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Filene CU among CFSI innovation fund grantees
CHICAGO (3/9/11)--The Filene Research Institute and Grow Brooklyn/Brooklyn FCU are among the five recipients of grants from the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI).
Click to view larger image Through a grant from the Center for Financial Services Innovation, the Filene Research Institute will test Lift, a Filene i3 idea to determine if rewarding consistent timely loan payments with interest rate reductions will lead to better payment behavior. The Lift team, are front row, from left: Jackie Edwards, Connexus CU, Wausau, Wis.; and Lisa Randall, Vermont FCU, Burlington, Vt.; back row, from left: Mike Kenzie, Patriot FCU, Chambersburg, Pa.; Shelly Berryman, SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif.; and Matt Henry, Elevations CU, Boulder, Colo. (Photo provided by The Filene Research Institute)
The CFSI’s Financial Capability Innovation Fund is providing $1.5 million in grants to five nonprofit-led projects designed to help low-income, underserved consumers better manage their finances. The grantees and their projects are:
* Filene Research Institute, which will test Lift, a Filene i3 idea to determine if rewarding consistent timely loan payments with interest rate reductions will leader to better payment behavior; * Grow Brooklyn/Brooklyn Cooperative FCU and online personal financial management software firm Piggymojo, which will use goal visualization, social dynamics and mobile technology to help low-income savers turn impulse buys into impulse saves; * Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley, which will test whether social commitments and text alerts can help consumers reduce debt; * Co-opportunity Inc., which will leverage technology via a new online platform to enhance the effectiveness and scale of its volunteer budget coaching program; and * Mission Asset Fund, which will franchise its Cestas Populares program, a peer loan coupled with product-specific peer-led education, to help immigrants build credit and manage credit wisely;
Filene’s Lift is a loan feature that provides incentives for healthy financial habits, according to the Filene. As users make timely payments on their loans, they are rewarded with a lower interest rate. The pioneering concept allows users to pay off their loans faster and reduce the amount of interest paid. It also helps them establish healthy financial behaviors and lower their interest rates. CFSI selected the five projects from among 246 applicants totaling more than $67 million in requests. Organizations from 44 states responded to the request for proposals CFSI released in September. CFSI said it will release a white paper soon and host a webinar about the innovation trends presented in the proposals. Researchers will evaluate each of these programs to measure their impact. In addition to the financial award, grantees will receive strategic guidance, technical assistance, visibility and a network of resources within the financial services industry.
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