05/31/2013 The Coalition for Debtor Education

Coalitiion for Debtor


The Coalition for Debtor Education:


The Coalition for Debtor Education (CDE) is a nonprofit based in Fordham Law School’s Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan that provides personal financial education to low-income and vulnerable populations throughout New York City.

CDE has a unique approach to money management classes:  attention-grabbing, dynamic presentations, grounded in a real-world understanding of the audience’s circumstances; the emotional aspects of financial decisions; and, appropriate pedagogical methods. Topics include basic skills like saving, budgeting and banking, protecting assets and avoiding scams and money traps. We also have partnered with the Fordahm Law to take a leadership position in training other financial educators about college financing issues and student debt.  

We partner with schools, churches, government entities and other nonprofits to reach our diverse audience of teens, working-age adults and senior citizens.  We present nearly 200 classes a year by leveraging a corps of trained volunteers, many with backgrounds in financial services.  We also produce an annual conference to consider broader consumer financial issues with the academic, legal and public service sectors.


The Coalition teaches consumer financial education classes, adapting the material to the audiences.  

Some examples of where we present classes and workshops directly to consumers are:

  • NYC Summer Youth Employment Program
  • Selected Financial Educator for the Bank On Manhattan program
  • Workforce development programs including: Non-traditional Employment for Women and the NYC Parks Department POP Program
  • Brooklyn Public Library- Growing Dollars and $ense Series
  • High Schools
  • Senior Centers and Low Income Housing Social Service Programs

Train the Trainer Workshops
Our volunteers attend training to learn to present the material in an engaging and effective manner. The Coalition offers workshops to the staff of non-profits and to employees of banks or other financial services companies who encourage their employees to volunteer.


CDE has a strong commitment to help promote financial literacy in the community.  We are looking to build awareness of our initiatives and expand the reach of our educational programs.  We need support from the community to sustain our consistent growth.


Annual Conference
This year, the theme of our annual conference is the Mortgage Crisis-Five Years Later. We are bringing together two panels of experts with different perspective to discuss the current situation. The panels, The Mortgage Crisis - It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over and The Ethics of Sub-Prime Lending, promise to be thought-provoking. The conference highlight will be an interview with Gretchen Morgenson, financial editor for The New York Times, our 2013 honoree for the Coalition’s Friend of the Consumer Award. The public is invited to attend.

Carol O’Rourke
Executive Director
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