Bad for your health, bad for your pockets, the colossal problem of lack of affordable healthcare

Getting access to affordable healthcare is an issue for many Americans. As of 2019 Hispanics (19%) and Blacks (11%) had significantly higher uninsured rates than Whites (8%). Racial disparities persist even in healthcare. Not only does the lack of health insurance prevent people from getting the medical services they need, it also can lead to major financial strain and contributes to keeping large segments of the population in poverty. 

 

The disparities in access to healthcare and treatment have been seen with the events surrounding the current pandemic, with disproportionate numbers of African Americans being affected by COVID-19. Black Americans are experiencing the highest COVID-19 mortality rates — about 2.3 times as high as the rate for Whites and Asians. These figures parallel the disparities of uninsured individuals among Blacks (11%), Whites (8%) and Asians (7%). The challenges faced by the collective have hit those who have been disproportionately impacted by an inequitable system the hardest. 

 

The cost of healthcare – a necessary expense – presents a huge financial burden for many Americans. Even with health insurance coverage, high costs often prevent many from getting the care they need because they simply cannot afford it. A 2019 report showed that approximately 137.1 million Americans faced financial hardship that year because of medical costs. As a result many Americans allow conditions to go untreated or fall into debt because of treatment, worsening the challenge of maintaining financial well being.    

 

True access to affordable healthcare – and eventually universal healthcare – would result in more preventative medicine, adequate treatment, and ultimately, healthier people and less medical costs. This would help to bridge the gap, not only in healthcare, but also in economic and social justice.

 

“Access to health services ensures healthier people; while financial risk protection prevents people from being pushed into poverty. Therefore, universal health coverage is a critical component of sustainable development and poverty reduction, and a key element to reducing social inequities.” –World Health Organization

 

There are many moving parts in the agenda to design and implement an integrative financial ecosystem that will empower black households and businesses in America. You can't undertake economic justice without addressing critical components such as affordable healthcare and other basic needs.

 

Login to the MoCaFi app to access the affordable healthcare enrollment tool from Stride Health. Right from the MoCaFi app, you can find the best insurance plans at affordable rates from Stride. You’ll be able to compare thousands of plans and find ways to lower your health insurance payments.

 


Family sitting on couch together

Racial gap in home mortgage lending, here’s what you need to know

Racial gap in home mortgage lending, here’s what you need to know

JULY 22, 2020 | IN LIVING WEALTHY | BY RASHEEDAH BILLUPS

Have you ever walked into a room and within minutes find yourself wishing you hadn’t brought a knife to a gunfight or pen to a test. Trying to secure a mortgage can have that effect on you if you don’t take the time to understand the path ahead (and behind). There are racial disparities in mortgage lending. The fact that fewer than half of Black families own their home compared to nearly three-fourths of White families isn’t because black people don’t want to buy homes. 

What challenges exist for potential black homebuyers?

Racial inequities have existed in home buying since the beginning. Redlining was made legal by the National Housing Act of 1934, which established the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Investopedia defines redlining as an unethical practice that puts services (financial and otherwise) out of reach for residents of certain areas based on race or ethnicity. It can be seen in the systematic denial of mortgages, insurance, loans, and other financial services based on location rather than an individual’s qualifications and creditworthiness. Notably, the policy of redlining is felt the most by residents of minority neighborhoods.

 

Although the 1968 Fair Housing Act prohibited this practice, discrimination still persists. Since the 1968 Act, the gap between Black and White homeowners continues to widen. 

To this day Black people shopping for a mortgage receive higher interest rates, experience more denials, and are shown less options when shopping for a home – perpetuating segregation of neighborhoods

How do these barriers affect black homebuyers? 

According to a 2019 article in the Washington Post, “In 2017, 19.3 percent of black applicants were denied a conventional home loan, compared with 7.9 percent for whites, according to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The refinancing market saw similar differentials with blacks rejected on 39 percent of their applications and whites on 22.9 percent.” 

 

Being met with these challenges not only widens the racial gap in homeownership but also the wealth gap. According to a 2020 report by the Joint Economic Committee, “The median wealth of Black families ($17,000)—is less than one-tenth that of White families ($171,000).” Homeownership is not the only way to build wealth but it can help and the challenges Black Americans face in home buying is a contributor to widening the gap. 

Photo of a four bedroom home

What can I do to be prepared for the home buying process? 

Black homebuyers shouldn’t allow this to deter or discourage them from buying a home. Knowing the state of things is the first step to navigating the process and having success. Here are a few more steps you can take to prepare for what you’ll encounter.

