Free financial counseling services expand in Nashville

This is a terrific public resource for Nashville families. Take advantage of it! From the Mayor's Office:

The Nashville Financial Empowerment Centers and Nashville Public Library are partnering to open two additional financial empowerment counseling locations within public libraries.  Financial counselors will be available to work with Davidson County residents at the Madison Public branch and the Southeast branch starting Monday, Jan. 6.

The Nashville Financial Empowerment Centers provide free one-on-one financial counseling to Davidson County residents at locations across the county and is a program of the Mayor’s Office in partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Nashville.

“Our libraries are community hubs that Nashvillians visit daily, and it just makes sense to provide an important Metro service, like financial empowerment, to more areas of the county through our libraries,” Mayor Dean said. “When people come to our branches in Madison and Antioch, they can add valuable personal financial guidance to the list of things they take away from the library.”

Counselors provide guidance on issues such as prioritizing, managing and paying down debts; opening safe and affordable bank accounts; building healthy credit; and creating budget plans that facilitate savings. The program emphasizes follow-through and follow-up visits, which lead to greater client success.

Counselors will be at both the Madison branch, located at 610 Gallatin Pike South, and the Southeast branch, located at 2325 Hickory Highlands Drive (off Bell Road), from noon to 4 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month, starting on Monday, Jan. 6. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged and can be made by calling 615-748-3620.

“Extending the Mayor’s Financial Empowerment Center initiative to include two of our facilities is another example of how books are only half the story at Nashville Public Library,” said Library Director Kent Oliver. “We have free, dynamic learning programs for people of all ages and backgrounds who want to enrich their lives.”

Nashville Financial Empowerment Centers are located at the Foster Street Center in east Nashville and at the Casa Azafran Community Center in south Nashville.

Financial counseling has also been integrated into existing municipal and nonprofit services, such as GED education programs, Head Start centers, homelessness prevention programs and other public benefits programs in order to maximize impact. Partners, including Conexion Americas, Metro Social Services, United Way’s Family Resource Centers and Read to Succeed Centers, the Nashville Career Advancement Center and the Metro Action Commission, house counselors and direct clients to the program.

As of December, the Nashville Financial Empowerment Centers have seen 780 clients and conducted 2,007 financial counseling sessions. The Financial Empowerment Center program aims for specific outcomes for each client – such as reducing their debt, increasing client savings and increasing their credit scores.

The Nashville Financial Empowerment Center is a replication of a New York City pilot initiative, which has grown from six to more than 30 centers and helped more than 23,000 New Yorkers since 2008. The program has helped residents reduce their debt by more than $12.5 million and increase savings by more than $2.2 million. While initially privately funded, the Centers became publicly funded after their data-proven impact.

Any resident of Davidson County is eligible for free financial help through the program and can make an appointment by calling 615-748-3620.  Find the Nashville Financial Empowerment Center at, on Facebook at Nashville Financial Empowerment Center or on Twitter @FEC_Nashville.