Financial health and FinTech COVID relief

The financial health and FinTech community has mobilized to offer online resources, coaching, financial support and other relief to consumers.

Financial health and FinTech COVID relief

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COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on consumers around the globe. According to the U.S. Labor Department, more than 42.6 million consumers have filed unemployment claims since the pandemic began. Federal, state and local governments have enacted laws to provide economic relief to businesses, higher education institutions and consumers. Major corporations, financial institutions and foundations are allocating funds to COVID relief work.  

In addition, the financial health and FinTech community has mobilized to offer online resources, coaching, financial support and other relief to consumers.

Below is a list of the COVID-19 relief and recovery initiatives offered by some of these organizations and companies. We are providing this information (by no means exhaustive) for educational purposes. (Consumer Action does not endorse products and services, and we encourage consumers to research products and services thoroughly before use.)

Digit, a FinTech app, helps users save by automatically moving predetermined amounts from their checking accounts into savings. Digit has created a Coronavirus Relief Hub page with information on how to access funds in the Digit savings account, adjust savings withdrawals and manage other aspects of financial health.

The EarnUp app automates loan payments to help consumers take control of and pay down debt. EarnUp offers a COVID-19 page with a well-curated list of COVID-19 relief and recovery resources that cover everything from obtaining mortgage relief to finding employment to dealing with the mental health aspects of the pandemic—and more.

The Esusu app helps users create and manage rotational savings clubs with their friends and family members, save individually and build credit through rent reporting. The Esusu firm has created a COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund. U.S.-based renters can apply for the assistance regardless of immigration status. The fund provides loans of between $250 and $1,000. Consumers receive a six-month grace period for repayment and then have the option to repay the loan in twelve equal payments or one lump sum payment.

The Financial Clinic is a non-profit FinTech innovator that accomplishes its mission to build financial security via strategies to create lasting change, including direct service, capacity building with other non-profits, systems-level solutions and social innovations. The Financial Clinic’s COVID response offers a myriad of resources for non-profit practitioners. The resources offered include free access to SHARE, a professional social networking platform, through the end of the year; access to Marketplace Relief, a tool that connects practitioners to trustworthy FinTech products and services; virtual financial coaching; and community training.

The Financial Health Network is a trusted resource for business leaders, policymakers and innovators united in a mission to improve the financial health of their customers, employees and communities. The Financial Health Network has created a COVID-19 resource hub featuring research and resources from the Financial Health Network and its members to help people and practitioners respond to financial shocks. Consumer Action is a member organization and our COVID-19 resource is featured in the COVID-19 Resources HUB.  

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is an intermediary that helps community organizations find resources, expertise and relationships to increase their effectiveness. The agency works with a vast network of non-profits to make investments in housing, businesses, education, safety and health. LISC has created a Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund to provide small business support, organizational support for its community-based partners and access to useful technology.

Mint, a budget-tracking FinTech tool, allows users to aggregate and monitor their financial accounts in one app, which can help them manage their overall finances. Mint is offering the Mint Money Hub to provide users with comprehensive information on how to manage their finances during the pandemic, pay bills, stay productive and educate homebound children.

Mission Assert Fund (MAF) is a non-profit FinTech company that works to create a fair financial marketplace for working families. MAF launched a Rapid Response Fund that provides $500 cash grants (with no repayment necessary) to people who can’t or won’t receive government aid or relief during the crisis. MAF recognizes that people need cash infusions and the freedom to decide how and where to spend the funds. MAF also offers Emergency Bridge Loans—zero interest emergency loans that help small business owners get through the economic crisis. No repayment is due for the first six months. MAF also connects consumers to resources through their MyMAF app.

Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners is a non-profit social enterprise providing access to well-trained financial coaches and highly experienced support staff in the areas of program management, data analysis, and technology development and design. The organization offers a COVID page, expanded coaching services and an emergency response fund to get cash disbursements to small business owners and working families.

Nova Credit is a cross-border credit reporting firm that also offers credit education resources to immigrant consumers. Nova Credit mobilized more than 220 business leaders to write to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services calling for visa extensions for immigrants during the pandemic. The letter can be found here.

Operation HOPE is a non-profit organization offering financial dignity programming and coaching to equip its clients with financial knowledge and tools to create a secure financial future. Operation HOPE’s response to the pandemic includes one-time mini-grants up to $500 to assist clients with utilities, rent/mortgage or credit card payments; virtual assistance and coaching via phone and a web portal; and its free resources app, HOPE in Hand.  

FinTech firm Propel offers the benefits management app Fresh EBT. This tool enables consumers to check on EBT benefits, clip digital discount coupons, search for employment and find other money-making opportunities. Fresh EBT and GiveDirectly partnered to give $1,000 cash transfers—no strings attached—to families in financial need to help make ends meet during the coronavirus crisis. To register, download the Fresh EBT app (from the Apple App Store) and complete the enrollment form inside the app. Fresh EBT offers a limited number of cash transfers.

SaverLife, a non-profit organization, provides prizes, rewards, expert resources, games and support proven to incentivize saving and spur positive new behaviors. SaverLife has established the SaverLife Emergency Response Fund to provide select savers with $500 payments to help them to remain on track during the pandemic. SaverLife also is tracking the impact of the pandemic on its savers through transactional data and surveying in order to learn more about financial behaviors during a crisis.

The SpringFour firm partners with financial institutions, non-profits and employers to provide resources to help consumers in all 50 states improve their financial health and wellness. During the pandemic, the firm has added more than 2,000 carefully vetted resources and made hundreds of thousands of referrals to those in need. Read more about SpringFour’s COVID relief and recovery efforts here.

The Opportunity Fund is an impact investment firm that makes business loans to people who may not qualify for mainstream financial products. Opportunity Fund has responded to the pandemic with webinars for borrowers, counseling to help borrowers who are in danger of default, and a Small Business Relief Fund. Fund borrowers are able to skip a payment for up to three months; access capital instead of taking on higher-interest debt; and obtain technical assistance on how to navigate these troubled times.

Published / Reviewed Date

Published: June 01, 2020

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Banking   ♦   Credit   ♦   COVID-19 Pandemic   ♦   Credit Cards   ♦   Debt Collection   ♦   Discrimination   ♦   Housing   ♦   Internet   ♦   Medical/Healthcare   ♦   Micro Business   ♦   Mortgages   ♦   Money Management   ♦   Technology   ♦  

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