Start Right | Los Angeles Public Library

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Money Matter$: Know More, Make More

Start Right

  • All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan

    All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan

    Warren, Elizabeth.
  • Start Right
    • Banking
    • Budgeting
    • Charitable Giving
    • Credit
      • A free, government site that links to three major credit bureaus that provide free annual credit reports: Experian, Equifax, Transunion.
      • Covers credit cards, debt management, loans, interest rates and much more.
      • An authoritative, comprehensive, government brochure (PDF format) for improving your credit rating.

      • The U.S. Citizens for Fair Credit Card Terms, Inc. (CFCCT) is a for-profit organization devoted to selecting credit cards appropriate to the user and educating consumers about credit cards. Includes thousands of consumer reviews on credit cards.
      • Provides lists of credit cards, credit report services, prepaid and secured cards. Lists can be sorted by card or service features. Also offers news, FAQs, glossary, and lists of card incentives.

      • Consumer and industry target audience, with links to CardTrak for consumer information.
      • Provides links to credit counseling, credit improvements, tools, and education.
      • A credit portal that answers how good is my credit, and many other credit questions. Rated best credit site by
      •'s second best credit portal site for determining how good is my credit? With information on tools, calculators, credit card comparison, and credit scores.

      • One of the three major credit reporting agencies.
      • One of the three major credit reporting agencies.
      • A Federal Reserve credit site with links to other credit resources such as tools, explanations of terms, fees, statements, and summary of new laws, in English and Spanish.

      • Guide from the Los Angeles County Consumer & Business Affairs Center for Financial Empowerment.  This directory is a comprehensive list of organizations that provide a variety of financial well-being services to County residents, including credit building, credit counseling, financial coaching, free tax assistance, homeownership, small business development, etc.

      • Covers most credit concerns such as Free Credit Reports, Collection Agencies, Credit Scams, Credit Card Disputes, and other credit issues.
      • An authoritative site for credit scores, with explanations of the scores. Recommended by Kiplinger Magazine and created by the consumer division of Fair Isaac, the company that invented the FICO® credit risk score. The site is the only source of an approximation of your FICO score. It is primarily a fee service with some free information and educational content.
      • Links to credit counseling, credit improvements, tools, and education.
      • Rated high by Money magazine, useful for identifying and comparing credit cards that fit individual needs and interests and deciding if to cancel a card.

      • A non-commercial educational website from FICO providing comprehensive information about the Risk-Based Pricing Rule that started in January 2011 and other federally-mandated credit disclosure notices. Helps consumers receiving notices of credit approval or denial to understand these notices’ meaning as well as the consumers' rights and potential options. Also explains the composition and role played by FICO® Scores for credit ratings.
      • One of the three major credit reporting agencies. Good consumer information and videos, in addtion to free credit reports.
    • Financial Planning
      • Financial Planning Tools
      • How to Choose a Financial Advisor
        • Financial planning: including creating a budget, saving money,planning for different stages of life, investing for retirement, buying insurance.  the is an brand.

        • SEC Investment Advisers: What You Need to Know Before Choosing One.
      • Verify Professional Certification and Licensing
        • Offers a referral database for finding CPAs, including those with specialized credentials. Also offers a set of links for each state to verify the licenses of CPAs.
        • Together, the Department of Real Estate, the Office of Real Estate Appraisers, the Department of Corporations and the Department of Financial Institutions regulate most of the real estate and financial services in California. This web page is provided as a one-stop resource for California real estate and financial services license information, laws and regulations
        • A major certifying organization: features educational information about financial planning and allows you to search for CFPs by name, state, or proximity to your home.
        • Created by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  On one page it offers several choices for checking on financial professionals: one for those trading in futures, options, and foreign currency; a link to FINRA's BrokerCheck; links for checking insurance professionals and investment advisers, and others.  Also links to informational resources.

        • A major organization in financial planning, which also publishes a financial journal.
        • If your planning is being done through a brokerage firm, you can look up the disciplinary history of firms and individual brokers at the Web site of the this financial industry regulatory authority.
        • Organization for fee-only advisors which offers financial-planning articles and a search engine for finding fee-only planners in your area.
        • This major financial association site includes educational articles on investments and links to your state's securities regulator.
        • Search for records on both firms and individuals filed with Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding registrations, employment history, and disclosures about certain disciplinary events.
        • A database of more than 320,000 active investment advisors and 11,000 advisory firms including advisors who offer a wide variety of skills and expertise and work directly with retail investors. Information about firms and individuals is provided by Financial Media Group and drawn from state and federal regulatory filings, which are submitted to state regulators, FINRA, and SEC.
    • Savings
      • America Saves is a nationwide campaign in which a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government groups helping individuals and families save and build wealth. Funding sources include FINRA:

      • Choose to Save is a national public education and outreach program from Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and its American Savings Education Council (ASEC) program. Site includes sections with educational brochures, extensive calculators, good, comprehensive links to resources for specific situations, in English and Spanish.
      • How can I pay less for everyday stuff? Focus on grocery coupons. A Money Magazine second choice.

      • How can I pay less for everyday stuff? The Best Site according to Money Magazine.
    • Taxes
      • Offers information, forms, tools, online tax preparation; and forms for all states.

      • CalEITC4Me is a statewide campaign to spread awareness of the State of California's Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), as well as increase use of the federal EITC, providing information, a calculator to determine eligibility, and referrals to free tax preparation help.  Site available in Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

      • California state income tax instructions and forms.
      • Offers links to all 50 states for tax forms with easy access to state tax agencies and forms.

      • Sponsored by both the City and County of Los Angeles, this site promotes and leads users to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and information about the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) programs.

      • A major media site offering articles on specific tax issues.
      • Based on Nolo tax publications, what individuals and businesses need to know about filing tax returns, reducing tax bills, and avoiding or preparing for an audit.
      • Useful as a free directory of all Federal and State tax sites.
      • Free basic online filing for everyone, with enhanced versions for a fee, partners in E-File with the IRS.
      • Free basic tax calculators and guides; more sophisticated tax preparation software available for a fee.
      • Federal income tax instructions and forms.
      • Individual tax counseling and tax form assistance at locations through out the region.


These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Los Angeles Public Library of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. The Los Angeles Public Library bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content. Also, please note that some of these sites may require registration and/or pay subscriptions for parts of their information and services, but all the sites selected and listed have significantly helpful and useful content that is available for free.