Advantage Advisor
Monthly Newsletter
April / 2019
April is Financial Literacy Month and a great time to focus on financial education. A lack of financial preparedness has huge societal costs, and in the coming years as Americans age, these costs will likely increase. There are daunting challenges facing not only the poor but also the working middle class. In the face of flat real wages, structural unemployment, a high tax burden, and higher health-care costs, it is becoming more difficult for millions of Americans to find extra income to save at the end of the month.

Click below for more information:
In This Issue:

Financial Literacy Month
Destroy Debt
Retirement Checklist
Springtime Savings
Clients Speak Out
Company News & Events
Employee Spotlight
The Advantage Challenge
RECENT BLOG POSTS - 
If you are struggling with high credit card account balances and other troublesome debt, you understandably may feel stressed and even hopeless. Regardless of your current circumstances, adjusting your money management efforts could help you to turn your .... Read more!
Planning for retirement should feel exciting and thrilling, not stressful and overwhelming. After working for the vast majority of your adult life, the prospect of living a carefree life while retired should help you to feel hopeful about your future as you get your finances and future budgeting in order ....  Read more!
The air is getting warmer, and the sky is brightening up, and it stays light outside for a little longer. Spring is on its way! This beautiful time of year heralds in gardening chores, outdoor parties, and inevitable weddings. Spring is also the perfect time to start saving money. Take a look at the top....  Read more!
CLIENTS SPEAK OUT - 
"Everyone I was in contact with was very helpful and friendly. Always addressed my questions and took care of my concerns promptly. I appreciated the help a great deal. Thank you!"  Cindy O.
" You guys were great working with the credit card companies, reduced the interest rates on most of the accounts and managed the balances by paying the highest interest rates the most to reduce the debt as fast as possible. The monthly bank withdrawal was very helpful . "  ~ Dawn T.
" Everyone is always so helpful and professional. This service helped me tremendously! "  ~ Diane S.
"We were very pleased with the entire experience from beginning to end. Our counselor was wonderful and always available to answer questions. The plan was very organized and precise. We were able to make changes whenever necessary. We were able to pay off in excess of $20,000 in only 47 payments . We were originally given a 57 month payoff estimate, but little by little, I was able to increase the payments to pay off sooner and they worked with us every step of the way. They were very professional yet compassionate and understanding to our individual situation. We would highly recommend this organization to anyone trying to get out of debt. Thanks to the counseling, we've become much more aware of our budget and how to manage our finances more wisely."  ~ Steven D.
COMPANY NEWS & EVENTS -   
HELP FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS THROUGH THE FIRST FRONT DOOR (FFD) PROGRAM!   

Our certified housing counselors can help you with the First Front Door program!

First Front Door is offered by members of FHLBank Pittsburgh. Homebuyers must finance their first mortgage through a participating FFD provider in order to access the FFD funds. Click here to see a list of participating lenders: https://www.firstfrontdoor.com/FFD-Providers

After your lender has confirmed your FFD grant reservation is in place, now is the time to complete your mortgage application, select the home you wish to purchase, and complete the required four hours of homeownership counseling with Advantage Credit Counseling Services in our Housing Counseling Department. Remember, FFD grant reservations are only valid for six months !

FFD funds can be used to help with your down payment or closing costs. For every $1 you contribute, FFD will provide $3 in assistance, up to a maximum of $5,000. Talk to your lender to understand how FFD will work with your home purchase.

You can find more information about this program by visiting https://www.firstfrontdoor.com/
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT - 
In our “Employee Spotlight” series, we ask our employees about the role they play in our agency and a little bit about their family and personal life. We want to give you the ability to hear right from them about what gets them excited to come to work each day and how they personally help all of our clients succeed.
 
Let's meet our  Certified Credit and Housing Counselor Sue Rosser !
 
How long have you worked for the agency? –  "I have worked for ACCS since January 2016. For 10 years before that, I worked for a smaller non-profit (CCCS of NEPA), doing the same kind of work; the two agencies merged."
 
What are your primary job duties? –  "I am a certified housing and credit counselor. I help people with the whole process of homeownership, from getting into a mortgage to preventing foreclosure, along with discussions on dealing with unsecured debt, like credit cards."
 
What was the most unusual and/or interesting job you've ever had? –  "When my children were very little, I worked as an 'inventory specialist,' which was a fancy title that meant I was part of a crew that went to grocery stores and counted all of their inventory. It was very funny counting individual packets of Kool-aid."
 
Would you say you're messy or organized? –  "At work, I am organized, but at home I am a messy person with some hoarding tendencies. I just can’t seem to throw away buttons, clothes, kitchenware, etc. You just never know when those things will be collector items, right, like my daughter’s MC Hammer outfit."
 
What's your favorite food? –  "I love chocolate and Dr Pepper soda."
 
What's your least favorite food? –  "No raw onions in my food, please!"
 
Do you have any hobbies? –  "I love puzzles, from jigsaw puzzles to Sudoku, anything that makes me think, but uses little physical energy."
 
What is the one thing you couldn’t live without? –  "I want to answer my family, but my fingers are saying Dr Pepper."
 
What is your favorite book and/or movie? –  "What Dreams May Come, starring Robin Williams."
 
What is your favorite color? –  "When younger, I favored blue, but now I just like bright colors."
 
What is your favorite vacation spot? -  "My father’s family is from southern Alabama, and we enjoyed going there whenever we can."
ADVANTAGE CHALLENGE - 
Are you up for the Advantage Challenge?

Advantage CCS challenges YOU to the... Automatic Transfer Challenge !

An easy way to save without cutting a single expense is to set up an automatic transfer of $25 per week or $100 per month (you can do more or less depending on your budget) from your paycheck or direct deposit to a high-yield savings account . You won’t really miss the money, but you will reap the rewards!

Let us know your results! Email news@advantageccs.org and tell us all about it!