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NYC Office of Actuary NYC Department for the Aging
Financial Savvy

When your financial situation gets complicated, it’s more important than ever to be financially savvy. Sitting down one-on-one with a professional can mean the difference between endless financial worry and peace of mind that you’re on the right track toward financial security. The City’s FREE Financial Empowerment Centers can help you take control of your debt, improve your credit, deal with debt collection, create a budget, open a bank account and much more. One-on-one free financial counseling is provided by professional counselors in person or by phone at 18 centers in the City.

Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you

Get Savvy about Scams

Many consumer scams are directed at seniors - including Internet and telemarketing fraud, identity theft, lottery sweepstakes and reverse mortgage loans. Be savvy: never give out your bank account or social security number; check out a business before hiring contractors for home repairs; and avoid any aggressive sales pitches that make you uncomfortable.

Learn more about Predatory Lending (in PDF)
Learn more about Protecting Your Assets (in PDF)
Learn more about Reverse Mortages
Play It’s My Money! online to learn how to avoid Fraud and Scams
Learn more about safeguards if you're a property owner

Get Savvy through Direct Deposit

If you receive benefits such as Social Security or Supplemental Security Income checks by mail, get savvy! The U.S. Department of the Treasury is phasing out issuing paper checks in favor of electronic deposit. By March 1, 2013, you will need to switch either to direct deposit to your bank or credit union account or to a Direct Express Debit Master Card account.

Go Direct is a program of the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank that can help you understand the new requirements and sign up for direct deposit or a prepaid debit card. Sign up online or call the Go Direct Helpline Monday – Friday at 800-333-1795 (English) or 800-333-1792 (Spanish).

Sign up for Go Direct

What To Do if You Don't Have a Bank Account

Ask your local bank or credit union about their low or no-fee banking account options and read the small print about what fees may be included before choosing the type of account that's best for you.

If you don't have a bank account and live in Manhattan, check out Bank On Manhattan (Cuenta con Manhattan) designed to help you open a basic account and to provide a second chance if you've had problems managing an account in the past. Telephone: 877-646-2226.