Through financial education and coaching, budgeting, credit/debt counseling, homeownership counseling, and financial products and technology, United Way THRIVE families get the help they need to build savings for emergencies and future goals.
Financial Coaching Network
Working with a financial coach is one of the keys to United Way THRIVE clients’ success. Coaches and clients work together to create personalized plans for organizing finances, reducing debt, reprioritizing spending, building savings and other assets, improving credit, and achieving long-term financial goals. To help more families benefit from financial coaching, United Way THRIVE offers in-depth financial coaching training through the Financial Coaching Network (FCN).
The United Way THRIVE Financial Coaching Pilot was founded in 2014 through national support from Wells Fargo to better help families on their pathway toward financial stability. The Financial Coaching pilot initially focused on building financial coaching capacity with case managers across various nonprofit organizations, in addition to THRIVE partners, by providing a localized solution for financial coaching training and support. Initially, the Financial Coaching pilot contracted with Central New Mexico Community College, CNM Ingenuity to provide both the trainers and the curriculum to facilitate all trainings. In 2017, as the pilot transitioned into a full-fledged network, United Way THRIVE launched its own curriculum.
The FCN supports the implementation of financial coaching by providing a layered approach of in-person training, peer support, one-on-one technical assistance, and virtual support. Members of the FCN now include both THRIVE partners and other community service providers who are integrating financial coaching into various sectors. This coordinated approach streamlines financial coaching services and improves service delivery throughout the system.
United Way THRIVE understands that no household’s financial situation and goals are alike, which is why we invest in and partner with agencies across the Greater Houston Area that provide a number of products aimed to help individuals and families reach their savings goals, build credit, and avoid unnecessary debt or predatory lending.
These affordable and safe products include:
- Affordable Checking and Savings Accounts
- Credit Builder Loans
- Matched Savings Programs
- Small Business Loans
- Auto Loans
- Homebuyer Programs
- Small Dollar/Emergency Loans
- Free Income Tax Preparation
With so many apps and websites promising to help people meet their financial goals, it can be hard to know which ones are reputable and effective. This is why United Way THRIVE convenes a FinTech Advisory Committee comprising experts who vet these apps and sites to ensure they meet key criteria in the areas of: mission alignment (that mission being improving the quality of life for families experiencing ALICE), transparency, longevity, sustainability, security, and reputation.
Approved technology is housed in BridgingApps. BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, is a community of parents, veterans, therapists, doctors, educators, and people with disabilities who share information on how apps and mobile devices can help people of all abilities reach their highest levels of physical, social and cognitive development.
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