Personal Finance Center of Polk County
1392 N. Church Avenue
Mulberry, FL 33860
Our mission: To create financially stable households through financial education.
COVID-19 Financial Assistance: The Basic Needs Program at the Mulberry Community Service Center provides financial assistance to Polk County residents who have experienced financial loss due to the virus. We are grateful to the Givewell Community Foundation and the United Way of Central Florida for their generous funding. Click the link for COVID-19 related financial assistance.
COVID-19 has affected the delivery of many of our services. This website is updated daily with the most current information and schedules. We are in the office, so if you need any information, please feel free to call or email us.
We pray you and your family stay safe and well.
The Personal Finance Center (PFC) of Polk County is located at the Mulberry Community Service Center, and serves the residents of Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties. We offer a comprehensive Financial Stability Program that includes financial classes, coaching, credit restoration, and income tax preparation.
Because of the generous funding of the United Way of Central Florida, the Personal Finance Center always provides our services free of charge.
Our Financial Stability Program
Our Program is designed to help participants onto a road of financial empowerment and self-sufficiency. The pillars of our Program are free financial classes; financial incentives to encourage systematic saving and personal development; coaching in the areas of personal finance and credit repair; and free tax preparation.
Free financial education is the cornerstone of our Financial Stability Program. We host live classes throughout the year in various locations within Polk, Hardee, and Highland counties. The classes are a series of four sessions in a comfortable, non-judgmental environment that will teach you how to be smarter with your money no matter what your circumstances. We cover how to budget, get out of debt, save and invest, and improve credit reports. If you are unable to attend live classes, the curriculum is also available online. We also have a Young Adult and Spanish curriculum. And, we provide free breakfast, dinner, or lunch at each session! See our Financial Classes page for our current class schedule.
Congratulations to one of the graduating classes at the Mulberry Community Service Center location!
Now they are ready to work on earning their financial incentives.
Upon registering with us and completing the four live sessions or the online classes, participants are eligible for the following financial incentives and free coaching.
Incentives Available to Graduates:
$150 Savings Match Incentive: When a graduate increases their savings by $300 they receive an incentive match up to $150.
Job Credentialing Scholarships: (Must complete $300 savings to be eligible.) Up to $300 tuition will be paid directly to the vendor after the client has successfully completed the credentialing program they are pursuing. We have current partnerships with local healthcare trainers and vocational schools. See our Success Stories page to read about clients we have helped to obtain job credentials!
$2,000 Savings for Assets Matching Grant: (Must complete $300 savings to be eligible.) This program is funded by United Way of Central Florida (UWCF) and has income guidelines for eligibility. Participants save up to $2,000 within three years to buy their first home, attend college or trade school, purchase reliable work transportation, or start a small business, and we will match up to $2,000. Our payment will be issued directly to vendor. Participants must be in the program for a minimum of six months to receive funds. See our Success Stories page to find out how we helped a couple get into a new home!
Coaching and Other Financial Services
Free Financial Coaching available throughout service area. Our Financial Stability Coaches are trained by the FDIC to deliver training to help participants build financial skills through knowledge and practice. For more information, see our Financial Coaching page.
Free Credit Counseling available throughout service area. Our Financial Stability Coaches are certified by the Credit Consultants Association as Credit Consultants and Credit Repair Specialists. For more information, see our Credit Restoration page.
Free Tax Preparation available throughout service area. Our Financial Stability Coaches are certified by the Internal Revenue Service after passing the VITA/TCE Advanced Certification Course. For more information, see our Tax Preparation page.
Our Basic Needs Program
In addition to the Personal Finance Center, the Mulberry Community Service Center has a Basic Needs Program to respond to urgent financial needs (such as food, utility bills, clothing) for residents of Mulberry, Bradley, Pierce, Willow Oak, Nichols, and the Lakeland 33813 zip code. For more information on the Basic Needs Program, and to download an application for assistance, visit the Mulberry Community Service Center website at https://www.mulberrycsc.com/about-us.
Our Executive Director, Tarrel Davis, has put together an extremely qualified and motivated staff that is eager to help you on your journey to financial stability!
Tarrel Davis, Executive Director
Tarrel has a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Theology. He worked 20 years in the food and consumer products industry as a customer service and logistics manager. Tarrel believes that with faith, determination, and a positive attitude, you can accomplish anything. During his time off, Tarrel enjoys walking, golfing, and home improvement projects.
Shelly Drummond, Basic Needs Coordinator
Shelly has a Masters degree in Folk Studies and Historic Preservations, and has been involved in non-profit administration for over 20 years. She likes working as part of the community, seeing the day-to-day successes, and helping people get through rough points in their lives to get back on the road to stability. Shelly sits on several boards, and is a published author.
Suzanne Howe, Financial Stability Coach
Suzanne has a BBA in Accounting with a minor in Spanish. She retired after 31 years as a defense contract auditor, an instructor, and an Inspector General investigator with the Department of Defense. Suzanne is driven to help people change their financial destiny by avoiding or getting out of debt, and actively working a plan to achieve their goals and dreams. During her time off, Suzanne is usually on a horse.
Jennifer Olivas, Financial Stability Coach
Jennifer has a B.S. in Psychology, M.A. in Forensic Psychology, and is pursuing an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Jennifer is driven by showing her clients how to do better with what they have, motivating them to see and maximize their potential to move up, and watching them find peace and stability in life. Jennifer spends her time off studying and living life with her family, hiking and exploring.
Financial Stability Coach wanted
This position is 30 hours per week. You would facilitate financial education classes; provide regular one-on-one sessions with clients to "coach" them in meeting their financial goals; engage local communities, businesses, and civic organizations; recruit clients and participants for financial literacy training, credit restoration services, employment credentialing assistance, job readiness training and free income tax preparation. Coaches must have reliable transportation and be willing to travel throughout Polk, Hardee and Highland counties.