WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Freedom and prosperity are essential parts of the American Dream, but many people overlook financial stability. In fact, learning how to spend wisely, protect your money, credit, and home, and make plans for your retirement are some of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family.
Every year, the U.S. celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring the contributions of Hispanic Americans to life in the United States. As we wrap up this month of celebration, USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov share these tips to help you plan for your financial future as you work to achieve your own American Dream:
- Know your options before shopping for a home- Get help finding an affordable place to live, and learn the basics of mortgages, including how to avoid predatory loans.
- Get the right car for you- Research safety records and recalls and compare offers, specials, and warranties before buying a new or used car.
- Understand a contract before signing- Never sign a document with blank spaces or one that you don't fully understand. If in doubt, seek help from a legal expert.
- Get estimates on home repairs- Compare estimates and offers before hiring a contractor for your next home project, and be sure you're happy with the work before you make the final payment.
- Shred important documents- Before throwing them away, destroy any documents such as old bills, pay stubs, and bank statements that contain personal information. These could fall into the wrong hands, compromising your privacy and identity.
- Monitor your credit- Learn how to get a copy of your annual free credit report and make sure all information is correct.
- Learn to file a consumer complaint- You have the right to complain if you have a genuine consumer problem. Knowing how to do it correctly will help the process move faster.
- Finance a higher education- There are plenty of options available to you. Learn about financial aid including grants, scholarships, federal loans, and payment plans to help pay for your future.
- Plan for the long run- Having a long-term plan can protect you and your loved ones even after you are gone. This includes planning for retirement, having a will to protect your family's finances, and making funeral arrangements.
For more financial advice, order or download your free copy of the 2015 Consumer Action Handbook. It'll show you how to save money and write a complaint letter that gets results. Follow USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov throughout the year for more tips and consumer advice. And join the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration by watching the HHM video series (in Spanish) on achieving better financial stability.