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Money Matters and More from the Statewide Family Economics and Resource Management (FERM) Program Work Team

Please find the following resources on protecting yourself and your loved ones financially from the impact of COVID-19.

The Consumer Financial Protection Board has information ranging from what to do if you have trouble paying your bills, are facing income loss, or have a problem with a financial service:

The Attorney General of New York State has detailed information on Coronavirus resources and warnings on current consumer scams:

These resources are updated on an ongoing basis to provide you with current information.

Additional resources from the Federal and State level, along with financial resources from other state Extensions can be found here.

FERM is a statewide effort by Cornell Cooperative Extension to help individuals and families to adopt management behaviors which lead to more secure financial situations and affordable use of resources through education and practice, including:

  • Enhancing financial literacy skills of consumers
  • Increasing consumer awareness of energy resource choices
  • Encouraging and augmenting professional development for extension educators
  • Documenting and reporting program impact

FERM Program Work Team (PWT) Members

Tom Hirschl, Cornell University,
Theresa Mayhew, Co-Chair, Community Stakeholder,
Barb Henza, Co-Chair, Cortland County,
Linda Law, Washington County,
Nancy Reigelsperger, Steuben County,
Vallie Castner, Yates County,
Maria DeLucia-Evans, Albany County,
Kenneth Earl McLaurin Jr., Tompkins County,
Jackie Spencer, Tioga County,
Susan McCormick, Orange County,
Megan Young, Orange County,
Myron Thurston III, Oneida County,
Ann Gifford, Community Stakeholder
Linda Gillilland, Essex County,

FERM PWT Mission

The Family Economic Resource Management Program Work Team (FERM PWT) exists to provide professional development support for Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators who assist individuals and households in making informed decisions that enhance their quality of life and financial wellbeing. The work of CCE Educators strengthens decision making skills while helping consumers explore options, set goals, develop and use spending plans, implement saving strategies, and obtain information needed to make informed choices that will meet their specific situations. The PWT also assists in generating and reporting out data that documents the important impact this work has on individuals, families, and communities.


Cornell Cooperative Extension will be recognized as the leading provider of learning opportunities for individuals and households in the areas of Consumer and Money Management Education.

Resources to Manage Debt

Cornell Cooperative Extension provides basic personal financial management education and information to consumers through a mix of classes, publications and one-on-one programs. When the circumstances require more direct intervention consumers can contact RethinkingDebt, a non-profit credit counseling agency affiliated with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Rochester NY. RethinkingDebt has helped thousands of individuals and families deal with and work through financial difficulties. Their certified professionals provide confidential counseling, educational services and other solutions enabling their clients to meet their financial goals. Click here to get connected --

The services ReThinkingDebt offers include:

  • Budget & Credit
  • Debt Management Programs
  • First-Time Homebuyer
  • Foreclosure Prevention
  • Reverse Mortgage
  • Bankruptcy Counseling

Highlighted Web Resources

Financial Security for Tough Times is a series of web pages on that detail positive money management techniques which help families dealing with economic hardship.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) mission is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans - whether they are applying for a mortgage , choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products. The CFPB offers consumers information and guidance, and a place where they can file formal complaints against financial service providers and products.

The Attorney General of New York State offers a wide variety of information on consumer issues such as used car buying tips, credit and debt management strategies, and things to know before signing oil and gas leases.

Attorney General of New York State also offers a tenants rights guide in multiple languages to help renters understand New York State renter’s right and regulations.

My Benefits offers a pre-screening tool to help New York State citizens determine if they may be eligible for certain benefits, such as food stamps.

New York Makes Work Pay provides information on entering or re-entering the workforce for persons with disabilities

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection takes consumer complaints 24 hours a day and offers information on scams, ID theft, product recalls, and more.

The Financial Literacy and Education Commission's comprehensive website is designed to teach all Americans the basics of financial education. Popular topics include planning for retirement, dealing with mortgages, and managing credit and debt.

The Federal Reserve Board's Consumer Information Page explains credit reports and scores and offers a credit card payoff calculator and other financial tools.

20 Money Lessons for Children as They Grow is a site from the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. This site offers a poster and suggested activities for each age group identified.

Tips for Protecting Your Privacy and Identity and Recovering From Identity Theft is a website provided by the United States Federal Trade Commission

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP’s) website -- -- is a treasure trove of information geared to Americans 50 years and above. Founded in 1958, it’s the second largest not for profit organization in the country with over 38 million members. It’s dedicated to ensuring/advocating proper housing, health care and financial security for all, especially older Americans. While their website promotes the benefits of becoming a member, it does contain much valuable information and many resources non-members can partake of in the areas of disrupting aging, aging-in-place community building, family caregiving, social security & Medicare, work & jobs and much more, including a cadre of free online classes and news articles on a variety of timely consumer topics such as lowering health care and food costs.

Last updated June 22, 2022