Financial Empowerment Center
Residents receive free, one-on-one professional counseling assistance with money management, budgeting, reducing debt, establishing and improving credit, connecting to safe and affordable banking services, building savings, and referrals to other services and organizations.
Financial Empowerment Center counselors can help you:
- Take control of your debt
- Deal with debt collectors
- Improve your credit
- Build your savings
- Create a budget
- Find safe and affordable financial products
- Other services based on your needs
Professionally trained counselors support their clients in navigating complex financial challenges and choices, helping them identify and meet present challenges and future ambitions. Counseling services are integrated into other social services including housing and foreclosure prevention services, workforce development, prisoner reentry, benefits access, and more.
All counseling services, including credit report analysis, are free of charge. There are no income limits or residency requirements. Interpreting and translation services are available upon request. The Detroit Financial Empowerment Center is funded by the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, JPMorgan Chase, Wayne County Treasurer's Office, and the Skillman Foundation.
Until further notice, all appointments must be done by calling (313) 322-6222.
The FEC call center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM.
Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Your first session will last 90 minutes, longer if you attend as a couple. In the first session, the client and counselor will complete a thorough Financial Health Assessment. This assessment captures demographics, service plan interest, financial health (income, spending, assets), financial services (usage, costs, and possible needs), and debt assessment (liabilities, costs, payment ratios, creditors, etc.), if applicable.
After the Financial Health Assessment, the client and counselor will decide which service plan or plans best fits the client's needs.
These service plans include:
- Creating a budget
- Reducing debt
- Establishing/improving credit
- Increasing savings
- Access to banking
- A free credit report will be provided to every client, unless they opt out.
What to bring, not mandatory, but helpful:
- Social Security number
- Bank statements
- Pay stubs/all sources of income
- Household bills
- Government issued ID (if available)
FEC Counselors are trained and certified in accordance with the requirements and competencies detailed in the FEC Model Counselor Training Standards. FEC Counselors are employees of Wayne Metro.
You can discuss any financial situation with a counselor. The counselor will work with you to develop a budget, create a plan of action based on your needs, follow up with you to discuss your progress, and make referrals when necessary. The main focus will be decreasing debt, increasing savings, repairing credit and access to safe and affordable banking products.
How many times can you meet with a financial counselor?
You can meet with counselors as many times as needed. There is typically a two-week period between appointments, but this timeline is based on your needs.
Does the Financial Empowerment Center offer financial classes?
The Detroit Financial Empowerment Center counselors provide individual, one-on-one, counseling. The initial session will take approximately 90 minutes. These sessions are not done in a group setting.
Are the counselors licensed or certified?
Counselors are trained and certified through the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund curriculum. They are required to complete the training course and pass the certification exams.
Does the Financial Empowerment Center provide offsite presentations?
Detroit Financial Empowerment Center representatives can conduct presentations to groups interested in learning more about the counseling process. Please contact Chelsea Neblett, Financial Empowerment Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Will the counselors come to my house and do sessions?
Counseling sessions are done at FEC centers. Counselors can conduct phone sessions if we are able to collect signatures on the disclosures before the initial session.
How long are the sessions?
The first session will take 90 minutes. Each additional session can take 30 minutes to one hour.
What do I need to bring to the first session?
You are not required to bring any documentation for the first session. However, documents such as your ID, paystubs, account statements, bills and other relevant financial documents are always helpful.
Is there a fee to pull my credit report and score?
Services at the Financial Empowerment Center are always free. Counselors will meet with a client, review their current financial situation, and review the credit report and score.