NFCC Receives $4 Million from Synchrony Financial to Support Enhanced Financial Literacy

by | 12/22/15 | Commentary

Heightened levels of financial literacy funding continue to be evident on a broad scale. In one of the latest announcements of significant financial support for financial education programming, Synchrony Financial has committed a $4 million grant to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) in support of the next phase of the “Sharpen Your Financial Focus” initiative. The program is designed to enable consumers to identify their most pressing financial issue, and then helps them select appropriate solutions by means of financial education and counseling.

The financial education industry was buzzing over the scope and reach that this Synchrony funding will have. Specifically, it will assist tens of thousands of consumers who are working hard to be responsible with their finances.

The program has many distinct elements, including the following:

<> The MyMoneyCheckUp tool (available here) is an online financial self-assessment tool designed to increase financial awareness and provide consumers with concrete steps to improve their financial well-being.

<> A one-on-one financial review with an NFCC Certified Financial Professional to find solutions to current concerns and develop a realistic plan to meet long-term goals.

<> Financial education workshops and online courses designed as a “deep dive” into the major areas of interest to the consumer.

<> A fourth step has been added for Sharpen 2.0, utilizing technology to keep consumers on-track with their financial commitments and goals.

The Sharpen program has been seen by many in the financial education space as a model for success and scalability. To date, the program already has assisted nearly 50,000 individuals. Survey data from former program participants illustrate the program’s many achievements. Ohio State University’s summary of this data includes that 67 percent of participants say the program helped them better manage their money, 68 percent say it helped them set financial goals, 70 percent improved their overall financial confidence, and 73 percent are paying their debt more consistently. Moreover, over an eighteen-month period, the average total debt of participants decreased by $13,000 and their credit scores improved from 588 to 608, which notably is higher than the 600 threshold that is important for gaining access to more affordable credit.

Additional information about the program can be found here.

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