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Financial Opportunity Center

New! The EARN matching savings program helps ALICE build savings for emergencies or to fund their goals! Learn more

United Way of Western Connecticut’s (UWWC) Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) empowers individuals and families in Western Connecticut to take steps to become financially stable. We offer several programs to help households understand their finances and create budgets, start saving, reduce debt, build assets and plan for the future.

Creating a realistic budget, debt reduction or savings plan is never easy - it requires a degree of self-discipline and sacrifice in the short-term, in order to reach your long-term goals. The process can be easier when you have someone knowledgeable, with your best interests at heart, helping you along the way. 

Here’s  where the FOC comes in.

The FOC’s One-on-One Budget Coaching offers clients confidential financial mentoring, budget development, credit repair and asset-building.

We will match you with a trained volunteer from a partner organization who will help you develop a better understanding of your financial situation. In one-on-one sessions with your coach, you will learn how to more effectively manage your income, spending, debt and savings. Your financial coach will not budget your money for you, but will help you through the process of doing it yourself. In the end, the spending plan you create will fit your life: your personal wants, needs and goals.

The FOC also wants to help make savings a habit and build your assets. Savings are the basis for good financial health. To this end, we have partnered with financial nonprofit EARN to bring the EARN Starter Savings Program to Western CT. This program offers a matched savings program where you can earn up to $60 when you save at least $20/month over 6 months. For more information, visit www.uwwesternct.org/earn. To sign up, visit www.earn.org/ctuw or call 888-487-3276.

Getting Started: Your first step should be to call the Financial Opportunity Center at 203-297-6674 to let us know you are interested in participating in this program. The program manager will connect you with one of our partner organizations to meet your needs.

Call the Financial Opportunity Center at 203-297-6674 to get started!

Additional Resources and Programs

  • VITA (www.uwwesternct.org/vita) If you make less than $53,505 per year, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program can help you file a quality reviewed, income tax return at no cost. Learn more at www.uwwesterct.org/vita
  • The Connecticut Money School (www.ctmoney.org) offers free financial education classes on topics like budgeting, debt, saving, credit and homeownership. For more information, contact Barbara Steadman, 860-951-2212 ext. 244
  • 2-1-1 (www.211ct.org) offers a comprehensive database of all social service supports available in Connecticut. For more information, visit www.211ct.org or call 2-1-1.
  • Credit Karma (www.creditkarma.com) provides free credit scores and credit monitoring.