This fall we piloted a one-on-one financial coaching and cash infusion program with 50 low-income residents. Our two socio-economic impact coordinators, Nallely Ramirez and Leslie Gonzalez-Manzo, trained to become financial coaches through the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education®, before meeting with each program participant.
Each participant met with one of our financial coaches to complete an initial assessment, identify their financial goals and establish a trusting relationship where they could candidly share their financial struggles.
Based on the assessment, each participant was given personalized support to navigate the U.S. banking system, build up their credit, create a budget and to set realistic short-term and long-term financial goals. After attending three one-on-one coaching sessions, each participant then received $300.
This three-month series of coaching sessions was a pilot program funded by Sutter Health. Both financial coaches report that participants saw marked improvement in their confidence about financial issues. One woman who had been relying on her teenage children to help her log onto her online banking website has become such a pro that she’s been teaching her friends how to check their account balances too. Another participant had been saving for a house for years but didn’t know where to start the home buying process. He’s now pre-approved for a mortgage, knows what his budget is and how his potential monthly payment will impact his cash flow.
The knowledge our participants have gained and the small incremental changes they are making will have big long-term impacts on their lives and help create more financially stable families in our community.