Financial Wellness Program Will Benefit Area Employers and Their Employees
More than half of Americans do not have enough money in savings to cover $500 in unexpected expenses, such as car repairs or medical bills. This financial stress is causing disruption and lost productivity in the workplace. To help the region’s employers better support employees during such emergencies, Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI) is launching the Community Loan Center of the NC Triangle (CLC), to provide companies with a comprehensive financial wellness program for workers. The benefit, available at no cost to businesses, provides workers with access to both short-term, small-dollar loans and one-on-one individualized and confidential financial and credit counseling services to help address long-term financial issues.
Through the CLC, employees at participating companies will be eligible for low-interest rate loans up to $1,000 to help cover unexpected costs. Employees have 12 months to repay the loan, with interest, through a simple payroll deduction. No credit check or collateral is required. Loan repayment will be reported to national credit bureaus, providing borrowers the opportunity to build their credit file quickly.
The application process is conducted completely online, allowing employees both increased confidentiality and the ability to apply for the loan whenever needed, even if it is outside of normal business hours.
All employees at participating companies will also have access to CESI’s credit counseling and financial education services to help them establish financial goals and create a sustainable budget and savings plan.
“Thousands of workers in central North Carolina are living paycheck to paycheck, just one emergency away from a financial crisis. In addition to creating personal stress, this also dramatically impacts their ability to be successful and productive at work,” said Kerry Bashaw, Director of Community Development at CESI. “Financial issues need to be addressed very holistically. We believe providing workers with both easy access to small-dollar loans and credit counseling services to address long-term financial issues will help benefit not only countless workers, but their employers as well.”
A 2017 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that nearly one in three workers say financial issues have caused a distraction on the job and 46 percent of those workers say they spend three or more hours a week at work dealing with personal money woes. About one-third of workers also said financial worries have either impacted their productivity at work or caused them to miss work.
The CLC of the NC Triangle is an affiliate of the Community Loan Center Corporation, a Texas-based nonprofit financial services firm which operates a network of affiliated programs nationwide. While this is the first CLC in North Carolina, research has found that similar programs reduce the number of employees requesting payroll advances and 401(k) loans, cut costs associated with employee financial stress, decrease employee illness and absenteeism and improve company morale and employee turnover.
CLC of the Triangle is currently available to employers throughout central North Carolina. More information about the program and its benefits for both employers and workers can be found at www.clctriangle.org.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a nonprofit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.