For Release: May 7, 2021

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- This past year, everything has been topsy-turvy! “Staying on top of your personal finances and wellness has been incredibly difficult for many people. In fact, you may have missed one or two of these announcements about money management,” says Kathy Sweedler, consumer economics educator at, University of Illinois Extension.

  1. If you haven’t received all your federal stimulus payments, you can request them when filing your federal income tax documents by May 17. Even after the deadline, you can still file to claim your money! More information about the payments are at https://getmypaymentil.org/.
  2. You can check your three credit reports for free every week through April 2022. Go online at https://www.annualcreditreport.com to double-check that all the information in your reports is accurate and about you.
  3. If you have had COVID-19 funeral expenses since January 20, 2020, FEMA may be able to help pay for those costs. Call the COVID-10 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) to find out how to apply.

Changes in services and financial tools can feel overwhelming while at the same time be potentially helpful. Who are you going to call for help with it all? Money Mentors Volunteers from Illinois Extension are available to talk to you!  Register at http://go.illinois.edu/MoneyMentors.

Community members participate in 30 hours of training with Illinois Extension educators to become Money Mentors volunteers. In May, 26 people graduated from the Money Mentors training and are already beginning to help others. Currently, mentors are meeting with people by phone, online, or by email. Mentors are matched with people who have questions about finances or want to work toward a financial goal such as paying down debt, building a positive credit history, or saving for the future. All meetings with mentors are free and confidential.

Does the Money Mentors volunteer program sound interesting to you? Learn more at http://go.illinois.edu/MoneyMentors. Our next Money Mentors volunteer training starts June 10. “This is the perfect opportunity for people who are looking for an online training and volunteer experience,” says Sweedler.

Currently, University of Illinois Extension’s Money Mentors program is in Champaign, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, Livingston, McLean, Vermilion, Will, and Woodford counties.

If you need an accommodation to participate, please email sweedler@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow time to meet your access needs.

SOURCE: Kathy Sweedler, Consumer Economics Educator, University of Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.