Santa Maria Community Services offers free financial education, financial coaching, and financial tools to help individuals reach their financial goals. Services are available to assist participants to make educated decisions regarding finances so they can increase net income, credit, and net worth.
We encourage families to use public benefits and area resources to meet basic needs. Examples of income supports include food assistance, medical benefits, prescription assistance, affordable housing, even the public library and recreation center.
Through one-on-one coaching, we work with individuals on a complete financial assessment, and identify opportunities to save money on things like check cashing fees, tax preparation costs, finance charges and other hidden costs. We help individuals understand credit reports, identify strategies for improving their financial future, and learn about basic banking and how to access positive and affordable financial products.
Coaching services include spending-plan development, banking help, credit building or repair, and more. Financial tools include the Matched Savings IDA (Individual Development Account), and Twin Accounts. The matched savings account allows individuals to increase assets by providing 1:1 matched funds towards an approved savings goal. The Twin Account is a credit builder loan with a match. Unlike a traditional loan, the money is put into a locked account. By making on-time monthly payments over the 12-month term can assist in increasing credit scores. The money saved over the 12 months is returned to the participant after the term end and any matched funds can be used to apply for a secured credit card or to pay down debt.