Freddie Mac Announces 2006 Financial Education Awards

Washington, DC – Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) today announced the winners of its inaugural 2006 Successful Models in Financial Education Awards and its Champions of Financial Literacy Awards during the company’s CreditSmart® Symposium: Financial Education for Maximum Results. The four honorees for the Successful Models awards each have a unique approach to meeting the challenge of encouraging financial literacy, but share a common goal: bringing needed financial skills to underserved communities. Additionally, the Champions in Financial Education Awards recognize Members of Congress who make a difference in the financial future of all Americans. “Today’s winners understand that successful financial education must begin early and extends into retirement as personal needs evolve,” said Dwight Robinson, senior vice president of Community Relations and Housing Outreach. “These awards give Freddie Mac the opportunity to recognize the achievements these organizations and Congressional members have made in addressing the financial education challenges at each step.” Champions of Financial Literacy Awards This year the five honorees are Congresswoman Judy Biggert and Congressmen Spencer Bachus, Rubén Hinojosa, Mike Honda and Mel Watts. Their legislative efforts and personal dedication have focused on the importance of financial literacy and education, protecting consumers from abusive and predatory lending practices, and promoting financial empowerment through legislative initiatives. Successful Models in Financial Education Awards More than 45 organizations submitted entries in four categories, and the top programs were honored. The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) and Mothers’ Voices of Georgia collaborated to bring financial and retirement education programs to minority women in rural Georgia and metropolitan Atlanta. WISER collaborated with more than 45 local organizations to offer free financial...

Money Advice Runs Low for Minority Women

April is financial literacy month. Numerous financial-planning Web sites and groups have sprung up to cater to higher-income women but advisers and advocates for lower-income women’s retirement planning say they have the field to themselves. (WOMENSENEWS)–Vickie Elisa vividly recalls living in her car for a week and a half after she lost her apartment 25 years ago to overwhelming credit-card debt. A friend took her in, and Elisa got back on her feet in a big way. Elisa, 48, is now the board president of Mothers’ Voices of Georgia, a nonprofit organization in Atlanta that helps low-income women become financially empowered to better deal with health and lifestyle issues. A single mother, she owns property in Florida and South Carolina, a house in Georgia worth $350,000, and has accumulated $65,000 in retirement funds and an annuity. But she knows she is an exception. “Half of minority women older than 65 in the United States are living in poverty,” Elisa said. “Those are my aunts, who at age 75 had to go to work at Wal-Mart because they didn’t have enough money in retirement to live in dignity.” Elisa and her ex-husband accumulated $30,000 in debt after a year and a half of marriage. Even though he generated most of the debt he refused to pay it off. After the couple divorced, Elisa, a public health consultant, worked one full-time and two part-time jobs for five years to repay the debt and restore her credit rating. At the time, she had no idea that she could have split the debt with her husband during the divorce proceedings. “That was huge...