Financial Empowerment

CFL offers financial literacy courses, Basic Money Management, Saving to Build Wealth and Microfinance. All of CFL’s services are offered at no cost to participants and are available to all immigrants, refugees, asylees and low-income individuals living in Greater Portland and Lewiston/Auburn Maine. All courses are taught by refugees and immigrants who understand the culture of the participants.

Our courses not only instruct participants on good money management practices, but also build aspirations by showing them how to save for college, work towards homeownership, purchase an automobile or start a business. In addition, CFL provides one-on-one counseling for specific financial concerns or questions.


Basic Money Management:

  • Basic banking and budgeting
  • Setting and meeting financial goals
  • Building, maintaining, and repairing credit
Class Schedule

Saving to Build Wealth:

  • Importance of savings, steps of building wealth
  • Saving for retirement, homeownership, emergencies, college education
  • Barriers to saving
Class Schedule


  • Basics of small business management
  • QuickBooks training
  • Understanding small business startup and business plan development
Class Schedule

Individual Counseling and Coaching

CFL provides one-on-one counseling services for immigrants, refugees and individuals with low-income when they have specific financial concerns or questions.  Our counselors offer detailed financial recommendations individually tailored to the concerns of the client.

  • One-on-one counseling on basic budgeting, pre-purchase, housing and credit
  • One-on-one coaching on financial literacy skills to help with behavior change

Individual Development Accounts

(in partnership with Coastal Enterprises)

  • Matching money for small business, vehicle purchase, homeownership and education
  • Families: dollar for dollar up to $4,000
  • Individuals: dollar for dollar up to $2,000

CFL is committed in partnering with existing financial organizations in Maine.


Access to Higher Education

(in partnership with Financial Authority of Maine)

Thinking about going to College, University or Technical School? CFL is joining the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) to help immigrants and refugees understand how to get to and pay for higher education.  We can help you with planning and information, career preparation and financial education including responsible borrowing.

  • Counseling services providing assistance with planning for higher education
    NextGen: Maine’s 529 college savings plan
  • Navigating the financial aid process
  • College application support
  • Helping student with student loans.

Workforce Development

(in partnership with Portland Adults Education)

  • Job skill training
  • Taxation workshop
  • Employer benefits workshop

Small Business Support

  • Basic entrepreurship concepts
  • Start your business with the right information including a business plan
  • Manage your business with the right tools