While it is important to get low-income families on the road to higher earnings, it is equally important for families to work with a financial coach to “stretch” and manage those earnings so they can pay all of their bills on time, put aside money for emergencies, and build their “nest egg” for the future.
CWF offers financial literacy classes
on topics including budgeting, debt reduction, credit building, and choosing financial products. Participants put this knowledge into practice as they work with their financial coach to develop a budget
and track monthly expenses
. They learn where their money is going, rein in expenses
, and find saving opportunities
Access Financial Products
Too often families use predatory financial services that charge high fees to cash checks or take out loans. Financial coaches help participants connect to safe and affordable financial products
such as checking and savings accounts
, direct deposits
, and retirement plans
Escaping the cycle of debt is one of the key elements of escaping a life in poverty. Financial coaches teach participants how to communicate with creditors
, make debt reductions plans
, and find ways to build emergencies savings.
With a good credit score, families not only minimize their risk but have lower utility deposits, insurance premiums, and loan interest rates. Financial coaches help families understand their credit reports
and improve their credit scores
, which can save a family upwards of $200,000 in fees
over a household’s lifetime.
Access Free Tax Preparation
CWF provides free tax preparation
assistance through the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
Families secure credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit
, and receive their full refund to put towards savings. In 2013, the average tax refund paid through the Indianapolis VITA program was $1,701.