Key Takeaway

Despite deep financial challenges, FEC clients succeeded. They reduced debt by $22.5 million, increased savings by $2.7 million, established or increased credit, and opened safe banking accounts.

This report is a three-year evaluation of the Financial Empowerment Center initiative’s replication in 5 cities (Denver, CO; Lansing, MI; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA and San Antonio, TX). Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service. The evaluation draws on data from 22,000 clients who participated in 57,000 counseling sessions across these first 5 city replication partners, and provides additional evidence of the program’s success. For an executive summary of the report, click here.

The CFE Fund held a series of webinars about the evaluation; click here for informational resources from these webinars.

To learn more about the FEC Public movement, visit www.fecpublic.org.

Additional Takeaways

FEC clients were much more likely than average US residents to have no savings, yet almost a third of clients working to increase their savings succeeded, averaging $1,634.

Despite working with a financial counselor, unbanked FEC clients were less than half as likely as similar banked clients to increase their savings, and over a third less likely to establish a new credit score.

The FEC model worked in a variety of city contexts, and meaningfully changed the way cities and their nonprofit partners delivered anti-poverty services.

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