For the 2018 fellowship, the Urban Institute has selected Ricki Granetz Lowitz, cofounder and CEO of the national nonprofit Working Credit NFP, which partners with employers to provide tools and information that help advance employees’ financial circumstances. The organization provides a flexible, scalable employee benefit to help low-wage workers build and sustain strong credit scores. Working Credit has tracked data and outcomes on program participants since its inception, but it has had limited in-house abilities to tap into these data fully. A team of Urban researchers, led by senior research associate Diana Elliott, will work with Lowitz and her staff to explore the data and examine how variations in program delivery matter for participant success.
Meet Ricki Granetz Lowitz
Ricki Granetz Lowitz has spent more than 25 years designing and implementing programs that help low- and moderate-income families improve their financial bottom line. Before launching Working Credit NFP, Lowitz was director of economic opportunities for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in Chicago. She created the organization’s first network of Financial Opportunity Centers, a model LISC replicated in 13 US cities and for which LISC received a federal Social Innovation Fund award in 2010. Lowitz also developed Twin Accounts, a credit-building and savings product featured in the New York Times Magazine and Telemundo Nacional in 2014. Before joining LISC, she crafted neighborhood-focused employment initiatives for the Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program in the South Bronx. Lowitz also worked for Business and Professional People for the Public Interest in Chicago, assisting residents from the Henry Horner public housing development with community revitalization initiatives. She holds a master’s in public policy from Columbia University.
Working Credit NFP
Working Credit is a low-cost, high-impact partner for employers that want to provide their employees the tools and information needed to advance their financial circumstances. Working Credit has designed a flexible, scalable employee benefit, Make Credit Work for You, to help working families build and sustain strong credit scores and then use credit improvements to reduce expenses inflated by poor or no credit. Working Credit serves employers in the corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors.
- Credit Building at the Workplace: Assessing Outcomes for Participants in Working Credit NFP (brief)
- Making the Business Case for Employee Well-Being (brief)
- 7 Credit Myths That Can Cost You A Lot of Money (Washington Post article)
- Credit myths debunked (video)
- What Is the Cost of Poor Credit? (factsheet)
- Urban Institute Selects Ricki Granetz Lowitz to Serve as 2018 Janice Nittoli Fellow (press release)
- Using Credit to Expand Opportunity: A Q&A with Ricki Granetz Lowitz, Recipient of the Janice Nittoli Fellowship (blog post)