Budget and debt counseling services for North Americans offered free through FUM/Everance partnership

“I would love to be more generous and help others, but how can I be? I have so many student loans, a huge car loan and am just trying to pay rent most months! Some days I feel like I am being crushed by the weight of debt!”

        This specific comment was spoken by a young person at the conclusion of a Financial Wellness workshop I held at her church. Her frustration and pain were obvious and authentic. She really did want to serve God and others by giving generously to her congregation and other ministries, but there simply was very little margin in her finances.

        I hear this pain more and more among people of all ages. As a society we are in a debt-crisis. Many people are finding it difficult to survive. A great many more are struggling to gain any sense of financial stability, let alone security.

        Everence is committed to helping people be thoughtful and prayerful about generosity. Giving to God’s work and to help others is integral to discipleship and biblical stewardship. To get to the place of generosity, however, some of us need to first find a place of stability.

        One of many resources Everence offers comes through a partnership we have with Lutheran Social Services Financial Counseling of Minnesota (LSS). Through this partnership, Everence offers free and confidential budget and debt counseling services to help those who are in financial crisis or to individuals and families who simply want to learn more about managing their resources. LSS services are available to anyone connected to a Friends Meeting or Church.

        By contacting LSS, Friends will receive up to six free and confidential counseling sessions from a certified consumer credit counselor for a full range of financial issues, including:

·       Money management and budgeting

·       Credit reports and improving credit scores

·       Debt repayment options and debt management plans. [Debt management plan services are not covered by this agreement. Clients who opt to pursue a DMP with LSS Financial Counseling will be responsible to pay a monthly service fee, but the DMP set-up fee is waived for all Everence members.]

·       Preventing and resolving identity theft

·       Mortgage foreclosure and/or predatory lending

·       Home-buying readiness and mortgages

·       Student loan repayment issues.

·       Vehicle loan issues

Your sessions may provide:

·       An objective assessment of your situation

·       A detailed budget and review of income, spending, assets and debts

·       A personal action plan with resources and coaching to help you resolve financial issues

You or someone you refer can find out more about LSS on our website at:

https://www.everence.com/financial-services/financial-planning/budget-and-debt-counseling or by calling toll free (877) 809-0039 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. (EST) to set up a telephone appointment with a certified LSS financial counselor. The phone will be answered, “LSS Financial Counseling offered by Everence.” From there, you will discuss your issues with your LSS counselor. Depending on your situation, you may receive immediate advice, or an action plan may be designed specifically for you.

—Colin Saxton