Scratch invites you to participate in CreditSmart, a FREE Credit Education Program offered by FreddieMac.
The free program is offered online, so you can take it anywhere!
The program offers 10 complete financial education modules that provide valuable information to will help you:
- Understand the importance of building credit to secure your financial future.
- Gain insight into how lenders assess your eligibility for a mortgage loan.
- Recognize the warning signs of predatory lending and scams.
- Improve your credit.
- Manage your money more effectively.
To get the most out of the program, we recommend you complete all modules in numerical order. Each module can generally be completed within 20-30 minutes.
Included in each module is a link to a glossary of terms. These terms should help you learn more about credit, and better understand each credit education module. In addition, we have included three terms below that we believe are important terms to know in order to better understand credit.
- Installment Loans (and how they work): Installment Loans (also referred to as Installment Accounts) are a type of credit whereby a borrower signs a contract to repay a fixed amount in equal payments over a specific period of time. Examples of installment loans may include car loans, furniture loans, and often times personal loans. Scratch’s Pay Over Time payment product is an example of an installment loan.
- Cost of Credit: All the costs a borrower agrees to pay related to the credit a borrower is acquiring. The cost of credit depends on the loan or credit product. Common costs that may apply are fees (a borrower may be charged a loan origination fee, prepayment penalties and late payment fees) and interest (this is the rate of interest a borrower will be charged for borrowing, expressed as a percentage). When a borrower applies for credit and is approved, the borrower should receive a contract that outlines the fees and interest rate that will apply to the credit.
- Loan Payment: A loan payment is the act of paying back money previously borrowed from a lender. Loan payment usually takes the form of periodic payments that normally include part principal plus interest in each payment. The other common method of loan payment is a lump sum with interest at maturity.
We hope you enjoy, and find value in, the program below!
Credit Education Program (Introduction and Modules):
Introduction to CreditSmart Online Training
If you are taking this training course for the first time click on the link above for an introduction to the program
Module 1: Your Credit and Why It Is Important
This module introduces credit, basic terminology, and the importance of building a better credit record.
Module 2: Managing Your Money
This module teaches the importance of developing a spending plan and developing wise spending habits, in addition to receiving tips on how to save money.
Module 3: Goal Setting
Find out about the importance of setting goals to achieve financial objectives.
Module 4: Banking Services: An Important Step
Get valuable information on the basics of banking and the importance of establishing a relationship with a financial institution to build credit, save money, and achieve goals.
Module 5: Establishing and Maintaining Good Credit
Learn how to establish a credit presence and maintain a good credit history. The module also reviews the contents of a credit report, as well as the primary credit and consumer protection laws.
Module 6: Understanding Credit Scoring
This module describes credit scoring from a borrower's perspective and illustrates how consumer behavior affects credit scores.
Module 7: Thinking Like a Lender
Get information on how lenders and other financial institutions determine creditworthiness and how it relates to credit scores.
Module 8: Avoiding Credit Traps
Get valuable information on how to avoid credit traps, identity theft, and predatory lending practices that can consume personal resources and severely damage credit histories.
Module 9: Restoring Your Credit
This module shows how to deal with credit difficulties and provides tips on how to restore impaired credit.
Module 10: Planning for Your Future
This module outlines the process to achieve goals and attain financial security.
CreditSmart also offers 2 additional education modules (Module 11 and Module 12) specific to home ownership. If you are interested in taking either of the home ownership modules we have included them below for your convenience:
Module 11: Becoming a Homeowner
This module provides practical information on how to prepare to obtain a mortgage and own a home.
Module 12: Protecting Your Home Investment
This newest curriculum module contains a wealth of information on understanding home equity, maintaining and improving your home, preparing for emergencies, and recognizing scams. It also includes a comprehensive section on alternatives to foreclosure.