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Politics & Government

Free financial counseling now offered in Columbus

Finance Money Budget
Karolina Grabowska

The city of Columbus and some partners have launched the Columbus Financial Empowerment Center, which will offer free financial counseling with licensed professionals for all Columbus-area adults.

The new center will be managed by Jewish Family Services and will offer one-on-one counseling for things like improving credit scores and how to get loans.

“Fifth-seven percent of Columbus families are financially insecure. That means having less than $2,000 in savings. And 42% of our residents have subprime credit scores,” Columbus City Council President Pro-tem Elizabeth Brown said at a Thursday press conference announcing the new center.

Brown said the firm that helped the city set up the center believes it’s the first such center in the nation to approach financial empowerment through the lens of racial and gender disparities in wealth.

The effort is funded with $150,000 from the city’s general fund and a $150,000 grant from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, which has helped launch similar efforts on more than 100 other cities.