The Westside community of Atlanta ranks among the top five most underbanked communities in the nation. In addition to a lack of easily accessible and safe financial services and products, there's also an absence of resources for essential counseling and education.
The Center addresses both issues of access and education by providing affordable banking, alternatives to payday loans, affordable home mortgages, and a suite of financial services that empower the community’s residents to achieve their financial goals. Since its inception, the Center has seen hundreds of local residents attend financial education courses, and for those who stayed with the program for more than six months, 64% saw an increase in their credit scores and 58% reduced their overall consumer debt.
Supported financially through Equifax, as well as Invest Atlanta and the Arthur M. Blank Foundation, the Center is is set to anchor a large new community hub built by Quest Communities, called the Quest Westside Impact Center, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. The 30,000-square-foot facility will also include other social services like housing and workforce development.
“The reality is, much of the financial education that our country has produced is ineffective," Stiffler added.
“COVID’s going to leave behind amazing wreckage economically speaking, so the building of credit, and Equifax’s role in that through this Center, has never been more important."
Click here to read the full story from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.