Bank of America expanding its free financial counseling program as inflation skyrockets

Flags hang outside a Bank of America branch, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Amid skyrocketing inflation and the aftermath of the  COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are struggling to make ends meet.

According to the latest data gathered from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in the third quarter of 2022, the total household debt rose by $351 billion, reaching $16.51 trillion.

Data further showed that Americans’ total credit card balance was $925 billion and that many people can’t afford a $1000 emergency expense.

Christine Channels, Bank of America’s head of Community Banking, was a guest on Friday’s edition of “Closer Look.”

Channels said that Bank of America and Operation HOPE are now expanding The Operation HOPE program, known as “HOPE Inside” to help people become more financially resilient.

The free financial counseling program that’s already available in Atlanta and Los Angeles will expand in 17 U.S. markets starting in Jan. 2023.

Channels further explained that the program is available to BOA account holders and non-account holders and that the program offers financial health coaching sessions to help people build savings, decrease debt and improve their FICO (credit) scores.