Why SF pays for residents to get free financial coaching


Would you tell a stranger about your debt? Producer Cintia Lopez makes to test the city’s Smart Money Coaching

Photo from the Fix Our City podcast

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When a homeless family nearly lost the chance to move into affordable housing due to their low credit score, the city’s Office of Financial Empowerment stepped in and provided them with a free financial coach. It worked, and this success prompted the office to create what is now known as the Smart Money Coaching program.

The program has been around for six years and pairs any San Francisco resident, worker, or person receiving services with a free financial coach, who can help you reduce debt, boost your credit score, and even open your first bank account. Overall, it has helped over 3,700 people.

In this episode of Fixing Our City, producer Cintia Lopez gets first-hand insight into the program by having a financial coach examine her own finances and help her settle her debt.


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