Dara Duguay

Expert on Personal Finance
Dara Duguay
  • Executive Director of the Credit Builders Alliance who formerly ran her own consulting practice
  • Former Director of Citi’s Office of Financial Education and the Executive Director of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy
  • Received the Medal of Merit from the U.S. Treasury’s Savings Bond Volunteer Committee
  • Expert who delivers engaging presentations on personal finance

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Dara Duguay, is the Executive Director of the Credit Builders Alliance. Prior to joining the Credit Builders Alliance, she ran her own consulting practice and advised clients such as TD Bank, the World Bank Group, Experian, Visa, and SunTrust Bank on their financial education efforts. Ms. Duguay was also the Director of Citi’s Office of Financial Education and oversaw a $200 million global commitment. Preceding her work at Citi, she served as the Executive Director of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, which advocates for increased financial education for youth. She started work in the field as the Director of Education for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Los Angeles.

Ms. Duguay is considered a national expert on personal finance.  Her media experience includes interviews in major U.S. print publications and she has regularly appeared as a guest on many national television and radio networks. She is the author of three critically acclaimed personal finance books: The Citi Commonsense Money Guide for Real People; Please Send Money: A Financial Survival Guide for Young Adults on Their Own; and Don’t Spend Your Raise: And 59 Other Money Rules You Can’t Afford to Break.

An accomplished public speaker, Ms. Duguay has spoken at hundreds of major conferences, including: the G8 summit in Moscow on financial literacy; the European Commission’s summit on financial capacity; the OECD annual meeting; the National Association of State Treasurers; the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; and the American Bankers Association.

Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Duguay has received the Medal of Merit from the U.S. Treasury’s Savings Bond Volunteer Committee and was appointed to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Economics Steering Committee.

Ms. Duguay received her B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan and received her M.A. in International Relations from Schiller University in Paris, France. She currently resides in Washington, DC.

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Speaker Video

Money Expert on the 3 Pillars of Personal Finance

The Official Credit Score Playbook. This topic will provide an in-depth understanding of credit reports, credit scores and the ways that they have become the “passport” to the new economy.  No longer is your credit report just being used to approve you for credit, it is now used to screen future tenants, price your car insurance and by 50% of employers during the hiring process. Attendees will learn how to correct errors, understand how long negatives stay on their credit report and strategies to improve one’s credit score. They will also leave with insight into the complex and confusing world of credit scores and understand how to evaluate their own score.  

Laying the Foundation for Your Future: The Crucial Strategies for Building Solid Credit. The term “credit building” is increasingly becoming a part of the American credit vernacular.  Good credit is essential to your financial health and well-being. It’s important to use credit wisely in order to strengthen your financial well-being. The more you understand about credit, the more successful you can be in paying off old debt, saving money and using future credit responsibly. These are all manageable steps toward a lifetime of financial health.  This presentation will focus on effective strategies to build good credit in order to impact financial goals and long-term financial stability.  Attendees will learn how to identify and prioritize credit building activities including addressing debt and credit issues, and mapping out a long-term strategy for success.

Economic Opportunity for All. Opportunity is one of our country’s most cherished ideals and one of our most valuable national assets. However, the promise of opportunity seems like more of a broken promise to many Americans. They feel overwhelmed by barriers that are limiting them from reaching their full economic potential. In this inspiring speech, Dara Duguay talks about the many financial decisions (payday lending, rent-to-own, no retirement plan, etc.) that often trap people in a vicious cycle of debt and poverty. Thankfully, this fate is not predetermined. Duguay lays out the smart financial choices that Americans can make, regardless of their income level, in order to set them on the path to achieve Economic Opportunity for All. 

Young Adults: Leaving the Nest… Only to Return. Young adults are hit by a double whammy in today’s economy. College graduates are leaving school with overwhelming levels of student loan debt and are confronting a soft job market with too few good paying jobs. This phenomenon has led countless young adults to move back home, primarily for economic reasons. In this presentation Dara Duguay covers all the necessary financial strategies to help young adults through these challenging times. It gives parents and caregivers solid tips to avoid a culture of dependency but still provide the support that allows young adults to build up the discipline and skills to eventually live independently. 

Money Rules You Can’t Afford to Break. Personal finance is terrifying to many people. They feel they need to be an investment guru in order to have the skills to be an effective money manager.  However, you don’t need a degree from the Wharton Business School in order to make wise financial decisions for your family. By following these simple but effective money rules, Dara Duguay shows you how you can start turning your money mistakes into money successes.

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