In February Bank On Hampton Roads held its third regional graduation at Tidewater Community College. Bank On Hampton Roads is a collaboration between Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach to provide free financial education and coaching to residents over a 10-month period. This graduation concluded Bank On Norfolk’s second year in the collaboration. Since joining in 2016, Norfolk has helped numerous residents transform their lives by improving their financial security.
The Bank On program encourages and equips participants with knowledge, encouragement and accountability that assists them in reducing debt, increasing savings and protecting their financial assets. Each month, participants attend class, meet one-on-one with a coach and complete homework. The program covers all aspects of a financial journey - from managing crisis where there may not be enough money to pay monthly expenses on time and in full, learning how to create and stick to a budget, and protecting assets with important financial documents like a will and an advanced directive. Norfolk’s classes took place at Queen Street Baptist Church and Norview Community Center this semester.
Councilwoman Angelia Williams-Graves provided remarks and congratulated Bank On Norfolk’s 8 graduates for completing the City’s Financial Fitness Challenge. Accompanied by their friends and family, graduates celebrated the great impro
vements they made in just ten months:
- Reduced total debt by $100,000
- Reduced credit card debt by $18,000
- Reduced student loan debt by $44,000
- Increased savings by nearly $10,000
- Increased average credit score by 21 points
In addition to these hard-earned accomplishments, this graduating class was unique in that a mother-daughter trio completed the program together - one daughter was the instructor of the Norview Community Center class, while her sister and mother completed the financial challenge together. Bank On is open to everyone, and completing the challenge together with family or friends can provide participants a source of motivation and accountability.
Bank On Norfolk is launching two new classes in April to be held at Faith World Ministries and Mary D. Pretlow Library. To register for a class or for more information, visit www.bankonhr.org