Counselor Spotlight – Olivia Lima

January 20, 2022

Olivia has worked for us for almost a year and a half and has been a huge asset to our team. We asked Olivia some questions and she gave some great responses about working for LSS in our department.Olivia Lima

Why did you come to LSS – Center for Financial Resources?

Personal finance is a passion hobby of mine (I know, I’m such a geek!).  I am grateful for the knowledge I have about finance, since so many people aren’t sure how to handle their money—and no wonder!  Few of us learn this either at home or at school.  There’s such a deep need.  So last year I was looking for a way to put my knowledge to use, to give back by helping people build skills & confidence to manage their money.  The Center for Financial Resources really appealed to me because the focus is on helping regular people with everyday finance: how to budget, buy a home, pay off debt, and save money.  It’s not about helping the ultra-wealthy with tax havens! LSS has a strong reputation in SD for mission-driven purpose and high-quality service to the community, so I knew this would be a good place to invest my time and energy.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the decision: the staff at CFR are amazingly talented, dedicated professionals, and I have learned so much from everyone.

What benefits have you seen from your time with LSS – CFR?

It’s deeply gratifying to work with clients over time and see their finances improve and their confidence grow.  Money is just a tool to reach all our other goals, so when someone takes control of their money, it means they can take control of their life.  Even though it can be a long journey to build up finances all the way to a goal, I already see immediate relief in clients just from realizing they are on the right track.

Why would you recommend CFR to others?

Everyone can benefit from reviewing their finances!  And seeing a financial counselor gives you a helpful outside perspective as well as information about options you might not have known about—not to mention access to a cheerleader/accountability buddy!  Most financial advice is very expensive (either in explicit fees or hidden commission costs) but here at LSS we are funded to provide counseling at low to no cost.

What else do you feel people need to know about working with CFR?

It does not need to be scary!  Money can be SO emotional, but we can help make the process easier for you.  And there’s no judgment: after all, it’s your money!  We want to help you meet *your* goals, no one else’s.  And we are available to walk with you for as long as you’d like.  If you want to come in for a quick check-up and be done in 1-2 appointments, we can do that. If you’d like to continue meeting with a counselor for several months while you work toward goals, we can do that, too, at no additional cost.  We’re here to help you no matter what your situation.

Written by Cassandra Johnson and Olivia Lima, Financial Counselor and Educator

Photo credit: twitter.com

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Consumer Credit Counseling Service | Housing Resources | Sharpen Your Financial Focus | Financial Fitness Education
705 East 41st Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls SD 57105-6047
605-330-2700 or 888-258-2227
www.LssSD.org
Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities

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New Debt Collection Rule

January 6, 2022

It’s been 45 years since the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act has been updated. Let’s be honest though, ways of communication are quite a bit different than they were in 1977. With the new update debt collectors can now contact via text message, email, and even direct messages in social media. text message image

Yes, you read that right – collectors can now contact you through social media, but… there are still laws in place to protect consumers. They can not post anything that would be visible to the public; it needs to be as a private message.

As of Nov. 30th, 2021 collectors have to include an option to opt-out of receiving messages in all ways of communication. Dealing with debts in collections is already stressful enough, and with these new changes it can become even trickier. Collectors can contact in all ways accessible for each debt that they have, so someone could receive a text, email, phone call, letter all over the same bill, but like I mentioned, there has to be an opt-out option for each method. It is important though to leave at least one method open. If all methods are closed there is no way of knowing where the debt is, or if it could be moving into further legal action.

We know that dealing with debt whether in collections or not can be daunting sometimes on knowing what to do. Please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us and a counselor can go over all options available. You can call us at 1-888-258-2227 or visit our website at www.lsssd.org.

Written by Cassandra Johnson, Financial Counselor and Educator

Photo credit: flickr.com

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Consumer Credit Counseling Service | Housing Resources | Sharpen Your Financial Focus | Financial Fitness Education
705 East 41st Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls SD 57105-6047
605-330-2700 or 888-258-2227
www.LssSD.org
Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities

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Let Us Know! Let Us Know! Let Us Know! – By Sara Ramirez

December 23, 2021

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,

But CFR staff are so delightful

So if you don’t know where your dollars go

Let us know, Let us know, Let us knowdepositphotos.com piggy bank

CFR staff are always rocking

And can help get the collection calls stopping

If you have bills from long ago

Let us know, Let us know, Let us know

When you decide money is just too tight

Or you’re in the middle of the storm

Drop us a call, email or even write

CFR will get your financial health in form

We pray that you have a joyful and peaceful Christmas!

Sincerely,

LSS – Center for Financial Resources

“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” —Luke 2:10

Music by Sara Ramirez

Written by Cassie Johnson, Financial Counselor and Educator

Photo credit: http://www.depositphotos.com

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Consumer Credit Counseling Service | Housing Resources | Sharpen Your Financial Focus | Financial Fitness Education
705 East 41st Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls SD 57105-6047
605-330-2700 or 888-258-2227
www.LssSD.org
Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities

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Counselor Spotlight – Rod Lipka

December 9, 2021

Rod Lipka

Rod Lipka has been working for LSS-Center for Financial Resources for three months now, and he is fitting right in with our team. He has such a heart for wanting to help those in our communities. We asked Rod a couple questions about his thoughts on our department and here is what he had to say:

–Why did you come to LSS-Center for Financial Resources?

“What attracted me most to LSS is that everything offered is about what is most beneficial for the clients. The goals of our programs are about education, counseling, and consultation, not sales.”

