Bank of America and Operation HOPE announced today they will offer free financial counseling in 180 financial centers in 17 U.S. markets starting in 2023. The Operation HOPE program, known as HOPE Inside™, offers in-person financial health coaching sessions to help individuals build savings, improve FICO (credit) scores, and decrease debt.
Introduced initially in four financial centers in Atlanta and Los Angeles, the program will now expand to additional centers in those markets along with centers in Baltimore, Boston and Northern Massachusetts, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Bank of America plans to add more markets to the HOPE Inside program in the future as well.
“We know that these are challenging times, as both communities and consumers are dealing with economic stress and potential financial instability,” said Aron Levine, President of Preferred Banking at Bank of America. “Good financial health is the foundation for strong, sustainable communities and our partnership with HOPE Inside helps us deliver on our commitment to ensuring more young people, adults and communities have access to the tools and education to build a solid financial future.”
Through the partnership, Bank of America financial center employees refer clients to a professional Operation HOPE financial well-being coach to provide comprehensive monthly credit and money management counseling at no cost. Counseling will be available in both English and Spanish at most locations.
The program has shown significant results. As of the second quarter of 2022, HOPE Inside has provided more than 2,700 counselling services based on Bank of America referrals. The program has also delivered more than 300 financial education workshops. On average, participating clients improved their FICO scores by 21 points, increased their yearly savings by $4,313 and reduced their annual debt by $837.
“Bank of America and HOPE Inside have already had a real, measurable impact on the financial health of so many individuals,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc. “The expansion of HOPE Inside is proof that empowering individuals with the knowledge and resources to navigate financial planning can have significant positive results for individuals, families, and communities.”