Since 2009, the NOVA Coalition has launched a financial education initiative to connect low-income members of the community to available services, including: one-on-one personal finance counseling, budget workshops, free credit reports and scores, credit repair strategies, and opportunities to open a bank account and learn about the importance of saving. NVACASH also collaborates with Our Daily Bread, a local non-profit that offers financial education ranging from one-time crisis counseling to long-term intensive services.
NVACASH collaborates with local bank branches to offer checking accounts to un-banked VITA clients. These banks also offer credit score education. We have since provided over 450 additional free credit scores to clients attending financial education workshops and over 850 new accounts have been opened.
Throughout the tax season, representatives from TD Bank, M&T Bank or Wells Fargo may be found at each of the VITA sites, opening new bank accounts for clients, providing new account holders $50 to $100, and fueling up volunteers with lunch. Volunteers take their time and explain the returns and help clients understand their W-2 and paystubs.