Isles Financial Solutions (IFS) is an employer-based financial capability initiative for low-wage and under-served consumers. IFS is designed to create positive, long-term behavior change in our participants' financial knowledge and decision-making.
We empower IFS customers to improve their financial capacity through an innovative mix of financial coaching, credit-building finance, savings products and group-based learning. IFS uses an integrated blend of proven behavior change methods and small dollar finance for improving financial capability. This blend provides rapid, substantial and lasting improvements in credit scores, savings accumulation, and overall debt.
Isles is currently working with lower wage workers at Princeton University and with several non-profit agencies and organizations in Trenton. So far, IFS has worked with more than 150 individuals. Our long term members have saved over $65,000 in excess interest and fees. In addition, 50% of our members have improved their credit scores by at least 100 points, and 50% have accumulated a minimum of $500 in savings.
IFS offers a truly innovative approach to addressing key challenges of unproductive consumer financial behavior.
IFS creates positive behaviors that improves money decision-making and management skills, savings accumulation, and consumer debt reduction. However, because IFS is employer-based, the impacts of improved financial capability extend to employers as well.
One in four workers experience financial stress. Of those employees experiencing financial stress, 80% report that they are unable to carry out their normal responsibilities, cut down their workload, and are less productive. Estimates for the annual per-employee cost of financial stress and productivity loss range from $450 to $7,000! Personal financial distress negatively affects employers. Since employers bear a heavy financial burden of the poor financial behavior of their employees, they also share in the financial gains of workers’ improved financial capacity. This win-win model, provides a new framework for future financial capacity building initiatives.
Our approach is shaped by research and testing of the most effective tools in generating positive change in financial behaviors.