 

Do your research. Take time to understand mortgages, the home buying process, and what your needs and desires are.

 

Know the state of your finances. Be clear about what you can afford, your credit score, and what’s in your credit profile.

 

Build a habit of budgeting and saving. Whether buying a home or not, budgeting is essential for healthy finances. But as you approach home buying, you’ll want to take your budget seriously and save to have money on hand for a down payment and other potential costs.

 

Get help from professionals. There’s a lot to know about the home buying process and digesting so much information can be overwhelming, so seek counsel from professionals. Navicore Solutions, a MoCaFi partner, offers pre-purchase counseling. 

 

Use the MoCaFi app to build your Mobility Score and gain access to services offered by Navicore. Download the MoCaFi app and enroll in a MoCaFi Mobility Bank Account to get started.


5 Takeaways From 'Credit Is King'

If you’re working to create economic mobility in your life, building your credit is a necessary component. You can’t create a better financial situation without understanding credit, how it works, and why you need it.

 

There are a lot of misconceptions about credit and they can be extremely damaging to your credit score and your ability to grow financially. However, the great news is, there are resources to help pull you up out of whatever unfavorable situation you find yourself in.

 

Credit is King, Transforming Your Credit to Royalty, by Will Roundtree is a great resource for understanding credit and what steps you can take to improve yours and to set you up for major wins. Roundtree explains everything you need to know about credit, debunks myths you’ve been told, and gives clear steps on how to communicate with creditors and collectors, how to establish business credit, and more. Here are five of our takeaways from this must-read.

 

Credit is unique because everyone uses it and everyone needs it

There are a lot of people who think their only connection to credit is a credit card and as long as they aren’t swiping, all is good. Not true! This book explains just how much credit really matters. At some point you’ll need credit to buy something, secure a loan, or get a job. Everyone needs it. Your credit score will determine how much you will pay for goods and services throughout your life. 

 

Get informed or get a credit advisor

There’s quite a bit to know but it’s not impossible knowledge to come by. We have access to all of the information we need but we need to know what questions to ask and where to go to find the answers. Figuring it all out on our own isn’t the only option. You can also hire a credit advisor to guide you through nearly anything concerning your credit and how to make the right decisions to put you in a more desirable position.

 

Consequences

For the most part, our credit is the outcome of a set of choices we previously made. Building seemingly unconnected skills such as discipline can have a big impact on the credit score we have. Understanding that the credit-related decisions we make have real consequences can help keep us on the right track of making decisions that will help our credit rather than hurt it.

 

Build your business credit too

If you’re an entrepreneur, you can and should build your business credit too! This book is a reminder that there are key pieces of information that large segments of the population oftentimes don’t know. Having access to certain knowledge can be the determining factor in whether you sink or swim. Not only did Credit is King teach us to establish business credit, but also to ask, ‘what other new knowledge can I acquire’

 

Be diligent, it takes time

Overall, building your credit can take quite a bit of time depending on what shape yours is currently in, but stick with it because the fact remains, the decisions you make today will determine the score you have tomorrow. Understanding what credit is, knowing your rights, and having clear goals will inevitably help you get your credit score to where you want it to be, in time.

 

MoCaFi has partnered with Will Roundtree to bring MoCaFi users credit counseling services. Use the MoCaFi app to build your Mobility Score and gain access to a credit counseling session at a promotional rate. Download the MoCaFi app and enroll in a MoCaFi Mobility Bank Account to get started. 

 

 

Mobility Score is not a Sunrise Banks N.A. product, nor does Sunrise Banks N.A. endorse this feature


5 Apps Financially Savvy People Are Using

5 Apps Financially Savvy People Are Using

So you’re trying to be financially savvy? Great aspiration! Being financially savvy has great implications for your future and the future of your loved ones. Maintaining your economic mobility and being savvy means you need tools, resources, a network and possibly even a mentor. This post is all about the tools. The great thing about smartphones is that we have access to so many tools, right at our fingertips. Here are five apps that financially savvy people should have.

MoCaFi

Navigating your financial journey can be tricky and cumbersome. But with an app designed to help you spend smart, build credit, and do you, it makes a lot more seem possible, like spending within your budget, buying your first home, improving your credit score, or starting a business. App features like rent reporting, Mobility Score, and the VantageScore Tracker, in addition to the MoCaFi Mobility Bank Account equips you with everything you need to make informed financial decisions and keep you moving closer towards your goals.

Acorns

Investing can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to know! Acorns helps. With this app you can invest with change, making the task of building your portfolio seem less daunting. The Acorns app helps you identify what type of portfolio – ranging from conservative to aggressive – works best for you. Also at your disposal, is access to financial literacy content.

