Smart Money Coaching began when a family experiencing homelessness won a below-market-rate unit in the City’s housing lottery, only to have their housing application denied because they had subprime credit. Officially launched in 2015, the program has helped thousands of people increase their own financial capability, providing the skills necessary to achieve positive financial outcomes and improve their financial well-being.
Many of the financial challenges that Smart Money Coaching clients experience are due to structural and racist flaws embedded in the financial system, which is not designed to serve low-income consumers. Given this reality, Smart Money Coaches help to identify the barriers that prevent clients from accessing the financial mainstream and then outline clear and actionable steps to achieve resolutions so that their clients can strengthen their own financial capability. Financial coaching will never be the silver bullet to solving wealth inequality, but with a deeper understanding of systemic barriers, Smart Money Coaches can provide the best available options for their clients’ unique financial circumstances.