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Personal Finance Center

Our mission:   To create financially stable households through financial education.

On This Page:

The Personal Finance Center (PFC) of Polk County at the Mulberry Community Service Center, and serves the residents of Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties.  We offer a comprehensive Financial Stability Program that includes financial classes, coaching, credit restoration, and income tax preparation. 

Because of the generous funding of the United Way of Central Florida, the Personal Finance Center always provides our services free of charge.

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Our Financial Stability Program

Our Program is designed to educate, coach, and empower participants on their journey to financial stability and self-sufficiency.  The pillars of our Program are free financial classes; financial incentives to encourage systematic saving and personal development; coaching in the areas of personal finance and credit repair; and free tax preparation.

Financial Classes

Free financial education is the cornerstone of our Financial Stability Program.  We host live classes throughout the year in various locations within Polk, Hardee, and Highland counties.  The classes are a series of four sessions in a comfortable, non-judgmental environment that will teach you how to be smarter with your money no matter what your circumstances.  We cover how to budget, get out of debt, save and invest, and improve credit reports.  If you are unable to attend live classes, the curriculum is also available online.  We also have a Young Adult and Spanish curriculum.  And, we provide free breakfast, dinner, or lunch at each session!  See our Financial Classes page for our current class schedule.

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Congratulations to one of the graduating classes at the Mulberry Community Service Center location! 

Now they are ready to work on earning their financial incentives.

Upon registering with us and completing the four live sessions or the online classes, participants are eligible for the following financial incentives and free coaching.

Incentives Available to Graduates:

$150 Savings Match Incentive:  When a graduate increases their savings by $300 they receive an incentive match up to $150. 

Job Credentialing Scholarships:  (Must complete $300 savings to be eligible.)  Up to $300 tuition will be paid directly to the vendor after the client has successfully completed the credentialing program they are pursuing.  We have current partnerships with local healthcare trainers and vocational schools.  See our Success Stories page to read about clients we have helped to obtain job credentials!

$2,000 Savings for Assets Matching Grant:  (Must complete $300 savings to be eligible.)  This program is funded by United Way of Central Florida (UWCF) and has income guidelines for eligibility.  Participants save up to $2,000 within three years to buy their first home, attend college or trade school, purchase reliable work transportation, or start a small business, and we will match up to $2,000.  Our payment will be issued directly to vendor.  Participants must be in the program for a minimum of six months to receive funds.  See our Success Stories page to find out how we helped a couple get into a new home!

Coaching and Other Financial Services
  • Free Financial Coaching available throughout service area.  Our Financial Stability Coaches are trained by the FDIC to deliver training to help participants build financial skills through knowledge and practice.  The coaches do not provider financial counseling, but instead assist clients with goal setting, monitoring, and achievement of their financial goals.  We can help you prepare or fine-tune your budget; find ways to cut expenses; increase your income; and set up a debt payoff schedule.

  • Free Credit Counseling available throughout service area.  Our Financial Stability Coaches are certified by the Credit Consultants Association as Credit Consultants and Credit Repair Specialists.  For more information, see our Credit Restoration page.

  • Free Tax Preparation available throughout service area.  Our Financial Stability Coaches are certified by the Internal Revenue Service after passing the VITA/TCE Advanced Certification Course.  For more information, see our Tax Preparation page.