What is Working Credit NFP?

Working Credit is a non-profit organization that offers an innovative financial wellness program as an employee benefit.  Called Make Credit Work for You, the benefit helps U.S. workers build and reap the benefits of - strong credit.  Make Credit Work for You  is a scalable turnkey benefit, requiring minimal assistance from Human Resources staff, but yielding tangible results for employees—often within 6 months.

Why build credit?

Over a third of U.S. workers have no credit score at all or subprime scores—a problem that drives up household expenses, depletes wages, and creates hard-to-mask financial stress.  Employees with poor or no credit scores typically get car loans at 20% interest or greater, pay double the standard rates on car insurance premiums, and leave hefty deposits when they turn on cell phones or utilities.  This population has difficulty accessing quality apartments (as landlords check credit), and when emergencies hit, they have little choice but to borrow from payday and auto title lenders–at interest rates of 400% - 1,000%.

How does the employer benefit?

Many employers hire Working Credit simply because they believe that offering a financial wellness program is the right thing to do.  By retaining Working Credit, they help their employees address financial concerns through an impartial third party that guarantees anonymity.

In addition, they report:

• Improved employee engagement
• Corporate good will
• Reduced lateness and absenteeism
• Increased retention of talented staff
• Increased ability to secure quality housing close to work
• Increased participation in 401k/403b plans

How does the Make Credit Work for You  Program Work?

Credit Building Workshop:  Make Credit Work for You  starts with a 45-minute credit building workshop for whole units/departments, offered at the workplace.  At the end of the workshop, we give employees the chance to sign up for one-on-one credit building counseling.  To date, 63% of all attendees sign up for this service.

One-on-One Credit Building Counseling:  Within a day or two, our counselors begin to meet one-on-one with employees.

What happens at the first appointment (lasting 45 minutes to an hour)?

• Creation of a budget, review (penalty free) of the employee’s credit report and score, and development of a personalized Credit Action Plan
• If recommended, enrollment in Working Credit’s CW-3 product, which gives employees (who need a product to build credit) a risk-free way to improve the credit score and save $300 at the same time - over a 12-month period
• Access to coaching services for employees who want this type of additional support as they take steps on their Credit Action Plans

What happens over the next 18-Months?

• Ongoing counseling, guided by the employee’s Credit Action Plan
• Subsequent credit reports and scores pulled and shared with participants every six months for 18 months (along with a written report explaining any changes, and providing additional credit building guidance)

 How do employees benefit?

Improved credit helps employees get the most out of their paychecks, recover quickly from financial emergencies, build household financial strength, reduce financial stress and even save money.  Employees of companies served by Working Credit have benefited in the following ways:

• 67% of employees increased their credit scores within 18 months
• The number of employees with prime scores (over 660) increased by 41% within 18 months
• The number of employees with immediate access to affordable credit (at least $1,000 available on one or more credit cards) increased by 39% within 18 months
• 83% of all employees enrolled in CW-3 are completing the product–and saving $300 in the process; CW-3 completers are also continuing to save post CW-3, typically through the employer’s 401k or 403b program
• The number of employees enrolled in an automatic savings program increased by 25%

What is the employer’s role? 

Make Credit Work for You is designed to be turnkey, so that we don’t add to the workload of employers.   We need our employer clients to do three things:

• Schedule a meeting(s) for all eligible employees so that we may present the credit building workshop
• Provide a space at the workplace for Working Credit counselors to conduct initial one-on-one counseling appointments for employees who sign up for this service
• If possible, set up and facilitate a payroll deduction for employees participating in CW-3, so they can make their loan payments automatically from their paychecks

What is the cost?

As a non-profit organization, Working Credit is able to offer the workshop at no cost, so all eligible employees receive basic credit building education.

For those employees who sign up for one-on-one counseling after the workshop, we charge a one-time fee per employee, which covers eighteen months of credit building assistance and counseling.

What data is shared with employers?

Working Credit keeps all personal information about employees confidential; however, we do share aggregated and anonymized data with employers annually.  We do this to help employers better understand the financial health of their workforce, and to demonstrate how the financial circumstances of employees change over time.

For more information, contact Ricki Lowitz of Working Credit at 312-339-5357 or ricki@workingcredit.org.       

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