–Why would you recommend LSS-CFR to others?

“The commitment LSS has to the community can be seen in all the services offered and how actively they are promoted to make sure those most in need are aware of what we can do to assist them.”

–What else do you feel people need to know about working with LSS-CFR?

“Our priority is to provide clients with well informed options. There is no judgment and the details of counseling are private.”

Written by Cassie Johnson, Financial Counselor and Educator

Photo credit: http://www.LssSD.org

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Consumer Credit Counseling Service | Housing Resources | Sharpen Your Financial Focus | Financial Fitness Education
705 East 41st Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls SD 57105-6047
605-330-2700 or 888-258-2227
www.LssSD.org
Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities

FB icon   Twitter icon    LinkedIn icon 2    YouTube icon   LSS  Blog button My Money CheckUp icon


Quick Holiday Cash, the Non-Scam Way

November 24, 2021

The holidays can already be stressful enough without the concern on if you are being scammed by a deal that is too good to be true. There are a lot of scams out there: ones that try to convince you to donate to a charity, fake gift exchanges, or temporary holiday jobs.

Now, working a holiday job can be a good way to earn some extra cash, but be careful as to if it is legitimate or not. If they are offering high wages for routine tasks like stuffing envelopes or answering phones it could be a scam. The saying of ‘if it sounds to good to be true… it probably is’ should be ringing in your ears in this scenario or any situation that seems fishy. You should request an official offer letter that details the job being hired for and the wages before starting any work.

There are some websites you can go to for cross referencing on if a business is reputable: cportcu.org

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) https://www.bbb.org/: There is an entire database that tracks scams.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) https://www.ftc.gov/: Has a scam alert page that is always being updated on current scams.

Some creative ways that you can make some quick cash could be by doing ride share or food delivery jobs (Uber/Lyft, FoodDudes/DoorDash). Another idea is to sell things that you no longer need. If you have children, you could also encourage them to sell toys they no longer play with.

If you like these ideas or want other ideas reach out to us and one of our counselors can meet with you. We can also help review documents if you are concerned on it being a scam. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at 1-888-258-2227 or by visiting our website at www.lsssd.org.

Written by Cassandra Johnson, Financial Counselor and Educator

Photo credit: cportcu.org

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Consumer Credit Counseling Service | Housing Resources | Sharpen Your Financial Focus | Financial Fitness Education
705 East 41st Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls SD 57105-6047
605-330-2700 or 888-258-2227
www.LssSD.org
Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities

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Skip the Hassle. Buy Local!

November 11, 2021

You hear it every year in November. Buy local! Support Small Business Saturday! Yes, I am a big supporter of small businesses because they are the fabric of our community. Small businesses help develop a unique and vibrant local culture. We all know money spent with local businesses stays in the local economy and in turn helps not only our city but surrounding communities grow and prosper. But did you know small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to local nonprofits and community causes? Read the rest of this entry »


How Many Years will I Be Paying My Student Loans?!

October 28, 2021

I was pretty excited to see when I logged in to make my monthly student loan payment last spring that my payments were put into forbearance (but I could still make payments if I’d like) and no interest was accruing! There are two things I’m going to touch on in today’s blog. JQ7IJP2ZC5FF3DE4FINJKL76NI

  • For those that have student loans the final extension of the pause on payments ends on January 31, 2022. At that time payments will start again for federal loans that the forbearance pertained too, along with interest, and collection practices on defaulted loans.
  • Another new update that has occurred; on October, 6th the Biden Administration announced some major changes that are going into place for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF). A limited waiver is in the works to allow those that have previously been denied, or who weren’t set up under the correct type of payment plan could now qualify. This is only available until October 31st, 2022 for completing. Here is a link to the Student Aid government website that explains the process further:

Read the rest of this entry »


Dakota Wesleyan University Spotlight

October 14, 2021

Some of our counselors had a busy week at the end of September doing some speed counseling with students at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD. Brian Ringler, Dawson Muska, and Olivia Lima met with 79 students in 15 minute increments to discuss money management, what costs will look like when they complete school, and any questions they had. Everyone’s situation was so different: ranging from freshman with $100/month budget, to married students with $4000 plus a month in their budget.

Speed-Coaching-Logo-Website-1-BLACK-01

This was a great opportunity for students to get a glimpse of what things may look like with their finances once they graduate, and also a way for them to see all the services we have to offer at Center for Financial Resources to help them with their financial goals.

Now, even thougsh these sessions were 15 minutes long, our normal session is about an hour long, and usually takes a few meetings. Winning a race doesn’t happen overnight, it takes practice, and same goes with financial goals, which our counselors would love to help. If you need a second set of eyes to help go over your financial goals, or even where to start on creating your goals give us a call at 1-888-258-2227 or online at www.lsssd.org.

Written by Cassie Johnson, Financial Counselor and Educator

Photo credit: thecoachofspeed.com

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Consumer Credit Counseling Service | Housing Resources | Sharpen Your Financial Focus | Financial Fitness Education
705 East 41st Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls SD 57105-6047
605-330-2700 or 888-258-2227
www.LssSD.org
Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities

FB icon   Twitter icon    LinkedIn icon 2    YouTube icon   LSS  Blog button My Money CheckUp icon


The Next Journey

September 30, 2021

It’s been kind of a bittersweet week for those of us at the Center for Financial Resources. Read the rest of this entry »


School Daze

September 23, 2021

You have HOW MUCH in student loan debt?!?  Well, did you know you can pay a mere $5 a month for the next year Read the rest of this entry »


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