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Tools to improve
financial well-being

Paying bills on time, saving for the future, or reducing debt can seem impossible when money is in short supply. We provide one-to-one coaching to assist individuals to create and carry out a plan for improving their financial well-being.  

Past participants have used our financial empowerment services to accomplish such goals as: 

  • Recover from a temporary financial setback involving past due rent, mortgage, or utility bills 

  • Pay exam fees for professional licenses or certifications 

  • Pay GED testing fees 

  • Pay expungement costs 

  • Fund savings accounts 

  • Increase credit scores 

  • Pre-pay funeral expenses 

  • Qualify for lower interest rates on major purchases 

  • Reduce debt from unsecured loans and credit cards 

  • Buy a home 

How does Financial Empowerment work? 

Most participants connect with Financial Empowerment through requests for help with basic living expenses (rent, mortgage, or utilities).  However, our services are available to any resident of Richland County (South Carolina) whose household income does not exceed 80% of the median family income ($84,500) for the Columbia SC HUD Metro FMR Area.


Financial Empowerment participants are matched with a certified Financial Health Coach or another qualified counselor to create a personal financial health improvement plan. Applicants must provide documentation sufficient to accurately describe their current financial circumstances and plans for improvement.

Examples of relevant documentation include, but are not limited to: 

  • Demographic information for the applicant and household members 

  • Pay stubs, benefit award letters, or other documentation of regular monthly income 

  • Invoices for professional development expenses, i.e., licensing/certification exams, continuing education credits, transcripts 

  • Invoices for monthly expenses, i.e., childcare, transportation, food, insurance, medical care/prescriptions, phone/internet 

  • Current rent ledger or mortgage statement 

  • Current utility bills (electric, gas, and water) 

The resulting financial health improvement plan specifies the individual’s improvement goal(s), action steps, and the timeline for completion. The participant meets regularly with the coach/counselor to review progress toward the specified goal(s). Financial incentives are provided to encourage accomplishing the action steps and completing the plan. 

Financial Empowerment is by appointment only. Appointments may be requested online at the button below

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To increase the economic self-sufficiency of people experiencing poverty in the Midlands through crisis assistance and sustainability programs.

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