February 2016

CUL Launches 700 Credit Score Initiative

New financial education classes empower community to “Earn It. Keep It. Grow It.”

“It’s your score. Own it.” That’s the message behind the Columbus Urban League’s new financial empowerment initiative, 700 Credit Score. Among other things, 700 Credit Score includes a set of courses, launching in March, designed to empower participants with financial education, raise their credit score and increase their purchasing power.

Over just four weeks, the courses teach borrowers in all segments of the community to manage debt, build savings, navigate banking services and improve their credit scores. Participants use their own real-life financial information during the class and get one-on-one time with a certified financial coach.

The 700 Credit Score initiative is being launched in conjunction with Operation HOPE, the country’s first non-profit social investment banking organization. 700 Credit Score combines the various financial empowerment services already offered by city banks and financial institutions with a community-wide integrated strategy to extending reach and strengthen impact. The goal is to raise the profile of Columbus by raising the credit scores of its most vulnerable citizens.

“We know how a person’s credit score affects their ability to secure essentials like employment, safe housing and affordable insurance,” Columbus Urban League CEO Stephanie Hightower said. “A 700 Credit Score Community means we have secured greater and more widespread financial stability and created new, potential-packed emerging markets. This can be Columbus.”

The classes, just one piece of the new initiative, will be will be affordable for all, with some services free to TANF-eligible families, thanks to the support of Franklin County Jobs and Family Services. Other key sponsors include Chase, Bank of America and the Financial Power Network.

Workshops are held from 6-8 p.m. at the Columbus Urban League. Classes begin on March 2, with additional classes in April, June and August. For more information or to register, visit