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Operation HOPE unveils its Community Credit Score Index

It is the first tool of its kind to map financial well-being in the U.S.

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The nation's largest nonprofit organization, dedicated to the financial empowerment of diverse communities, recently announced the launch of this new neighborhood-by-neighborhood measure of average credit scores.

Featured on CNBC's Squawk Box by John Hope Bryant, President, Founder and CEO of Operation HOPE, the Community Credit Score Index seeks to identify neighborhoods most in need by overlaying residents' credit scores with other critical data on education, homeownership, income, life expectancy, and crime.

Through this data, communities will be able to access information about policy programming and service offerings, providing families with a better understanding of their financial health.

Bryant stated:

Our nation’s problems are largely economic and how we measure them is critical. The HOPE Community Credit Score Index provides the most granular measurement of a community’s financial wellbeing available anywhere.

About Operation HOPE

In partnership with some of the largest financial institutions, Operation HOPE, through its 200 HOPE Inside locations across the country, provides credit counseling and financial education that raise credit scores, positively affecting residents' ability to ask for borrowed money.

In 2021, Operation HOPE raised participants' credit scores by an average of more than 40 points, bringing its customers closer to the goal of a 700 credit score, which transforms people's ability to fully participate in the free system business.

Here are some of the steps the initiative has taken to improve the overall financial stability of the community:

  • Helped clients reduce debt by an average of $2,600 per client.
  • Increased savings by an average of $300 per client in one year.
  • $278 million was obtained in financed mortgages.

“The HOPE Community Credit Score Index shows in plain sight how the economic disparity between a 500-average credit score neighborhood and a nearby 750-average credit score neighborhood impacts a community. Improving credit scores is a tangible, measurable first step in bridging the gap of who gets access to capital and financial security. Among all the low credit score communities across the country that our 200 HOPE Inside locations serve – whether they are urban or rural, black or white – we see the same thing: check cashers, liquor stores and payday lenders on every corner. Our mission at Operation HOPE is to replace them with quality retail, banks and locally-owned small businesses that contribute to the wellbeing of the community. The HOPE Community Credit Score Index gives us a tool to help affect that change,” added Bryant.

The HOPE Community Credit Score Index uses credit score data from the Financial Fitness Index Dashboard and Mapping Tool, which was created in partnership with Experian and Operation HOPE in 2021.

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