Wednesday, August 3, 2016

2016 Survey Results – SpringFour Providing Essential Tools for Financial Health

Each year SpringFour surveys our users to better understand how they are interacting with our applications and how S4’s financial health resources are helping transform the daily financial lives of consumers.

We are happy to share those results with you today.

98% of users agreed that SpringFour allows them to provide tangible tools and resources to consumers who otherwise would not know where to turn.

We like that number and it keeps us motivated to insure that we continually seek out the best and most innovative resources available to help consumers. We strive to be that go-to-resource for anything and all things that can make a difference in a consumer’s financial health.  For us at SpringFour, this isn’t just a part of what we do, it’s ALL that we do. Everything we do at SpringFour is super focused on making certain that consumers have the local tools and resources they need to see a change in their financial outlook.

We also know that by providing call center agents and front line staff who interact with consumers a way to address and empathize with the challenges facing them we can help shorten call times, empower employees and make their jobs easier. 

As one counselor stated, SpringFour provides quick, efficient information at your fingertips, it is accessible, easy to read and to communicate to clients,” making my job easier.

SpringFour’s resources allow for consumers to act on direct recommendations and make a tangible impact on their household budget. Almost half of users report that more than 50% of their consumers who received SpringFour referrals were able to improve their payment performance on major debts. This is a big win when you consider that 77% of users also reported that at least half of their clients pay one bill late every month.

For consumers struggling with financial challenges, having someone point them in the direction of a concrete way to save money can make all the difference.  Often these consumers are unaware of money saving resources and believe that their only option is a short-term payday loan, which will only make their situation worse.

S4 referrals on the other hand point consumers towards the real, quality solutions that have an impact.  97% of respondents to our survey agreed that SpringFour provides trusted referrals to local solutions for financial health.

We are proud to share that users believe, Its great to have a service like this that provides non-biased referrals to non-profit and government services because we never have to question the authenticity of the information we're passing on to our clients in need.”

Through this survey, we also got a better picture of just how important tools to improve financial health are, and the difficulties consumers who access S4 referrals are facing. In addition, many are struggling with high cost financial products such as payday loans, check cashing services, and high interest credit cards.  Almost 70% of respondents reported that half of their clients are accessing these products.

Faced with bills they can’t pay, and irresponsible financial products that ultimately make them worse off, consumers need and deserve trusted referrals to nonprofit and government resources more than ever.  SpringFour continues to provide these referrals, and our clients see the results of consumers getting on the path to financial health.

Thanks to all of the SpringFour users who took the time to give us feedback and information. We continue to be amazed by the hard work our subscribers are doing, and are proud to partner with organizations committed to improving the financial lives of consumers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Why Financial Health Matters

Earlier this month, I attended CFSI’s Emerge Conference and as part of that event, participated in the FinX experience. A great event that brings together people who work in the financial services field and takes what is all too often an abstract topic and makes it real. CFSI provides participants with the very real and unfortunately difficult task of accessing financial services without a bank account.

Charged with cashing a payroll check, a personal check, sending and receiving money and purchasing a prepaid card, our team found that not only is is difficult to access such services, it’s time consuming and existing outlets cannot be relied upon to offer the services that they purport to offer. To complete these tasks, we visited a major bank branch, a gas station, 3 convenience stores, a payday lender, and a title loan company.

Simply put, it’s hard, frustrating and expensive. Imagine if in order to complete these simple and routine financial tasks, you had to spend two plus hours navigating six or seven different outlets and at the end were still left without the money wired to you because the terminal was down and were unable to purchase a prepaid card because none of the outlets offered any for purchase. And in the midst of this, you had a job to get to, bills that needed to be paid, children to drop off at day care or school or be on time for a doctor’s appointment. Would you be able to allocate that much time in your day to access your money and pay bills? How would the need to do this affect your overall day?

Why does this matter?

It matters because the people who most need access to affordable and accessible financial products and services are not getting them. If we are honest with ourselves, then we need to face the fact that even with the advent of innovative FinTech products and services, we are not meeting the needs of consumers with limited financial resources and have a long way to go. We can do better.

It matters because 57 percent of American’s are struggling financially[1] and and 43 percent of Americans describe themselves as having a hard time paying bills and credit payments. When living pay check to paycheck (and over half of Americans do), simple unexpected costs or mishaps create significant roadblocks to financial health.

And yes, there are some great, affordable financial products and services out there but the reality remains—those products and services are still not reaching those that need it most.