Honeyfi

Honeyfi makes it possible for you and your partner to manage your money together. Features like automated savings, budget suggestions, and bill reminders make it easier for you both to stay on top of your finances.

Mint

With Mint, you can keep an eye on things. An important part of creating and sticking to a budget is monitoring your spending. This app allows you to see how you spend and where you stand in relation to your budget. No more creating budgets with Google Sheets each month, you can create budgets and goals right in the Mint app.

Pocketguard

Pocketguard allows you to track your spending, bills, and balances on all of your linked accounts. The app also helps you save money by cancelling subscriptions you no longer want.

Apps like these save you a lot of time on managing your money and achieving your financial goals. If finances are on your list of priorities, take advantage of these apps; it’ll make a difference, by helping you stay organized and informed. All the financially savvy people are using them. 😉


Wole Coaxum

NY Times Feature

The June 30, 2020 NY Times featured Wole Coaxum, MoCaFi Founder and CEO, in a discussion about how entrepreneurs of color are working on new business models to address income inequality and a resulting lack of access to the financial system for communities of color. Read the full article here

 

Wole Coaxum


Weekend Agenda 015

The Weekend Agenda - 015


So you want to Spend Smart, Build Credit, and Do You? We’ve got you covered. You follow us on social and everyday you digest spending tips, financial insight, and credit advice. Over the weekend, take a little time and get into what we’ve lined up for you. From the screens of the MoCaFi team, we’ll be sharing content from across the web that matters. Because to start a business, level up, build generational wealth, or to just be ten toes down,
you’ll need to know what’s happening around you.
Enjoy and stay up!
- 6/26/20 -


PLAY THIS: 015 - Focus


Ever so often we need to bring our attention back to center and get grounded. Luckily, music has never failed us, bringing us ways to connect, from our lowest lows, to our highest highs. Let this smooth playlist guide you right back to center.

SpotifyApple Music

READ THIS: Why Meditation Might Be Good For Your Finances


Oftentimes things that are seemingly unconnected share a link beneath the surface, like your thoughts – and awareness – and finances. Will meditation alone make you a financial beast and move you right into the 1%? No, but your ability to think about and use money and your finances to create mobility in your life can be found in many of the benefits of meditation.

READ THIS

READ THIS: Systemic racism can leave black people suffering from symptoms similar to PTSD


In recent days, black people have been repeatedly reminded of the risks involved when they interact with police, been repeatedly exposed to videos of black men and women being murdered and seen a military response to communities protesting these abuses... If we are not actively trying to dismantle racism, then we are tacitly condoning it.

READ THIS

DO THIS: How to Start a Vegetable Garden


Growing a vegetable garden is a great way to bring fresh, nutritious veggies to your table. Knowing where your food came from is just one benefit of home vegetable gardening. You’ll also save money by buying less from the grocery store. If you have kids, vegetable gardening is a fun way to get the whole family out in the fresh air and sunshine.

It's easy to learn how to start a vegetable garden. You'll need a sunny garden spot, some plants and a few simple tools and materials.

DO THIS

READ THIS: A Book Lover With a Cause


Kaya Thomas has always been a voracious reader, yet growing up she rarely came across protagonists who looked like her. “High school was when I started to realize that none of the characters were ever Black girls,” Thomas says.

This inspired her to code We Read Too, an app that helps you find children’s books by writers of color, featuring characters of color.

READ THIS

TRY THIS: Headspace


During this pandemic, our mental health is suffering. Headspace is here to give you the tools and resources to look after your mind. And now, more than ever, it’s time to support those who really need it. If you’re unemployed, you can get a free year of Headspace Plus to help you get back on your feet.

TRY THIS

Wole Coaxum

Wole Coaxum on CNBC's Closing Bell

On Juneteenth – Friday, June 19, 2020 – MoCaFi Founder & CEO Wole Coaxum appeared on CNBC's Closing Bell to talk about Juneteenth and the immediate urgency for economic emancipation.

 

 

 


Man pointing at head

Money Lessons From 4 TV Dads

Money Lessons From 4 TV Dads

Father’s Day has a way of making us think about all the wise advice our fathers, grandpas, uncles, and mentors have given us over the years. Whether the topic of discussion is their area of expertise or not, rest assured they have a gem or two to drop on us about how to navigate, get through or deal. TV dads are no exception. No matter their approach, they all came laced with quite a few lessons, leaving us with words of wisdom. Looking back at TV dads, we wouldn’t be in bad shape if the likes of Uncle Phil or even George Jefferson were imparting on us knowledge on how to get our money right. Here’s what we might expect from five popular TV dads.

