CWC provides low-wage clients trauma-informed financial education (TIFE), including empowerment workshops and one-on-one advanced financial sessions at no charge. Our curriculum is designed to empower and foster trust. TIFE is a new best practice based on clinical brain research of the working poor surrounding the Psychology of Scarcity. The curriculum incorporates a deep understanding by financial instructors and volunteers of the physical, psychological, and emotional trauma experienced by this population. Based on such trauma informed research, our financial counselors and volunteers utilize motivational interviewing and other evidence based guiding communication techniques designed to create an environment of safety and trust, affirmation and cultural relevance in order to elicit and strengthen a client's motivation for change. CWC's TIFE curriculum wraps around access to the CWC Opportunity Loan empowering financially educated clients to solve for emergency shortfalls in a new healthy way resulting in long-lasting change.
Upon completion of our financial literacy education, select clients can apply for a unique CWC Opportunity Loan of up to $750 with direct paycheck drafts and a six- or twelve-month term at 3.15% APR. This CWC Opportunity Loan is substantally below market rate due to a donor-funded collateral pool established at our lending partner credit union. Proceeds from this loan can be used for financial emergencies, to pay off predatory loans, or to address priority items (e.g. evictions) that substantially affect clients' credit scores. The successful repayment of this loan can address emergency needs, and also materially increase a client's credit score.