Synchrony Financial has committed a $4 million grant to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) in support of the next phase of the Sharpen Your Financial Focus™ (Sharpen) initiative. The Sharpen program allows consumers to identify their most pressing financial issue, and then helps them select appropriate solution options through education and counseling. The steps of the program are:
• MyMoneyCheckUp® available at www.SharpenToday.org is an online financial self-assessment tool designed to increase financial awareness and provide consumers with concrete steps to improve their financial well-being.
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• A one-on-one financial review with an NFCC Certified Financial Professional to find solutions to current concerns and develop a realistic plan to meet long-term goals.
• Financial education workshops and online courses designed as a “deep dive” into the major area(s) of interest to the consumer.
• A fourth step has been added for Sharpen 2.0, utilizing technology to keep consumers on-track with their financial commitments and goals.
“The NFCC is fortunate to have Synchrony Financial as a partner in helping prepare and coach people to live better and healthier financial lives,” said Susan C. Keating, president and CEO of the NFCC. “This funding will help tens of thousands of consumers who are working hard to be responsible with their finances.”
“We share NFCC’s commitment to financial education that focuses on the financial health of consumers and we are pleased to continue supporting their efforts,” stated Margaret Keane, president and CEO of Synchrony Financial.
In its third year, the Sharpen program has already served close to 50,000 people. Preliminary research by The Ohio State University reveals that 67 percent of participants say the program helped them better manage their money, 68 percent say it helped them set financial goals, 70 percent improved their overall financial confidence, and 73 percent are paying their debt more consistently. Over a year and a half, the average total debt of participants decreased by $13,000 and their credit scores improved from 588 to 608—over the 600 threshold that opens up access to more affordable credit.
Consumers who are interested in improving today’s financial situation or planning for a better tomorrow can call 855-3-SHARPEN or visit www.SharpenToday.org to connect with an NFCC Member Agency and begin the Sharpen Your Financial Focus program. – Source
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