Washington, DC—In celebration of April as Financial Literacy Month, the Bowser Administration, through the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB), will offer free educational resources and services for District residents and small business owners.
Mayor Bowser’s vision for inclusive prosperity and financial empowerment will be celebrated throughout April, offering Washingtonians opportunities to learn about the basics of debt consolidation, asset protection, and saving for the future and retirement.
“During this unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, many District residents are struggling financially and we want to be sure they have the right tools and resources they need to thrive,” said DISB Commissioner Karima M. Woods. “DISB will continue to provide access to financial information and programs that will help educate and support residents and businesses.”
DISB offers free educational resources to help District residents establish and maintain healthy financial habits:
- The Financial Navigators Program helps District residents who are facing critical financial struggles during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The program connects District residents with trained Navigators by phone. Navigators help individuals and families access programs and services to manage income disruptions and other financial concerns.
- Financially Fit DC is an initiative designed to strengthen the financial stability of individuals, families and the District community. The program helps residents identify short-term needs, make a budget and set plans to reach long-term goals through a personalized roadmap.
- The Student Loan Ombudsman helps families and prospective students identify alternate resources of funding and minimize student loan debt. Also, the Ombudsman can show college graduates how to understand loan repayment options and identify debt relief programs and resolve complaints.
- The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a special tax break tailored for low- and moderate-income workers. To be eligible, individuals must have earned income or certain disability income. The Department supports the District’s EITC campaign through a contract with Capital Area Asset Builders. Free tax preparation services for the 2020 tax season are also available on a modified schedule.
- DC BizCAP facilitates access to capital for District entrepreneurs and small businesses and helps create sustainable economic development. It provides alternatives to traditional commercial financing to facilitate private lending and investments in District small businesses.
- The Bank on DC program provides mainstream access to financial services, products and financial education to unbanked and under-banked households in the District. The program partners with banks and credit unions to offer bank accounts that have low minimum balance requirements and no or low-cost monthly fees.
- A library of Consumer Alerts and Guides is available with information to help consumers avoid being a victim of fraud or unfair and fraudulent business practices. The alerts and guides also include helpful information on insurance, mortgages and investing.
- The Foreclosure Prevention and Mediation program provides resources to help District residents avoid foreclosure, including foreclosure mediation, housing counseling and legal aid for homeowners.