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. This Tax Credits Outreach website is 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.