This is one research brief in a series of five completed through the Employee Financial Wellness Programs Project supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In this study, we focus on the results of analyses of administrative data for Trusted Advisor, a workplace financial wellness benefit offering one-on-one counseling linked to vetted financial tools. This service is offered by Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, a national non-profit social enterprise based in New York City that offers financial empowerment services.
Neighborhood Trust offers financial counseling targeting groups of employees who can improve their financial health by improving their credit health and addressing other goals. In accessing credit cards and loans, the difference in interest rates and fees between having a subprime and prime credit score is substantial. Helping the unscored enter the financial mainstream means accessing credit that was previously unavailable. This could mean the difference between getting a car loan to access better job opportunities and being consigned to the same low-paying job. We find evidence that Neighborhood Trust helps employees in both respects – moving from subprime to prime, and becoming credit scored. We also find that Neighborhood Trust helps employees with the lowest credit scores make the greatest strides in improving these scores.
Despard, M., Zeng, Y., & Fox-Dichter, S. (2019). Financial counseling for low- and moderate-income employees: An assessment of engagement and outcomes. (SPI Research Brief No. 19-03). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute.