Chicopee Savings Bank Grant Supports Financial Literacy Guide

Cambridge Credit Counseling’s new Learn Now or Pay Later guide stresses fundamentals for individuals trying to cope with challenging economy

Cambridge Credit Counseling announced the release today of the agency’s latest edition of its Learn Now or Pay Later guide to financial literacy. The project was underwritten with grant funding provided by Chicopee Savings Bank’s Charitable Foundation, in recognition of the community education initiatives conducted by Cambridge throughout Western Massachusetts.

According to Cambridge’s president and CEO, Christopher Viale, the LNPL guide begins with the basics. “Before you can run, you need to know how to walk, and that’s the approach we’ve taken with our newest guide to personal finance.” Cambridge’s book helps individuals identify the building blocks of a sound financial plan, learn about the emotional relationship people have with money, and look at their finances in a more positive and productive manner.  Learn Now or Pay Later covers important topics such as building a spending plan, establishing short- and long-term financial goals, reading credit reports, understanding credit scores, and using credit wisely. The guide also provides information on how to fight identity theft and deal with aggressive debt collectors.

“Our thanks go out to Chicopee Savings Bank’s Charitable Foundation, whose generous donation aided in the development of Learn Now or Pay Later,” noted Viale. “The updated guide is our most ambitious effort to date in helping ordinary people understand the fundamentals of money management, and we’re happy to have the support of institutions like Chicopee Savings Bank.”

The guide was written by Thomas J. Fox, Cambridge’s Community Outreach Director.  Mr. Fox is an AFCPE-accredited credit counselor and an NCHEC-certified housing counselor who, over the last fifteen years, has produced a number of guidebooks, DVDs, and educational curricula designed to educate young people and low-income individuals about personal finance.

The updated guide will be provided for free to several facilities operated by the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, including the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center, located on Center Street in Chicopee, to formerly homeless veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program, to families living in area homeless shelters, to students at local high schools and colleges, and to anyone who participates in a full counseling session with a Cambridge counselor.

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