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About the Financial Navigators Program

Information about the Financial Navigators Program and how to access services.

About the Financial Navigators Program

Sign-up for a Session

The City of Albuquerque was selected by the national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) to receive $80,000 in grant funding, technical assistance, and training to launch a new public Financial Navigators program. Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Citi Foundation, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase support the CFE Fund’s Financial Navigators effort.

The Financial Navigators program is designed to help residents deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing remote assistance in navigating critical financial issues by connecting clients to social services and resources.

The City of Albuquerque is working with local community organizations Prosperity Works and Encuentro to provide this free public service for all City of Albuquerque residents.

Trained Financial Navigators will provide structured guidance over the phone that will assist people, prioritize, strategize, and find help during disruption to their income and other financial concerns. Financial Navigation services are available in Spanish.

Please note: Financial Navigators are not long-term financial counselors, nor can they provide direct financial assistance. They will help residents triage financial issues, identify immediate action steps, and make referrals to other services. City, government, and nonprofit services, some of whom may be able to offer financial assistance.

Helping residents navigate the financial impact of COVID-19 through the Financial Navigators initiative is a critical part of the City of Albuquerque’s front line emergency response efforts.

The CFE Fund’s mission is to improve the financial stability of households with low and moderate incomes by embedding financial empowerment strategies into local government infrastructure. The CFE Fund is a national nonprofit organization that supports over 80 cities and counties across the country.

Accessing Financial Navigator Services

People can request a financial navigation appointment directly or through other community organization referrals.

  1. To do so, first complete the web form Sign-up for a Session. Referring organizations may either fill out the web form with the client or share the link to the intake form.
  2. To complete the form, residents/referring organizations will need only to provide the following basic information:
    • Client name
    • ZIP Code
    • Language preference
    • Phone and/or email address (NOTE: A phone number is required for Financial Navigator services. Though optional, residents who wish to receive follow-up information must also provide an email address.)
  3. Once the form is submitted, the client will receive a basic service agreement via text or email to accept and submit online. Soon after, but no more than 48 hours later, the Navigator will call the client for their session.

The Financial Navigation Session

Financial Navigation services will be delivered over the phone; session length will depend on what the client wants to focus on, but will generally last no more than 30 minutes. During the session, Navigators will work with clients to identify services to help address their financial concerns. Tactics may include:

Managing expenses:

  • Prioritizing payments and when to make them, including:
    • Tips on negotiating with creditors, including credit card companies, student loan servicers, and personal and business lenders to pause payments without accruing interest;
    • Determining if utility payments can be paused without disruption of service; and
    • Considering options to leverage unemployment insurance and/or short term disability

Maximizing income:

  • Ensuring receipt of potential future federal payments such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; and
  • Providing guidance and connections to enrollment for unemployment insurance, food security benefits, rental assistance, utility assistance, childcare assistance, and other available resources

Managing Difficulties:

  • Eviction and foreclosure prevention
  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Shelter and housing

During the session, the Navigator and client will identify next steps to begin addressing the client’s financial issues; clients will receive a document via email outlining those next steps. If a resident has additional questions, they may call the program again; they may be served by a different Navigator.

Navigators are not financial counselors: they do not have ongoing relationships with clients or help them work through long-term action plans. Navigators also will not provide direct cash assistance to residents.

Questions?

If you have questions regarding the City’s Financial Navigator program, please contact Isez J. Roybal, Legal Project Support Specialist, with the Legal Department’s Office of Policy at 505-768-4543 or [email protected].

About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)

  • The CFE Fund’s mission is to improve the financial stability of households with low and moderate incomes by embedding financial empowerment strategies into local government infrastructure. The CFE Fund is a national nonprofit organization that supports over 80 cities and counties across the country.
  • In addition to the Financial Navigators initiative, the CFE Fund also helps mayoral administrations in cities across the country with other programs, including: kickstarting municipal financial empowerment efforts through its structured CityStart engagement process; supporting cities in launching Financial Empowerment Centers which offer one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service; expanding the availability of safe, affordable bank and credit union accounts through Bank On; and working with local governments to build out and implement local consumer financial protection offices.