Participating in the FinX experience should be mandatory for all of us working in this field. It brings clarity and empathy to the experience of the unbanked. And it provides a whole lot of motivation to get to work and make things better.  And that’s what we are doing at SpringFour.

[1] 57% of Americans—approximately 138 million adults— are struggling financially. (Source: CFSI's Consumer Financial Health Study.) - See more at:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

SpringFour Wins 2015 Empowerment Award-SpringFour CEO Rochelle Nawrocki-Gorey Shares her Award Remarks

SpringFour is proud to be the recipient of the 2015 Empowerment Award last month.   President, CEO, and co-founder Rochelle Nawrocki-Gorey accepted the award, delivered a word of thanks and shared a vision about what is next for SpringFour. 

Click here to read more about the 2015 Empowerment Award. 

Click here to read more about the Award and its sponsor, Promontory. 

From Rochelle Nawrocki-Gorey: 

Thank you. We are extremely honored to be here tonight and grateful to be receiving the 2nd Annual Empowerment Award. 

We are especially honored to be receiving the Award from the Promontory Group-a group that is committed to financial innovation and the promotion of responsible lending products.  Thank you Gene and the Promontory team for making this central to the work that you do here. 

When we started SpringFour back in 2005 we knew it was important to connect homeowners to local services when they were behind on their mortgage.  Our research also told us that banks and loan servicers were looking for ways to connect their borrowers to local help. 

We understood that when a person could not pay their mortgage, there was a reason. Something was happening in their financial life that made paying that bill impossible. We also knew that for many of those situations, solutions existed. 

Non-profits and government agencies exist to help with utility bills, legal assistance, childcare, food expenses and more. But those in trouble didn’t know about them. 

And loan servicers operating national call centers could not be the experts in each community where they serviced loans.

We set about to change that and we built SpringFour. 

Today, with our partners, we make over 1.5 million referrals each year.   We have over 9,000 resources in 175 cities around the country.   We offer help in 26 different service categories.

Just today, at 5 pm. we had made over 3,600 referrals for consumers in need. This month we are on track to make over 100,000 referrals. 

But we want to do more.

First, Let me share with you the power behind a referral and how a simple technology solution is creating significant financial savings for American families.  

Making these referrals means that a veteran waiting on disability benefits will continue to have a home AND be able to buy groceries to feed his family. Because prior to a referral from SpringFour, this family did not know how they were going to be able to pay for both. 

It means that an elderly woman with limited income who was spending $500 on prescription costs now pays only $200 a month. That’s a $300 per month savings. 

And as we expand into connecting consumers with innovative and responsible financial products, it means that a family no longer is using high priced check cashing services to access their own money. They have connected with a more appropriate financial product and are saving almost $100 per month. 

On average, consumers save $250 per month with SpringFour referrals.

The amount of savings that we are helping people obtain is significant. More than 50 percent of Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency expense and 40 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. 

With SpringFour referrals, we are transforming consumers’ financial outlook. Money saved can be allocated toward retirement, college savings or paying down student loan debt.  Or it can be used to meet mortgage payments that before were unaffordable.

We are excited to announce that because of this Award, we will be able to build out LifeKit and expand into new markets like student loan servicing and consumer banking. LifeKit is a new mobile app that will allow us to extend our relationship with any consumer no matter where they are at financially. 

LifeKit will provide consumers with connections to innovative and appropriate financial products, tools and services. Through this mobile technology, we look forward to reaching many more consumers.

I also want to extend my thanks and appreciation to a few amazing people that without their support, dedication and hard work, SpringFour would not have received this Award. 

I’d like to thank Larry Gorey, my husband for giving me the encouragement and support to turn an idea into a company. 

I’d like to thank Dean Caldwell Tautges who started as a SpringFour’s 1st customer when he was Director of Counseling at the Homeownership Preservation Foundation and has since become a valuable partner and co-worker at SpringFour. Dean keeps everything moving and turns ideas into reality.

Thank you to Jon Roketenetz, who has been with us since day one, he’s the mastermind behind the technology that is at the core of everything we do. 

I’d also like to thank you subscribers, banks both large and small, loan servicers, non profit housing counseling agencies, veterans organizations and employee assistance programs. These forward thinking companies have committed to helping their customers not only because it’s the right thing to do but they know it’s also good for business.

Our work is far from over but with this Award, we are looking forward to working with you to help even more consumers become financially healthy because it’s in all of our best interest to do so. 

Thank you.