Innovative program improves financial outcomes for low-to-moderate income people
WASHINGTON, DC – April 26, 2019 – UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) and Oportun Inc., announced today a national expansion of their financial coaching program, a joint effort to provide high quality, free counseling and education to empower Latinos and low-to-moderate income people to make informed choices and improve their financial well-being.
“We share an important mission with Oportun, and that is to help vulnerable people cut off from participating in the mainstream financial system to build their financial capability and reach their goals,” said Lot Diaz, Vice President of Housing and Community Development at UnidosUS. “We are offering innovative, cost-effective, and high-quality financial coaching in Latino and low-to-moderate income communities, and we are increasing our efforts by deploying these services nationally.”
“As a mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we are dedicated to empowering the communities we serve and are excited to be expanding free access to UnidosUS’s financial coaching program to all of our customers nationwide,” said Raul Vazquez, CEO of Oportun.
UnidosUS—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—and Oportun—a fintech and certified CDFI—launched a pilot program in late 2017. Oportun began referring customers to UnidosUS’s Counseling Connection for free telephone-based financial coaching. Through the program, trained financial coaches assist clients with establishing budgets, reviewing and building their credit and creating plans to meet their financial goals.
Over the past year and a half, the program has received more than 2,000 referrals and provided financial coaching to more than 800 people, who have made positive changes in their financial lives by reducing their debt and increasing their savings. The program has helped participants achieve meaningful financial gains that have boosted confidence and reinforced commitments to improving their financial outcomes.
“My partner and I were looking to buy a house and felt like the process was overwhelming, it seemed like an impossible dream. We decided to seek the help of a financial coach, and after the call, I felt so excited because my goal of having my own house became much more tangible,” said Danny Santiago, financial coaching recipient.
Oportun is a mission-driven, technology-powered provider of inclusive, affordable financial services and a certified Community Development Financial Institution. By lending money to hardworking, low-to-moderate income individuals, Oportun helps them move forward in their lives, demonstrate their creditworthiness, and establish the credit history they need to access new opportunities. Oportun serves customers online, over the phone, and in-person in English and Spanish in the following 12 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. For more information on Oportun please visit oportun.com.
UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.