Sharpen You Financial Focus

To help American consumers stabilize their personal financial situation and reclaim their financial future, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), with support from leading financial institutions, today launched the Sharpen Your Financial Focus (SYFF) initiative.

One of the most comprehensive financial education programs of its kind, Sharpen Your Financial Focus is a grassroots effort developed to help Americans identify and resolve immediate financial concerns, gain a deeper understanding  of critical issues related to their unique situations, and move forward toward long-term financial stability.

With a minimum contribution of $1 million each, financial institutions including Bank of America, Chase, GE Capital Retail Finance and Wells Fargo became founders of the Sharpen Alliance, demonstrating their support of the delivery of financial education through NFCC Member Agencies across the country and in Puerto Rico.

"The Sharpen Your Financial Focus initiative provides an ideal opportunity for the NFCC and the financial institutions to join together in taking a national stand in support of financial education, and lead efforts to positively impact American consumers' knowledge and behaviors related to personal finance," said Susan C. Keating, NFCC President and CEO.

The three-step SYFF program consists of the NFCC's online financial self-assessment tools, MyMoneyCheckUp® and ChequeoDeMiDinero®, a one-on-one financial review with an NFCC Certified Financial Professional, and a "deep dive" educational program based on the consumer's specific requirements.  The overall program is consumer-driven with the individual choosing which beginning step best meets his or her needs.

According to retired judge Nelson A. Diaz, NFCC Board Member and former General Counsel to The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Sharpen Your Financial Focus initiative was created by the NFCC as an opportunity for the financial industry and others interested in raising the level of financial competency in America to collectively address the different financial challenges that consumers are facing.

"We are pleased by the support received for the NFCC's new program which we feel will be helpful to many people who have been shaken by the recent recession where property, income and other assets were lost, in part due to a lack of financial skills," Diaz said.

Keating and Diaz also noted that in the coming months, the Sharpen Alliance will continue to actively expand participation to include other organizations.