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Financial Education

Common Wealth Athens provides client centered financial education to empower clients through classroom and one-on-one settings to make informed financial decisions. CWA's curriculum recognizes both the physical, psychological and emotional stress brought on by poverty and a lifetime of scarcity, but also the healing than can occur when stress is replaced by positive, uplifting experiences.We offer help in all financial subjects including basic/advanced budgeting, credit counseling and rebuilding, insurance needs, savings, and more.

Expanding Access to Banking

Common Wealth Athens provides clients access to second-chance, full-service checking accounts and other attractive asset-building programs through partnership with Georgia United Credit Union.

Providing Loans

CWA Opportunity Loans offer second-chance access to credit for clients with credit scores under 500. Interest is pre-paid at a rate significantly below market, and made available through a  100% donor-provided fund. This helps  a client refinance predatory loans, provide rental deposits for housing and manage other financial emergencies while improving his or her credit score throughout repayment.

Common Wealth Athens (CWA), an innovative program model started in April 2016, provides financial empowerment to low-wage workers in Athens Clarke-County and surrounding counties through financial education coupled with the banking of clients to provide them with access to specially designed financial products. 

CWA expands economic opportunity for the very low-income and fragile workers in our community by addressing some of the contributing factors that perpetuate poverty and lack of upward mobility. Our client-centered financial education curriculum results in long-lasting change and creates financially educated low-wage workers.

Interested in the loan program?

Get information on pre-qualifying here.

Financial Education
  • We offer help in all financial subjects including basic/advanced budgeting, credit counseling and rebuilding, insurance needs, savings, and more!

  • To be eligible for an Ark loan, you must complete both an advanced budgeting session and a credit counseling session.

  • Our financial education is client-centered and solutions focused. You are entering a judgement-free zone. Our hope is that you leave uplifted, inspired, and equipped for your financial future!

Credit Rebuilding
  • Your credit impacts almost everything you do these days; from buying a car, paying auto insurance, utility deposit charges, cell phone rates, and even landing a job!

  • Our loan program is designed to give your credit score the boost it needs to grant you access to further banking products as well as reduced rates and premiums on existing bills.

  • On average, upon completion of The Ark loan program (1-3 loans), clients experience a credit score increase of 41 points.

Client Success

Some successes our clients experience over the course of 1-3 Ark loans:

  • An average credit score increases by 41 points

  • Ability to refinance high interest loans with Georgia United Credit Union

  • Ability to refinance a car loan at a great low rate through the Georgia United Credit Union

  • Access to banking products that were once limited by credit score and history

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Financial Supporters

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