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Free financial counseling offered on the Big Island

Piggy bank and savings.
Topp Yimgrimm/iStockphoto

Residents of Hawaiʻi County can take advantage of a new free program to reach their financial goals.

The Financial Empowerment Center is a partnership between the County, the Cities of Financial Empowerment Fund, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Hawaiian Community Assets and Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union.

FEC Counselors will help clients better manage their money, improve their credit score, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and provide access to safe and affordable banking products.

Counselors can also help to create a customized plan to address student loans, buy a house, build financial goals for your business, or start an emergency fund.

Sessions can range from 30 minutes to an hour. There are currently five financial counselors, with plans to expand after monitoring where the biggest needs are.

Unlike a financial advisor, the counselors at the center cannot help clients with investment funds.

Appointments can be conducted virtually or at one of the in-person locations.

There are two locations under Hawaiian Community Assets — one in Hilo, as well as one in Kona. Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union has an office space in Hilo, as well as in the Waimea area.

More information can be found through the County's website.

Appointments for financial counseling can be made through Hawaiian Community Assets or Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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