A 2019 poll found that about 40% of Americans would struggle to pay an unexpected bill of $400 for something like car repairs or medical expenses. A 2020 survey found that the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out emergency savings for nearly 14% of Americans. Many Americans are in survival mode, trying to make do with limited resources.
In order to thrive, people need access to credit and capital. Without it, people are often forced to rely on predatory loans and credit cards to cover debt and unexpected expenses. The consequences of these debt traps are extremely costly due to high interest rates and fees, and falling behind on payments only makes credit scores worse. People with bad credit and no money for a deposit can be entirely prevented from purchasing a car, renting an apartment, or buying a house.
Through our “Building Financial Well-being” webinar series, GSO teaches diverse groups of people–from students to seniors–about how to build credit, avoid common debt traps, set up emergency funds, and start investing. We also help people connect with one-on-one financial coaches, applications for public benefits, and additional financial resources applicable to their unique situations.