Those looking for help in improving their finances will have the opportunity Friday in Canfield.
The State Treasurer of Ohio’s office and the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County are hosting a free one-day program at the Mahoning Career and Technical Center, 7300 N. Palmyra Road.
Smart Money Choices provides information on budgeting, credit and debt management, estate planning, consumer scams, investments, new student funding and debt management, retirement planning and Social Security.
“Our goals are to help the local community have access to information about retirement, budgeting or their child’s education,” said Seth Unger, spokesman for the treasurer’s office.
There are things in the program such as personal budgeting and financial planning that could benefit a lot of people, he added.
There will be a number of free resources to help people, said Deborah McCullough, the library’s manager of adult services.
The library will have staff at the event to make sure people know where they can receive help in the Mahoning Valley, she said.
“A number of banks, the Social Security office and other agencies will be there,” McCullough said.
The banks who attend give a lot of good information, but they cannot tell those in attendance what bank they work for or try to sell services, she said.
One of the new aspects of the program is post-filing bankruptcy education certification. Those who attend can receive credit for budgeting, credit and debt management.
Anyone who has filed for Chapter 7 or 13 personal bankruptcy protection must complete a course in personal financial management. The sections at Friday’s event meet the requirements.
“People can get the required education without paying any money to a third-party provider,” Unger said.
It remains a new program, but people are learning about it and taking advantage of its availability, he said.
“It will help those unfortunate people in the Mahoning Valley who have had to go through the bankruptcy process,” Unger said.
The program, which includes an opening session and three breakout sessions taught by financial planning experts, is from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m.
Call 800-228-1102 for information or to register. The library also has information about the Smart Money program available online at www.libraryvisit.org/smartmoney.