City of Philadelphia: FAQ
Sign In
City of Philadelphia

FAQ

Partners

Our Sponsors

Philadelphia's Financial Empowerment Centers are generously supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Living Cities’ Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund.

What are Financial Empowerment Centers?

Philadelphia’s network of Financial Empowerment Centers provide FREE high-quality, one-on-one financial counseling with professionally trained counselors to help clients transition from debt management to saving for a better life for themselves and their families.

Where do I go for more information or to make an appointment?

To find a location near you, and for more information, call 311 or the Philadelphia Financial Empowerment Centers Hotline at 1-855-FIN-PHIL (346-7445).

What services are provided at the Centers?

The City’s Centers help clients take control of their debt, deal with debt collectors, improve their credit, create a budget, find safe and affordable financial products, and much more.

Financial counselors provide sessions on the following financial topics:

• Money Management and Budgeting
• Banking and Basic Financial Transactions
• Credit Reports
• Using Credit Wisely
• Consumer Protection and Debt Collection
• Student Loans
• Bankruptcy
• Negotiation
• Investments and Future Planning
• Homeownership
• Insurance and Benefits

Who is eligible to receive the FREE one-on-one financial counseling?

Anyone.

Is my personal information held confidential?

Yes.

Are the FREE one-on-one financial counseling sessions provided in different languages?

English and Spanish. We will work to accommodate other languages as well.

How many FREE one-on-one financial counseling sessions may I attend?

Unlimited. Repeat visits are encouraged.

What information do I need to provide in order to schedule an appointment?

To schedule your appointment please be prepared to tell the operator your:

  • Name
  • Phone number or email address, and 
  • Availability for a session

The financial counselor will tell you what to bring to the appointment over the phone or in an email prior to the appointment. For your first session, you may be asked to bring your paystubs (at least two months worth if possible), any record of additional income, any bills that you may have, and any letters from creditors.

What can I expect from my first financial counseling session?

A certified financial counselor may work with you to provide any of the following services:

  • Run your credit report, tell you your credit score and give you a copy
  • Make a budget and create payment plans to help you build savings
  • Talk to creditors on your behalf to lower old fees and penalties
  • Erase erroneous debts and correct credit histories
  • Negotiate with creditors for more favorable payment plans, total debts owed, and ongoing interest rates
  • Identify new sources of income such as unclaimed benefits like the childcare tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and others