup - You go to your primary care doctor once a year, so you should definitely check in on your financial situation once in a while as well, especially if it’s free!
  • If you don’t have a clear view of your financial situation and you need a second opinion
  • If you’re living from paycheck to paycheck (regardless of that paycheck amount!)
  • If you need help setting up a budget or spending plan
  • If you have a budget, but it’s very difficult or impossible to stick to (unrealistic)
  • If you have a high balance of revolving high-interest debt (like credit card)
  • If your debt vs. income percentage (DTI) over 35%
  • If you want an unbiased third party opinion on the status of your financial situation
  • If you don’t have any funds saved up for an emergency
  • If you want to understand your credit report, what makes up your credit score, and how to improve it.

There are many other reasons we haven't mentioned here as well!

 

 

 

 

What other products does GreenPath offer that have costs?

 

GreenPath Offers Completely Free:

  1. General financial counseling
  2. Debt counseling
  3. Credit counseling and report analysis
  4. Creating a budget/spending plan
  5. Student loan counseling
  6. Especially now as moratoriums on payments are expiring!
  7. HUD Certified Housing Counseling – Mortgage or Rental Counseling

 

Greenpath Offers For A Cost:

 

Debt Management Plan (DMP) - this is going to be for someone who is paying high interest rates on credit cards, has several debts, high debt-to-income ratio, etc.

A Debt Management Plan allows GreenPath to negotiate for lower rates with your creditors on your behalf so that you can pay off your debt faster.

 

 

 

 

How is a Debt Management Plan different than just paying off the debt on your own?

 

Copper State CU provides several webinars and resources we provide free for our members on how to pay off debt:

Webinar: How To Pay off Debt – Top 2 Strategies

Webinar: Smart Debt Consolidation Plan for Anyone Under 50

Free Download: Get Our Debt Relief Bundle and Say Cheers to a Debt Free Future!

For many people, these strategies and resources will help you get out of debt on your own, for free!

But, for some people with a high debt load or extremely high interest rates a debt management plan can be helpful.

It’s important to note that a Debt Management Plan with GreenPath is NOT the same as ‘debt settlement.’ You still pay back the entire amount owed, and there is no negative effect to your credit from unpaid balances, like there is with debt settlement. The biggest thing that we're able to do is to work with major creditors and help to reduce interest rates. So more of your monthly payment is going to your principal payments and therefore we are able to help you pay it off faster than you can do it on your own. A lot of times creditors will also help reduce fees when you're working with GreenPath.

 

 

 

 

Get My Free Financial Assessment

 

As a Copper State Credit Union member, you are entitled to a free financial assessment with GreenPath. 

If you're interested in getting a free financial assessment, please visit copperstatecu.org/greenpath and fill out a ‘Request a Call’ form. Or, just call GreenPath at 877.337.3399. 

Or, start with our online assessment first:


 

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This article is intended to be a general resource only and is not intended to be nor does it constitute legal advice. Any recommendations are based on opinion only. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on creditworthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions. All loans subject to approval.