Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Financial Literacy & AgentspayingForward

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Another New Charity Joins – The Financial Training Center

I’ve been in the mortgage business since 1984, and one of the things that has amazed me is the lack of “financial literacy” demonstrated by many of my clients. Most of the clients were taught that buying a home was a good investment, but they didn’t know what steps were necessary to obtain the home. More than that, after buying their homes, many of these same clients discovered they were “duped” into loans that were set ups for disaster.

Had many of the clients that are struggling today been able to meet with Dorothea Bernique from the Increasing H.O.P.E Financial Training Center in North Charleston, South Carolina, they may have been able to avoid the current situation they are in. I’m not a fan of laying fault, since it doesn’t have enough value to me: I would rather solve the problem. People like Dorothea Bernique are working hard (she was emailing me at 11:30 PM with information) to fill the void left by an education system that is not teaching basic budgeting techniques. Take a look at an article below that tells about Dorothea, and the Increasing H.O.P.E Financial Training Center. More importantly, if you are a Realtor looking to serve your clients, send them to Dorothea so they know how to prepare for buying a home! Furthermore, by all means help support Dorothea and her great organization – she truly is of service to your clients and our country!
The Post and Courier (2/19/2008)

City pushes financial literacy. Even in these days of online banking and other technological conveniences, at least 26 million Americans nationwide do not have a bank account, financial literacy advocates estimate. In the Charleston region, thousands of people walk around with their pockets stuffed with cash because they don't know how to open an account or worry they'll never see their money again if they hand it over to a teller.

"It's a trust issue and a fear issue," said Dorothea Bernique, director of the Financial Training Center in North Charleston, a nonprofit that offers individuals assistance with money matters, such as budgeting and decision-making. The consequences of poor money management and a lack of understanding go way beyond the risks of losing cash to thieves and scam artists. Many people who don't use banks have no credit and can be susceptible to predatory lending and high-interest cash loans, Bernique said.

To underscore the importance of personal financial management, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley is scheduled today to sign a Proclamation for Financial Literacy for the city. Riley said Monday that the national mortgage crisis illustrates that many home buyers did not understand what they were getting into when they signed their loans. Financial literacy can lead to financial security and a more successful life, Riley said. "Financial literacy is education," Riley said. "For people who have little leeway financially, it's important they understand the services that are available.

"The Financial Training Center targets low- to moderate-income households. It it set up to help people understand local banking options and how interest rates work, as well as the benefits of establishing credit. Bernique said participants at the center will learn that the more money a person carries around, the more they're likely to spend. Many people simply do not appreciate the concept or importance of saving, she said. "They learn how to manage the money they have and what it can do for them," Bernique said. "It can either be working for you or against you." Increasing H.O.P.E Financial Training Center, 2154 N. Center Street, Suite 416-D N. Charleston, SC 29406 www.increasinghope.org 843-225-4343

Dorothea Bernique
Increasing H.O.P.E Financial Training Center
Helping Others Prosper Economically
Office Phone: 843-225-4343
Fax: 843-574-0943
Listen to graduates:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=861WFSkHp2Q
Read about us:http://www.charleston.net/news/2008/feb/19/city_pushes_financial_literacy31072/



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