Financial Empowerment Center (FEC)
Neighborhood Allies in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh launched Pittsburgh’s Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) in March of 2019. Pittsburgh’s FEC is operated by Advantage Credit Counseling in cooperation with local social service agencies who host a counselor at their sites. FECs help clients take control of their debt, improve their credit, create a budget, save, connect to safe and affordable financial products, save for emergencies and major purchases, and much more.
To date, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’s Financial Empowerment Centers around the country have worked with more than 85,000 clients, helping them reduce their debt by more than $101 million and increase their savings by $10 million. Launched in 2008, FECs are operating now in 8 cities, with over a dozen local governments working to launch a local FEC initiative. Professionally trained FEC counselors help consumers with low incomes manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products. At the core of the FEC model is the integration of counseling into other social services, including housing and foreclosure prevention, workforce development, prisoner reentry, benefits access, domestic violence services, and more.
The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, a national nonprofit in New York City, is working to replicate the FEC model through its FEC Public platform. Through a competitive application process, the CFE Fund selected the City of Pittsburgh to plan for, and ultimately launch, a Financial Empowerment Center as a new public service. Advantage Credit Counseling has hired and trained a manager and four counselors, who have been deployed to ten locations.
- Media Coverage | Pittsburgh’s new Financial Empowerment Center offers free advice and education in underserved neighborhoods
- Media Coverage | Pittsburgh Launching Financial Empowerment Center Initiative
- Neighborhood Allies and the City of Pittsburgh are seeking proposals from community organizations to implement the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center (FEC)