At a time when even sophisticated investors are struggling to find the correct financial strategies, it is no wonder that many less experienced people are finding themselves completely lost in all the economic bad news. In too many cases, the consequences of an inability to find sound, basic advice are dire: bankruptcy, foreclosure, eviction, utility cut-offs, loans at exorbitant rates, severely damaged credit.
To help address the situation, St. Louis will be one of a only a handful of regions across the country to participate in a new program, the Community Financial Access Pilot program, that will try to match the residents who most urgently need financial advice and services with providers. The St. Louis effort will include the City, the county, United Way, the Human Development Commission, other community organizations, and local banks. The practices that work best in St. Louis will be used in other parts of the country.
The Community Financial Access Pilot is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Financial Education — and I am glad to have it here.