Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester does a lot more than credit counseling

  • Smart Checking Program

    CCCS of Rochester has been partnering with financial institutions within the Rochester community to help people get back on track with better money management. We offer a program called Smart Checking which helps individuals gain knowledge about better bank account management through education and accountability. 
    Why is it important to manage your bank account? When your money is withdrawn from the account and the balance goes below zero, you could incur a hefty overdraft fee depending on terms of the account. These are also called a nonsufficient funds fee or NSF.
    These bank fees can start to add up taking from other expenses or bills you must pay. It’s like taking your money and throwing it right out of the window. 
    How will this program help you? You can schedule an appointment with an expert to review how you are managing your money in your bank account and learn ways to avoid fees. Assistance with creating a budget and review of credit will also be conducted during appointment. 
    Here are some basic tips you can do now to start taking control of your money and avoid unnecessary fees:


    Opt out of debit card coverage. Ask your financial institution what your preferences are so you will not be allowed to overdraw your account.


    Check your balance frequently. Use online banking, call the 800 number or keep a check register to total a running balance.


    Set up mobile alerts to notify you when your balance is getting below a certain amount. Ask your financial institution to help you set this up.


    To enroll in weekly financial tips to help you stay on track, simply text the keyword CCCS to 797979. Text message and data rates apply.
    To schedule an appointment for Smart Checking counseling, call our office at 585-546-3440.
    If you have questions or would like to learn more about this program, please email us at
    smartchecking@cccsofrochester....

  • Protect your Identity

    Identity Theft is quickly becoming one of the most organized and costly crimes of modern times. Identity Theft is a crime in which an imposter deceptively obtains identifying personal data and uses it for their own personal gain. Some of this data might include social security numbers, driver's license numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers. The process can start with a stolen wallet, pilfered email or an online data breach. Identity Theft can affect anyone of any age, including children!
    Over 8 million people are victimized by identity theft each year, with identity theft remaining the top complaint to the FTC for 11 years running. Overall losses from identity theft were over $37 billion in 2010. The average consumer out of pocket cost was up to $631 per incident.
    Here are some tips for protecting your identity:


    Buy a shredder and use it! Shred everything including credit card receipts, old bank statements, medical statements, every day bills and pre-approved credit card offers. If you don't have a shredder or can't buy one, look for shredding events in your area.


    Monitor your credit and bank accounts carefully, so you'll know if a bill is missing or if unauthorized purchases have been made.


    Protect your Social Security number. Only give out your Social Security number when absolutely necessary.


    Never give out your Social Security number, bank account number or credit card numbers to phone solicitors.


    When shopping online, make sure you see the Trust-e symbol or a Better Business Bureau online seal. These indicate that the seller has been independently audited and deemed trustworthy. Also make sure that online sites are secure or in an encrypted mode. The best way to do this is to look for a web address that begins with https instead of the usual http.


    Have a constant awareness of your surroundings when shopping or using ATM's. Unscrupulous people can pick pocket you or look over your shoulder to gain your pin number.


    Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service. Such services alert you via email anytime there is an inquiry or other activity to your credit report.


    Order your credit report regularly. Consumers are allowed one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three bureaus- Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Order a report now from one bureau and then from another in January. This will give you a look at your credit report every 4 months and is still free.
    The best way to protect your identity is to be proactive and through prevention. It is much more difficult to recover from identity theft than to take steps to stop it before it happens.
    ...

  • Tuition-Free Degree Program: The Excelsior Scholarship

    Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Excelsior scholarship, which will provide tuition-free college at New York’s public colleges and universities to families making up to $125,000 a year. Under the Excelsior Scholarship, nearly 80 percent, or 940,000 middle-class families and individuals making up to $125,000 per year, would qualify to attend college tuition-free at all CUNY and SUNY two- and four-year colleges in New York State.
    A regional breakdown of families who would be eligible for the program is available below. 
    The new program will be phased in over three years, beginning for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually in the fall of 2017, increasing to $110,000 in 2018, and reaching $125,000 in 2019.  Scholars must be enrolled in college full-time and average 30 credits per year (including Summer and January semesters) in order to receive the funding, however, the program has built in flexibility so that any student facing hardship is able to pause and restart the program, or take fewer credits one semester than another.   Students are required to maintain a grade point average necessary for the successful completion of their coursework, and, as the program makes a major investment in the state’s greatest asset – our young people – scholars will be required to live and work in-state for the same number of years after graduation as they received the scholarship.
    These initiatives build on the Governor’s commitment to making college affordable for all students in the Empire State, including the nation-leading 'Get On Your Feet' Loan Forgiveness Program, which allows eligible college graduates living in New York to pay nothing on their student loans for the first two years out of school.
    Visit the website https://www.hesc.ny.gov to learn more about the Excelsior Scholarship and to be electronically notified when you may apply by entering you email address on the Excelsior Scholarship Alert for...

  • Tips for Retirement

    Here are a few tips to consider at different phases of life to make sure you are on the right track to retirement readiness.
    If you're in your 20s,...

  • How Many Credit Scores Do I Have?

    Often we hear from our clients that they checked their credit score through a free site such as Credit Karma and were shown a high credit score but...

More Blog Posts
More News Articles

A History of Helping People in Rochester

CCCS of Rochester is proud to be the only locally-based non-profit Credit Counseling Agency in the Rochester area. Over the last 40+ years, we have helped hundreds of thousands of people reclaim their financial health

More about us