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August 2020 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

Save the Dates November 5-6, 2020 for RAISE Texas’ Virtual Action Summit:

“The Roadmap to Financial Resiliency”

Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

RAISE Texas is embarking on a journey to change this truth of too many Texans without an infrastructure of opportunity to prompt them up. Our plan is to create replicable community sponsored cohorts in Texas that will lead to strong efforts to find solutions, break down barriers, and eventually build long-term financial resilience for vulnerable populations. Join us for RAISE Texas’ Virtual Action Summit on November 5-6, 2020 (9:00am – 12:30pm) to explore the three key steps to help more Texas families get on “The Roadmap to Financial Resiliency.”

  • Step 1: Achieving Short-Term Financial Stability
  • Step 2: Achieving Income Stability
  • Step 3: Crafting Emergency Savings Accounts

RAISE Texas Board Leads Search for Next Executive Director

The Board is currently conducting interviews to find the most qualified candidate to lead RAISE Texas. We wanted to share the job description one more time with our network to make sure we reach as many potential candidates as possible. Applications will be accepted through August 17, 2020. Click here to review the job posting and for information on the application process.

Texas News

Every Texan Explores Data Showing Disparate Impact of COVID-19 on Texans

New U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data shows widespread income losses in Texas, with the state’s most vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted. Nearly half of all respondents in Texas reported having suffered a loss of employment income since March 13, and for people of color, the percentage of employment income loss was even higher. Click here to read Every Texan’s findings.

Texas Statewide Financial Coaching Hub Update

Thanks to all of the Texas financial coaches that have attended the virtual financial coaching huddles held in May, June and July webinars. The Hub is still hoping to have the opportunity to host a financial coaching training in Austin and San Antonio once local COVID-19 regulations allow. Your safety and health are our number one priority! For now, all Hub events will continue to be virtual or find additional information in financial coaching resources here.

Final Parts of "Crisis of Debt During COVID-19" Webinar Series this Fall

Debt is a complex issue but one that many clients struggle to deal with on a daily basis. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the ability to pay bills and debt even harder. But, there are protections and ways to assist clients even through the most difficult scenarios. RAISE Texas hosted two quick, one-hour virtual sessions for Texas financial coaches to provide insights, information and resources from a variety of experts on how to assist clients with different debt scenarios both now and in the future. Recordings of the first two webinars are available on our Financial Coaching Resources page. The final two webinars will held later this fall.

  • Part 1: CARES Protections Overview/ Evictions Protections (recording)
  • Part 2: What are Financial Institutions Doing to Assist Clients? (recording)
  • Part 3: What happens if you get sued over unpaid debt?
  • Part 4: If you get sued and they freeze your accounts, what do you do?

National News

New Report on What Are Americans’ Perceptions of Financial Insecurity?

Commonwealth recently released its new report, Perceptions of Financial Insecurity in America: A National Survey of Working People in the United States. This report provides insights from data collected from a representative survey of 2,000 working Americans across all income levels. The data was collected in the summer of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic even began. The point of the survey was to understand perceptions on how widespread Americans’ financial insecurity is; what are people’s personal experiences with financial insecurity; and, what do people see as the causes and solutions to financial insecurity. Highlights from the report show:

  • More than 80% of Americans agree that financial insecurity is a big problem and 85% believed that it could happen to anyone, no matter their income.
  • Most respondents understood external forces to be the significant cause of financial insecurity with 70% pointed to causes beyond a person’s control such as rising cost of living, stagnant wages, and racial and gender pay disparities.
  • Demographics and experience play a major role in perceptions on the causes of financial insecurity.
  • A majority of respondents believe that private and public institutions have a critical role to play in financial security, with employers, financial institutions and government recognized as the top three.

CFPB Report Explores Credit Builder Loan Outcomes

The CFPB’s new report, “Targeting credit builder loans: Insights from a credit builder loan evaluation,” and practitioner guide explores how a consumer loan offered by a credit union affected how likely borrowers were of having a credit score, their actual credit scores, and their savings balances. Credit Builder Loans are uniquely designed to help borrowers establish a credit score or improve an existing score all the while, giving borrowers the opportunity to build a savings as they make their loan payments. The CFPB’s report found that consumers without existing debt tended to benefit more from the credit builder loans than people with existing debt. Click here for the report and practitioner guide.

Grant Opportunity for Next Cohort of the CityStart Initiative

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) is now accepting proposals for the next cohort of the CityStart initiative, which offers City and County leaders and their administrations a structured approach to identify financial empowerment goals, convene stakeholders for sustainable success, develop actionable strategies, and ultimately craft an actionable blueprint rooted in local insights and opportunities. This year, the CityStart engagement will have a focus on addressing the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents. The CFE Fund will select city or county partners to receive an intensive six-month technical assistance engagement partnership, along with a $25,000 planning grant. Applications are due by September 14, 2020. Click here to apply. And, the CFE Fund will be hosting an informational webinar on August 11, 2020 at 2 p.m. EST - click here to sign up for the webinar.

Federal and Local Resources to Help Small Businesses

The latest Dallas Fed Communities story focused on resources and new initiatives providing support to small businesses across the country and state, including:
• Paycheck Protection Program
• Main Street Lending Program
• Economic Injury Disaster Loans
• Targeted local funds in Texas

Read the entire story here.