Financial stability is critically important for survivors of abuse to find safety and independence from an abusive partner. This is a collection of resources to help with budgeting, managing credit and debt, and taxes.
Banking & budgeting
- Open a bank account – Bank On Washington is a partnership of banks, credit unions, government, and community organizations connecting Washington residents to affordable checking and savings accounts as well as general budgeting and banking information.
- Monthly Budget Worksheet – A tool to help you track your expenses and build a monthly budget.
- The Wallet Tracker – A handy wallet-sized tool to help you track your daily spending habits. Know where your money goes!
- Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)– IDAs are matched savings accounts for low-income households that are designed to help you invest in things like home-ownership, small business, or college. Find a program near you that offers IDAs to see if you qualify.
- Money management tools – Interactive budgeting and money management tools from Clearpoint to help you get your finances in order.
Managing credit & debt
- Free annual credit report – Get your free credit report here, once a year. Your credit report will show your credit history and what’s affecting your score. This is the only place to get it free with no-strings-attached.
- Credit scores – What are they? Why do they matter? Find out more about credit scores here.
- Six Steps to Improve Your Credit Score – Learn about six clear steps to take to improve your credit score.
- Debt relief – Find many resources about debt consolidation, debt relief, bankruptcy, and more on the American Financial Solutions resource page.
- Identity theft – Information from the Federal Trade Commission about how to protect your identity, what to do if you think you’re a victim of identity theft, scam alerts, and more.
- Consumer & debt legal help – Find information about the laws and policies in Washington State relating to credit, debt, foreclosure, identity theft, and much more!
- Tax credits: Money in your pocket – Millions of dollars in tax credits go unclaimed each year. Discover what you need to know to take advantage of your tax credits from the National Women’s Law Center.
- Free tax return preparation – Learn more about free tax return preparation and how to find a site near you.
- Get a free copy of your tax transcript – Can’t remember details of past tax returns? Filed jointly with you partner and need to see the details of that return? You can get a free copy of your tax transcript which shows most line items from previous tax returns.
- Tough tax problems – Abusive partners often use finances to control their partners, and this can include tax troubles. If you have a complicated tax problem that goes beyond help with your tax return, you have options. There are Low Income Taxpayer Clinics that can provide representation in disputes with the IRS and a Local Taxpayer Advocate Service that can help you understand your rights as a taxpayer.
- Checklist of Tax Issues for DV Survivors – A fact sheet from the National Women’s Law Center designed to help advocates talk to survivors about taxes.
- Self Sufficiency Calculator – Using the Calculator you can look at your overall budget, see the Self Sufficiency Standard cost-of-living estimate for your family type, and learn about resources that can assist you in planning and progressing toward your financial goals.
- Practical Money Skills for Life – This website offers many tools to help you learn about and manage your finances. Topics include budgeting, housing, checking accounts, credit, and savings. The site offers information in several languages.
- Women’s Institute for Financial Education – A non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial education to women in their quest for financial independence. Their motto: “A man is not a financial plan.”
- Moving Ahead Through Financial Management is a curriculum created through a partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Allstate Foundation.