Across a variety of demographic and socioeconomic factors, financial health is on the decline in the U.S.
The Financial Health Network defines financial health as a composite measurement of an individual’s spending, saving, borrowing, and planning habits. The 2022 U.S. Trends Report found that, for the first time in five years, the average financial health of an American went down. More than two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are financially unhealthy, and 40% of Americans would struggle with an unexpected expense of $400. I think most of us would agree that such an unexpected expense is not a matter of “if,” but “when.”
In addition, more than 25% of Americans are unbanked or underserved, which means they live partially or completely without access to mainstream financial services and often rely on costly alternatives to cover their everyday expenses. When individuals do not qualify for or have access to traditional lending options, it deepens their dependence on predatory lenders that offer short-term loans at exorbitant rates, which ultimately entraps them in a destructive lending cycle.
Two decades ago, Washington State Employees Credit Union caught on to this trend when they discovered that their members had borrowed more than $6 million in payday loans over the course of six months, amounting to more than $900,000 in fees over 12 months. Today, economic conditions continue to adversely affect consumers across the country, causing financial health to further decline. Among the things that consumers need most is a short-term loan without astronomical fees and interest rates; they need a solution with their best interest at heart.
Cue QCash. Since 2015, QCash Financial has delivered fast, safe, and equitable small-dollar loans to members facing financial hardships as a wholly-owned credit union service organization (CUSO) of Washington State Employees Credit Union. Whether it’s an unexpected medical expense, a high-cost car repair, a natural disaster, or holiday spending, QCash is designed to help credit unions fulfill each of these needs for their members.
QCash and Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union recently joined forces to strengthen the fight for financial inclusion. This battle begins with access. Underserved communities lack access to financial products and services that are appropriate, affordable, and timely — and your credit union can change that.
Together with QCash by Alloya, credit unions have the power to better serve the underserved. To make a difference in the lives of their members. To put an end to the predatory payday lending cycle. To improve their members’ financial well-being and provide hope when it’s needed most.
It’s time we do more, and we can do it together. Visit www.alloyacorp.org/QCash to learn more.
SETH BRICKMAN is the CEO of QCash Financial. He is an innovative leader with a successful track record of “customer obsession” and building software products consumers love to use. As the former Head of Product-Technical (software) for Amazon and a leader of high-performing technical teams at Microsoft and Carnival Corporation, he has seen many successes. As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, speaker, and MBA adjunct professor, Brickman gets to regularly interact with future leaders and grow his knowledge base.