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Free Financial Navigator Service

financial navigator
financial navigator

Mayor Harry Kim ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF County of Hawaii’s FREE FINANCIAL NAVIGATOR SERVICE TO HELP RESIDENTS TACKLE COVID-19 FINANCIAL CHALLENGES 

In partnership with national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), the County of Hawaii announced today the launch of a free Financial Navigators program to help residents navigate critical financial issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Navigators will be available remotely starting July 13, 2020 to provide guidance over the phone to help residents access available programs and services to manage income disruptions and other financial concerns. Financial Navigators help residents one-on-one to triage personal financial issues, identify immediate action steps to manage expenses and maximize income, and make referrals to other services. The County of Hawaii will offer these Financial Navigator services in partnership with Hawaii First Federal Credit Union and its non-profit arm.

  • The County of Hawaii was selected by the national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) to launch a new public Financial Navigators program.
    • Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Citi Foundation, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase support the CFE Fund’s Financial Navigators effort.
  • The Financial Navigators program is designed to help residents deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing remote assistance in navigating critical financial issues and making referrals to other social services and resources.
  • The County of Hawaii is working with local community organization(s) to provide this free public service for all County of Hawaii
  • Trained Financial Navigators will provide structured guidance over the phone that will help people prioritize strategize around supports for disruptions to their income and other financial concerns.
  • Please note – Financial Navigators are not long term counselors, nor can they provide financial assistance. They will help residents triage financial issues, identify immediate action steps, and make referrals to other services.
  • Helping residents navigate the financial impact of COVID-19 through the Financial Navigators initiative is a critical part of the County of Hawaii front line emergency response efforts.
  • The CFE Fund’s mission is to improve the financial stability of households with low and moderate incomes by embedding financial empowerment strategies into local government infrastructure. The CFE Fund is a national nonprofit organization that supports over 80 cities and counties across the country.
  • People can request a financial navigation appointment directly or through other community organization referrals.
  • To do so call 808-933-6600 or visit here to sign up for services.

Financial Navigation services will be delivered over the phone; session length will depend on what the client wants to focus on, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. During the session, Navigators will help clients address their financial concerns. Tactics may include:

Managing expenses:

  • Prioritizing payments and when to make them, including:
    • Guiding negotiations with creditors, including credit card companies, student loan servicers, and personal and business lenders to pause payments without accruing interest;
    • Determining if utilities payments can be paused without disruption of service; and
    • Considering options to leverage unemployment insurance and/or short term disability.
    • (additional local priorities/resources)

Maximizing income:

  • Ensuring receipt of potential future federal payments such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act;
  • Providing guidance on enrollment of unemployment insurance, food security benefits, and other available resources; and
  • Connecting to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites to file taxes and receive tax refunds.
  • (additional local priorities/resources)

During the session, the Navigator and client will identify next steps to resolve the client’s financial issues; clients will receive a document via email outlining those next steps. If a resident has additional questions, they may call the program again; they may be served by a different Navigator.

Navigators are not financial counselors: they do not have ongoing relationships with clients or help them work through long-term action plans. Navigators also will not provide cash assistance to residents.

  • The CFE Fund’s mission is to improve the financial stability of households with low and moderate incomes by embedding financial empowerment strategies into local government infrastructure. The CFE Fund is a national nonprofit organization that supports over 80 cities and counties across the country.
  • In addition to the Financial Navigators initiative, the CFE Fund also helps mayoral administrations in cities across the country with other programs, including: kickstarting municipal financial empowerment efforts through its structured CityStart engagement process; supporting cities in launching Financial Empowerment Centers which offer one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service; expanding the availability of safe, affordable bank and credit union accounts through Bank On; and working with local governments to build out and implement local consumer financial protection offices.

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