Money Monday - Attend a FREE Home-Buyers Workshop!

Mon, Jun 11th, 2018

Money Monday - Attend a FREE Home-Buyers Workshop!

If you think you're ready to buy a home but have questions, Center For Siouxland's Certified Housing Counselor, Lori Scott, will hold a Central Bank sponsored Pre-Purchase Workshop Friday, June 22nd.  Topics include:  Budgeting, Credit, Loan types, Shopping for a Home, Loan Approval, Loan Closing and Responsibilities of Owning a Home. Visit Center For Siouxland's website for more information or call 712-252-1861 ext. 47 to register.


Money Monday - Plan a Vacation Without Incurring Debt

Mon, Jun 4th, 2018

Money Monday - Plan a Vacation Without Incurring Debt

Memorial Day weekend was the unofficial start to summer so there’s not much time to save for a vacation now.  To avoid debt, you’ll have to plan your vacation based on what you’ve already saved.

You don’t necessarily need to travel to faraway places or need a big budget to have a memorable vacation.  A willingness to think outside the box can result in a vacation you’ll never forget. Your options, in fact, are virtually limitless.

With that being said, the most common financial regrets that people have are wishing that they would not have incurred so much debt or that they would have saved more money. A vacation, as welcomed as it might be, is a luxury, not a necessity. Be honest about what you can afford to spend and start planning from there. 

Have friends or relatives you haven’t seen in a while? Combine your vacation with a visit and save money on lodging in the process. Of course, you’ll still have the cost of travel and entertainment, but saving on your accommodations can help you keep your budget intact.

Camping is another way to save on lodging. You can make the campsite your home base and plan day trips from there. Don’t have camping equipment of your own? Consider borrowing it from a friend or research rental options. 

If you’re flexible, you can find last-minute hotel rooms and discounted entertainment online. Sometimes cruise lines offer incredible deals for unfilled rooms and all-inclusive resorts drop their prices to attract more last-minute travelers. Make sure to read all the fine print with any deal, so you aren’t surprised by additional fees or expenses.

Even if you determine that you can’t travel outside the area, you can still enjoy a memorable family vacation. How about planning a scavenger hunt vacation where you look for certain plants, animals and rocks at your local parks and recreational areas. How many caves can you visit in a week? How many different lakes can you visit?  Hit every ice cream shop in town. Plan a series of themed picnics. Take night hikes with glowsticks as your primary source of light.

Ask your kids for their ideas, too. If they have a say in your vacation and get to help choose the activities, the trip will be more memorable for them. Be intentional with your planning, and you’ll make good memories that won’t stress your budget. 

If you need assistance with your finances and budgeting call our Consumer Credit Counseling office at 712-252-1861 ext. 47, we can help!


Center For Siouxland will be Closed Memorial Day

Mon, May 28th, 2018

Money Monday - Debt Settlement

Mon, May 28th, 2018

Money Monday - Debt Settlement 

In this kind of agreement, a company promises to reduce your debt by 50% by offering your creditors settlements. It sounds promising but the results are often not what you expect them to be.  Here’s how the debt settlement process works.

When you sign up for a debt settlement service, you send monthly payments to the debt settlement company, but they do not forward your payments to your creditors. Instead, they hold your money in an account until you have enough money to offer a single creditor a settlement. Depending on the size of your debts, it can take months for just one creditor to be offered a settlement.

Because your creditors are not being paid monthly, you go further delinquent. And because they are not receiving payments, your creditors will charge you late fees and interest, consequently raising your balance. In the meantime, your credit report is negatively impacted when you do not make monthly payments.  

Once you have enough money to make a settlement, the debt settlement company pays one creditor. Even after this one creditor gets paid, however, you will still suffer the ripple effects of debt settlement. You will pay a fee to the debt settlement company to settle with creditor, but then the IRS will tax you on the amount of forgiven debt. The payment will show up on your credit report as a settlement, which negatively influences your credit score. And to make matters worse, your other creditors who have not received any payments may opt to sue you since you have not paid them. Also, your creditors do not have to agree to accept a settlement.  

On October 12, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed suit against two companies offering settlement services. The companies were operating under the name FDAA. The CFPB alleges that the companies violated the law by falsely promising to eliminate consumers’ debts and improve their credit scores. According to the CFPB, FDAA and it owners lied to financially vulnerable consumer. They deceived consumers about their affiliation with the federal government. They deceived consumers about the companies’ debt relief and credit repair abilities. They failed to make proper disclosures about not paying debts and they took illegal advance fees for their services.  

In our experience it is rare that debt settlement services help consumers. If you're looking for reliable options to help reduce your financial stress you will be better served by contacting a non-profit credit counseling agency like Center For Siouxland's Consumer Credit office at 712-252-1861 ext 47.


MRHD Spring 2018 Grant

Tue, May 22nd, 2018

Center For Siouxland was one of 37 local non-profits and governmental entities MRHD awarded Spring grant money to. A total of more than $400,000 was presented May 16th at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Center For Siouxland's Board of Director Chair, Tom Limoges from Security National Bank, is pictured below accepting a check for the grant to install security cameras and a keyfob system for Center For Siouxland's front door. Its purpose is to monitor activity in the lobby and around the exterior/parking lot at Center For Siouxland; and the keyfob access system would provide us with the technology to quickly and easily restrict access to our building in the event of employee termination, lost keys, or a stolen purse to name a few.


Center For Siouxland is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 agency located in Sioux City, Iowa. Center For Siouxland (CFS) was organized on August 1, 1975, as a cooperative effort of the Iowa Department of Social Services, the United Way of Siouxland, the Area Agency on Aging, and the YMCA. We are in our 43rd year of “providing assistance, information, and direction to help people, empower lives, and build futures” for people in Sioux City and throughout Siouxland.  Center For Siouxland provides 6 vital programs all focused on helping people become and remain self-sufficient, financially stabe and stably housed. 

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