Financial Capability Services

There are ten core financial capability services that address different elements of an individual’s financial life. Organizations can deliver these as stand-alone services or integrate them into existing services. The list of services and their definitions listed here were adapted from Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services which was developed in conjunction with the Office of Community Services (OCS) as part of the ASSET Initiative Partnership (AIP).

Financial Education

Financial education consists of one or more standalone workshops or classes that involve the transfer of information, often in a group setting, on a specific set of topics such as how to budget, access mainstream financial products, save, manage credit, reduce debt, access available tax credits, and more.

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Financial Coaching

Financial coaching consists of multiple one-on-one interactions that empower clients to set and achieve their unique financial goals through behavior change and skill development.

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Financial Counseling

Financial counseling consists of individual one-on-one sessions that are led by the counselor to help clients address specific financial matters like managing credit or purchasing a home.

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Credit Counseling

Credit counseling helps people manage and reduce debt and take positive steps to improve their credit.

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Credit Building

Credit building focuses on helping clients with no credit history or a thin credit file begin to establish a positive credit record.

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Access to Safe and Affordable Financial Products

This service assists clients in transitioning from high cost alternative financial service providers (e.g. check cashers and payday lenders) to low-cost and low-risk mainstream financial services.

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Free Tax Preparation Assistance

Free tax preparation assistance programs help low income workers prepare and file their taxes without the high costs often charged by paid preparers.

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Access to Federal and State Benefits

This service involves screening clients for federal and state benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Medicaid, and providing assistance in accessing the benefits for which they are eligible.

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Incentivized Savings Programs

Incentivized savings programs help participants save towards a goal—often, though not always, an asset goal— by providing incentives that keep participants motivated and reward savings behavior.

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Asset Ownership Programs

Asset ownership programs help clients purchase or maintain assets such as savings, a home, a vehicle, a small business or an education.

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