By Laura Cummings, Director, Financial Health Network

It’s no secret that many small businesses don’t make it. Going into 2020, only about half of small businesses were expected to make it to their fifth year. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has further laid bare that financial shocks can be devastating to small business owners, both personally and professionally. Between February and April of this year, an estimated 22% of small business owners closed their businesses, with higher rates among Black, Latinx, and Asian owners, and more closures are likely on the way. …

By Corey Stone, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Financial Health Network

Now more than ever, consumers want and need tools that can help improve their financial health. While fintechs and other innovators have developed a new generation of personal finance tools, banks and credit unions have not yet adopted them widely. Banks already have the customer relationships, the data about their earnings, and knowledge of their spending patterns to incorporate these tools. Since consumers clearly want these innovations, what is the holdup on offering them?

It turns out that offering these services is harder than we thought. Not because of the raw technical difficulty…

By Sarah Gordon, Chief Market Development Officer, Financial Health Network

Over the last few years, the Financial Health Network has been working to identify new avenues to expand our mission of financial health for all. The workplace — specifically human resources practitioners at midsize and large employers– and healthcare emerged as two defining areas where organizations can help their employees, customers, and communities by adopting a financial health-focused lens. That’s why we sought to find experts that understood the challenges and opportunities of integrating financial health into these areas and had a passion for advancing financial health. …

By Dan Murphy, Policy Manager, Financial Health Network

When the CARES Act was enacted on March 27, it stabilized the financial health of millions of families facing massive unemployment and other economic hardships in the wake of COVID-19. Unfortunately, it also left millions of American families out of the law’s broadest relief provision — Economic Impact Payments. Unless Congress takes action, those same families will fall through the same crack a second time.

According to the eligibility rules of the CARES Act and the newly proposed “HEALS Act,” individuals are required to have a valid Social Security number in order…

By Arjun Kaushal, Program Associate, Financial Health Network

As Congress discusses the extension of stimulus programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the outstanding issues has been whether the next round of benefits will extend to the millions of undocumented immigrants and their families who have, so far, been left out. But this debate is part of a much larger systemic problem: Lack of access to the social safety net has consistently hindered pathways to financial health for undocumented immigrants.

A key requirement for access to relief payments provided in the CARES ACT — both the stimulus checks…

By Thea Garon, Senior Director, Financial Health Network
Necati Celik, Associate, Financial Health Network
Andrew Dunn, Manager, Financial Health Network

Since mid-March, the United States has lost more than 21 million jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to help people get by, the Treasury Department began distributing recovery rebates, or “stimulus payments,” on April 11 as part of the CARES Act. As the government debates the need for another stimulus package, new data from the U.S. Financial Health Pulse show that stimulus payments have provided a valuable lifeline to millions of people who lost their jobs during the crisis.

By Jacquelyn Reineke, Manager, Financial Health Network
and
Heidi Johnson, Director, Financial Health Network

There is no denying that the COVID-19 crisis has turned the world upside down. Everyone has had to deal with daily changes to their routines and come to terms with a new normal, but vulnerable populations — in particular, aging Americans — have faced the most devastating consequences from this global pandemic, both to their health and to their finances.

Not only are individuals over the age of 65 more susceptible to the deadly virus, they’re also less likely to be familiar with the technology that…

By Sarah Parker, Senior Director, Financial Health Network

In the midst of the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are realizing that insurance is not a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. Life insurance carriers report a marked increase in interest from new customers who want to purchase policies, as people recognize the importance of protecting their families. Insurance products that protect against potential income loss, such as disability insurance, have taken on new relevance, while health insurance continues to be recognized as critical to one’s physical and financial health.

Yet the reality is that people have always known…

By Josh Sledge, Senior Director, Financial Health Network
and
Arjun Kaushal, Associate, Financial Health Network

The tragic murder of George Floyd at the hands of police has once again brought the inequities of the criminal justice system into focus. The violence captured on film has rightfully drawn a passionate response, as protestors demand justice for Floyd and an end to police brutality. Within this push for reform, we also have an opportunity to call attention to the less overt but still devastating impact that the criminal justice system has on the financial health of black and brown individuals and their…

By Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO, Financial Health Network

Below is the blog I shared with the Financial Health Network staff in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police and the protests and civil unrest that have followed:

Putting emotions into words is hard right now. Like you, I am heartbroken and outraged about the state of the world we live in, where the mere act of living life as a black person is fraught with danger, disrespect and dehumanization. I am mourning the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. I…

Financial Health Network

Leading a network of innovators committed to improving the #FinHealth of American consumers. Follow us on Twitter: @finhealthnet

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