The August poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website revealed that when consumers are in financial distress, they prefer reaching out to a qualified professional for help as opposed to other options. Most poll respondents, 45 percent, indicated they would contact a certified financial professional, while fewer would utilize online education, a financial self-help tool, or attend a financial workshop. “Regardless of which option someone selects, the important thing is to take that first step, because financial distresses rarely resolve themselves. Consumers should choose the course of action that is right for them, as the path to finding the appropriate solution can be as varied as the financial concern itself,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. Examples of options offered by NFCC Member Agencies include: ►One-on-one financial reviews either in-person, by phone or online with one of more than 2,200 NFCC Certified Financial Professionals (NCFP). The NCFP designation is earned only after successfully completing testing on six modules related to credit and personal finance. Whether the financial concerns involve creating a workable budget, understanding credit, or getting out of debt, an NFCC Certified Financial Professional can help. ►Dozens of NFCC Member Agencies offer online education courses through webinars, podcasts, videos and printed materials. Topics include the basics of banking, building wealth, buying a home, identity theft protection tips and holiday planning. ►MyMoneyCheckUp, the NFCC’s free financial self-assessment tool. After answering simple questions related to topics such as budgeting and credit management, saving and investing, planning for retirement, and managing home equity, the tool evaluates the results and provides suggestions for improvement if necessary. The tool is also available in Spanish at www.miayudafinanciera.org/. ►Group workshops are offered at NFCC Member Agency locations, at community events or on-site for employees of local companies.