PRESS RELEASES

Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Centers Help Over 1,000 People Save Money and Reduce Debt

PITTSBURGH, PA (July 16, 2021) Mayor William Peduto’s Office of Equity announced today that the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) has provided direct personal financial management support to over 1,000 people since the City of Pittsburgh and Neighborhood Allies launched the program in partnership with Advantage Credit Counseling Services, Inc. in March 2019. 

The Pittsburgh FEC provides any Pittsburgher over the age of 18 with free one-on-one professional financial counseling to help them tackle financial challenges, reduce debt, increase savings, navigate complex systems and make concrete plans to achieve long term goals. Over 1,000 people have met with the FEC’s accredited financial counselors – remotely during the pandemic – who help them define and reach their own, personalized financial goals.  

"As part of our ongoing focus on creating equity and opportunity for all Pittsburghers, especially those that have and continue to face real barriers to participating in our financial system and economy, we are proud to see that over 1,000 Pittsburghers have taken advantage of our FEC and our professional counselors there to tackle debt, increase savings, plan for the future and get access to safe, non-predatory banking products," said Office of Equity Financial Opportunity Manager Henry Horn Pyatt.  

"I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for help with, but I knew I needed help as soon as possible,” said one current FEC participant. “I have so many goals - I want to own a home, maybe start a business - and I need better credit and savings to help me get there. I'm pumped to be working with my financial counselor! I needed this kind of support and I'm feeling motivated for the future." 

FECs have contributed to:  

  • Total Debt Reduction (all clients): -$1,644,827   
  • Total Savings Increase (all clients): $1,310,693   
  • Average Debt Reduction per client: 304 clients reduced debt by an average of $5,411   
  • Average savings increase per client: 299 clients increased saving by an average of almost $4,384  

Of the 1,000+ clients served:  

  • 48% are Black/African-American, 36% White, 8% Other or Multiple races, 5% not reported, 3% prefer not to answer 
  • 81% of client households are below AMI   
  • 58% of client households have an income of less than $35k/year 

"We were able to reach this incredible milestone because of the leadership of Advantage Credit Counseling, the expertise of the professional counselors, and the efforts of our partners, who have spread the word about how financial counseling can improve economic security in tangible ways," said Sarah Dieleman Perry, Director of Economic Opportunity at Neighborhood Allies.   

“Advantage celebrates the Financial Empowerment Center’s 1000th client and all the other FEC clients who have taken the first steps towards achieving their financial goals,” said  Mary Loftus, Co-President/Co-CEO of Advantage Credit Counseling Service, Inc. “The agency is proud of the work of the FEC staff in helping these members of our community on their road to financial stability.” 

Pittsburgh FEC is a free public service provided in partnership between the City of Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office of Equity, Neighborhood Allies, Advantage Credit Counseling Service and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.  

To register for counseling, visit the website or follow Pittsburgh FEC on Facebook.  For more information, contact henry.horn-pyatt@pittsburghpa.gov or call 412-255-2626. 

Published

07.16.2021

Contacts

Molly Onufer
Communications Director
Mayor's Office
412-579-8534
molly.onufer@pittsburghpa.gov