New Operation HOPE Research Finds That Financial Literacy Resources, Tools & Coaching Services Are Key Drivers of Optimism Despite Uncertain Economic Times

More than 3,500 HOPE Clients Responded to First-Ever Operation HOPE-Backed Survey, Providing Key Insights into a Broad Cross Section of American Financial Sentiment

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Operation HOPE, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in an ever-changing economy, today announced the results of The HOPE Insider, its most comprehensive nationwide client survey to date, revealing that despite significant concerns about the state of the economy, Operation HOPE clients have a high level of optimism about their personal financial well-being going into 2024.


The HOPE Insider survey received responses from more than 3,500 Operation HOPE clients and provides key insights into American financial sentiment relating to housing, debt, small business ownership, work and general economic optimism, as Americans navigate the complex challenges of the current economic climate. More detail from the survey’s findings will be presented and discussed at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Hope Global Forums in Atlanta, GA on December 10-12, 2023.

The survey, conducted by Operation HOPE’s research team from November 22 to December 1, targeted Operation HOPE’s client base of adults, small business owners and entrepreneurs that have sought the organization’s financial wellness services. The goal of the survey is to gather a broad-based understanding of the sentiment of Operation HOPE clients on a regular basis to better support their needs and to serve as an indicator of the real-time financial and economic concerns of the American public.

“This landmark HOPE Insider survey both helps us better serve our clients as well as confirms the purpose of Operation HOPE’s mission—to provide the financial tools, resources and one-on-one coaching that Americans need to have hope, optimism and most importantly, the opportunity to control their own financial well-being, even in challenging economic times,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Operation HOPE. “This survey is significant in that it provides current financial sentiment from a broad cross section of Operation HOPE’s client base, which is representative of the concerns of the broader American public, and demonstrates the positive impact of financial empowerment.”

Among the key survey findings are:

Concerns about the economy:

  • 67% of respondents are “VERY concerned” about debt levels, higher interest rates, inflation, economic stability, and personal financial strain

    • Rising debt levels is their biggest source of worry for the next year (32%)

Concerns about personal financial situation:

  • Debt: Credit card debt is by far the biggest financial burden (36%), followed by student loans (16%), mortgages (13%) and auto loans (12%)
  • Housing: Almost one-third of respondents say they are most worried about affordable housing costs in the upcoming year (29%), and more than half are “VERY concerned” about the current cost of housing in their community (56%)

    • 41% considered purchasing a home last year, but found it unaffordable

Points of optimism:

  • Half of respondents are “VERY hopeful” that their financial wellbeing will increase over the next year (85% are hopeful overall) and say their business/career situations are looking optimistic (87% are hopeful overall)
  • Almost one-quarter of respondents are VERY hopeful that business growth in their community will increase over the next year (65% are hopeful overall)

This level of impact is also echoed through HOPE’s Q3 2023 impact report, showing that through Operation HOPE’s services, clients have experienced an average increase of 41 points in credit scores (of those who saw improvement), a median decrease in debt of $1,902, and a median increase in savings of $800.

The HOPE Insider Survey solicited responses from all current and former clients in Operation HOPE’s database via email between November 22, 2023 and December 1, 2023. The survey features a diverse representative set with respondents from all adult age ranges, ethnicities, genders, and household incomes across the U.S.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through its community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. For more information: OperationHOPE.org. Follow the HOPE conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Contacts

Operation HOPE:
Bill Mendel, Mendel Communications

(917) 664-1796