Financial Education and Outreach

Affordable Housing Challenges – A Threat to the American Dream

One of the essential pieces of the American dream includes the opportunity to be a homeowner. This dream, for many Americans, has begun to look like a nightmare. Home and rental prices are skyrocketing, inflation is on the rise, and a pandemic we thought would soon be over is still trying to get the last word! As we live in a world filled with so much uncertainty, one thing we can always be certain of will be our need for adequate housing. And let’s be honest, it would be awesome if that housing was more affordable.
Saving for education

10 Ways to Limit Student Loan Debt

Each year as graduation season rolls around, a new crop of young adults heads off to colleges across the country where they hope to build the skills to succeed in their careers, leading to a life of prosperity. Unfortunately, many students discover that the promise of financial success from their degree is overshadowed by the heavy burden of student loan debt.
Credit Counseling

Two Personal Financial Apps that Changed our Finances

When my wife and I began carefully budgeting four years ago, we sat down and developed a budget and a system for tracking our spending. In the old days, we may have handwritten a list to track our purchases or put cash in envelopes to use throughout the month, but this is 2022, and there are now more options available than ever for tracking your finances.

The Racial Wealth Gap – Turning Shortage into Abundance

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History tells us that differences in wealth exist between varying ethnic or racial groups and the racial wealth gap has been looming over us for centuries.  The term "racial wealth gap" refers to the difference in assets owned by various racial or ethnic groups, which results from a range of factors that affect the overall economic well-being of these different groups.

Evading and Escaping the Credit Card Trap

When used responsibly, credit cards can be very convenient and useful financial management tools. The various perks, including travel rewards, are hard to ignore; and the cash back rewards are truly free money! Credit cards also offer excellent security and protection against fraud.
Joyce Odongo

Board Member Spotlight – Joyce Odongo

We are pleased to introduce you to one of our outstanding board members, Joyce Odongo! Joyce is the Florida Community Development Officer for Bank OZK, a large regional bank concentrated in the southern U.S., with more than 200 branches in five…

Mortgage Types

If you’re searching for a house, there’s a good chance you might also be searching for a mortgage. With so many choices, it’s hard to know which mortgage type is right for you. A variety of factors will impact which mortgage type to choose,…

Affordable Summer Fun

Every summer brings the challenge of trying to cram as much fun into two months as possible without depleting your bank account.  Summer of 2021 promises to be much better than 2020 as CDC guidelines are relaxed and traditional events and activities…

Navigating the Home Loan Process

So, you’re ready to buy your first home? Wonderful! When done right, home ownership can be a truly rewarding and financially beneficial experience. Owning a home provides flexibility, stability, and freedom that renting cannot match. Still,…

Keys Unlock Dreams Initiative

Interview with Laurie Benner, Associate Vice President of Programs We interviewed CCCSMD Board Member Laurie Benner, of National Fair Housing Alliance, on her involvement in a new initiative, Keys Unlock Dreams. What is the Keys Unlock…

Bankruptcy 101

When facing a financial crisis, you can easily get overwhelmed sorting through all your available options. Besides paying down balances on your own, there are other solutions to take control of your debt. Some of these include debt consolidation…

Finding Hope in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy has become a condemning word that elicits fear, confusion, shame and many more negative emotions. Movies and media help reinforce these emotional responses and add to the already negative stigma this term carries, which often causes…

Board Member Spotlight – Laurie Benner

We'd like to introduce to one of our amazing Board Members, Laurie Benner! As Associate Vice President of Programs for the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Laurie Benner is responsible for developing, implementing, managing, and evaluating…

Spring Cleaning and Financial Health

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As the weather warms up, the days get longer, we are spending more time outside with friends and family, caring for our yard and cars as well as the exterior features of our home.  Some of us also find ourselves cleaning more inside this time…

Demystifying the Amortization Schedule

Amortization. It can be a daunting word, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. When it comes to mortgages, amortization refers to a debt being paid down with fixed monthly payments over a fixed period of time. A typical home loan is…