17-May-2011 | News-Press Release

Agawam, MA - Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - The Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation has awarded an $11,500 grant to Cambridge Credit Counseling, a non-profit credit and housing counseling agency located in Agawam, Massachusetts. Cambridge provides financial literacy education at several facilities operated by the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, including the Western Massachusetts Regional Women's Correctional Center, located on Center Street in Chicopee.

Money troubles have long been recognized as one of the root causes of incarceration, and as the primary reason that many prisoners return to jail after their initial confinement. The Chicopee Savings grant will help underwrite Cambridge’s program to reduce prisoner recidivism through appropriate financial education, which consists of a series of four on-site classes and an educational guidebook for each program participant. Grant funds will be used to produce a new edition of the guide, which is based on Cambridge’s Learn Now or Pay Later curriculum.

In addition to expanded chapters on basic financial concepts, such as developing a spending plan and understanding the fundamentals of credit, the revised guide will include sections designed to help consumers deal with bill collections, read and correct their credit reports, and understand their various student loan repayment options.  The new guide will also emphasize the importance of using financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. Approximately 90 million Americans are considered “unbanked,” meaning they maintain no checking or savings accounts.

“We are extremely thankful to the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation for supporting our mission of providing fundamental financial literacy education,” remarked Cambridge’s president, Christopher Viale. “This grant will allow us to continue delivering this important and successful program to inmates who have paid their debt to society, but who need basic education to help them make better financial decisions as they re-enter our communities.”

The guide will be written by the staff of Cambridge’s Education Department, which conducts more than 400 free financial literacy seminars every year throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. The updated guide will also be provided for free to formerly homeless veterans participating in the HUD VASH program, to families living in area homeless shelters, and to students at local high schools and colleges. Consumers will also be able to download a free copy of the guide from Cambridge Credit Counseling’s educational website,


Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. is a professional housing and debt counseling agency dedicated to educating young adults on the importance of sound financial management, and to providing financially distressed Americans with education and debt management services appropriate to their needs. Visit Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. online at


Contact: Thomas Fox

Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp.


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