Carl Winslow

Spouse: Harriette Winslow

Occupation: Police Officer

What he would say: Carl would encourage us to budget and prioritize. He knows that it’s important to spend smart and cut costs where possible. When a financial challenge arises he would advise us to get a part time job, because hard work pays off. 

Favorite MoCaFi app feature: Bill Pay 

In this episode of Family Matters, the family has some conversations about money. Everyone avoids Carl when he’s paying bills, Carl convinces Harriette to ask for a raise, and Eddie works to earn extra money to buy the shoes he wants.  

Image of Carl Winslow

George Jefferson

Spouse: Louise Jefferson

Occupation: Entrepreneur

What he would say: George would tell us to be smart. He would tell us about how he worked his way up from the bottom. 

Favorite MoCaFi app feature: Do You Content Feed

In this episode (at 12 min. 15 sec.), there’s a dialogue about mindsets surrounding money.

Image of George Jefferson
Image of James Evans

James Evans

Spouse: Florida Evans

Occupation: Various, manual jobs

What he would say: James would tell us that it’s hard to get ahead. He would tell us to get a good education and find a great job. He would stress the importance of making a little go a long way. 

Favorite MoCaFi app feature: Mobility Score

Uncle Philip Banks

Spouse: Vivian Banks

Occupation: Judge

What he would say: Uncle Phil would encourage us to get a good education, secure a good paying job, spend smart and invest wisely. He would remind us of the generations of those who came before us, who fought and continue to fight for us to have opportunities to make something of ourselves. Uncle Phil understands what it’s like to work his way up from humble beginnings.

Favorite MoCaFi app feature: And Finance For All Podcast

Watch this clip of Philip telling his children he can afford to retire because he’s rich.

Image of Philip Banks

We love our TV fathers, but here are real-life dads doing it everyday, The Dad Gang!


Image of woman meditating

Why Meditation Might Be Good For Your Finances

Oftentimes things that are seemingly unconnected share a link beneath the surface, like your thoughts – and awareness – and finances. Will meditation alone make you a financial beast and move you right into the 1%? No, but your ability to think about and use money and your finances to create mobility in your life can be found in many of the benefits of meditation. 

 

What are the benefits of meditation?

Here’s how the popular mindfulness app, Headspace, defines meditation:

“Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.”

 

Using meditation as a tool can help your behavior, thinking and decision making in all areas of your life. For instance, studies show that mindfulness has positive effects on relationships. This proves that the skills and benefits received from incorporating a meditation practice into your lifestyle can have a positive impact on other major areas of your life. Here are some general benefits of meditation:

  • Promotes patience and calmness
  • Reduces stress
  • Controls anxiety
  • Promotes emotional health
  • Improves awareness
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Reduces memory loss related to age
  • Improves mood
  • May help with addictive behaviors
  • Improves sleep

In your opinion, do you think any of these benefits would be useful and applicable to other areas in your life such as relationships, career, fitness or finances? Hopefully you’ve answered yes.

 

What goes into making good financial decisions?

Getting and staying in control of your finances takes work. Depending on your financial goals, it’ll require you to constantly expand your reality, and build skills and constantly work on them. Good financial habits include creating and using a budget, controlling impulses, making informed decisions, continuously educating yourself, and planning. 

 

We all have a relationship with money, we have views and perspectives that impact how we think about, manage, and make it. For some, dealing with personal finances can be stressful, causing anxiety when we think about paying bills, shortfalls in our income or how to plan for the future. 

 

The great news is, the more you learn about finances and how to manage money, the more familiar it becomes, helping to alleviate a lot of that stress. However, if you have ill thoughts about money, debt, and etc, those deeply rooted perspectives will resurface probably when a challenge arises, causing you to make decisions based on your fundamental way of thinking. 

 

Recap

So to recap, here’s why mediation is a useful tool to increase your financial mobility:

  • Meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Meditation can help you remain calm and take appropriate action when faced with challenges, similar to those created by the current pandemic and financial crisis.
  • Meditation can help create awareness and afford you the opportunity to form a new relationship with money.
  • Meditation can help improve focus to assist you in cutting your impulses and making financial decisions today that won’t hurt you later.
  • Meditation can help create clarity to aid in planning for the future.

 

Meditation is just one tool in the tool box, don’t forget to incorporate the others, especially continuous education. Check out the rest of the MoCaFi blog for posts on how to create budgets, how to save, talking with your partner about money and more.