Financial literacy education helps individuals raise scores by 130 points on
average as more people take action to learn the “language of money”

Los Angeles, CA – January 29, 2010 – Empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE (HOPE), an organization focused on financial literacy through its "silver rights" campaign, announced today that it surpassed program goals for 2009 – exceeding portfolio expectations – by increasing client enrollment by more than 20% and helping clients raise their credit scores by 130 points on average.

The figures in HOPE's study of credit management customers in 2009 reflect a sampling of approximately 10% of HOPE's consumer credit counseling activity that shows an average increase of 130 points in their credit score. This is up 62 points from HOPE's 2005-2008 study that reflected an average increase of 68 points. Low-income consumers who participated in the programs were taught skills that helped them transition from an average initial enrollment score of 587 to the average score of 717 at graduation. Improved credit scores greatly impacted the participants' ability to qualify for more favorable interest rates on mortgages, student loans, and other forms of credit-based lending, and for better jobs, as more employers look to credit reports for information, before hiring candidates.

HOPE delivers services through its core financial literacy portfolios: Banking on Our Future, HOPE Coalition America, and HOPE Banking Center Network. These programs are tailored to empower the individual to become stake holders in the community and create a sense of self-sufficiency. Instruction is given for credit management, first-time homebuyers, youth empowerment and financial literacy, small business empowerment, Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, emergency financial preparedness and online financial literacy. Additional areas where HOPE saw growth by portfolio include:

Banking on Our Future (BOOF)

• Educated 90,285 youth
• Launched BankingonOurFuture.Org
• Launched the FIVE MILLION KIDS (5MK) Initiative
• Launched BOOF College Edition at Spelman College

HOPE Coalition America (HCA)

• HCA helped over 50,000 clients
• Received over 47,000 calls for Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline
• Created over 14,772 files for mortgage foreclosure prevention assistance

HOPE Banking Center Network (HBCN)

• Increased client enrollment by more than 20%
• Served over 102,000 clients
• Educated 9,500 adults on financial literacy
• Successfully modified 445 loans for a total of $105 million
• Generated $201,665,629 in loan approvals
• Improved client credit scores on average 130 points

In addition to domestic results, HOPE's key initiatives reported results for 2009, which include progress for HOPE Corps, HOPE Global Dignity, and HOPE Global Initiatives work in South Africa:

HOPE Corps

• Reached 10,000 HOPE Corps volunteer members
• Participated in Global Dignity Day – supported by 20 Young Global Leaders
• Training over 10,000 youth in 32 countries

HOPE Global Initiatives

• Trained 5,437 Youth and Adults in 2009 in South Africa
• Reached 534 HOPE Corps Volunteers in South Africa
• Trained 32 schools and NGOs in seven South Africa Provinces
• Expanded rural model through partnership with the Peace Corps in South Africa

Also, HOPE Advisors, the consulting arm of Operation HOPE will continue to capitalize on the knowledge and insight that HOPE Advisors has accumulated, providing the financial services industry with unique marketing and business development strategies that employ best practices and strive to do well by doing good. HOPE Advisors plans to be very active in 2010.

"Our achievements in 2009 demonstrate our ability to provide practical tools to build financial success in these financially-challenging times. In the 17 years since we made ‘silver rights' a national priority, Operation HOPE has helped more than 1.2 million individuals move up the economic ladder and has raised over a half billion dollars in historic grant funding and community investment for the underserved," said John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE.

Bryant, who served as Vice Chair of the President's Council on Financial Literacy, is the author of best-seller LOVE LEADERSHIP and works to promotes financial literacy as the next civil rights issue. Since HOPE's inception, several bills focusing on financial literacy have been initiated by Congress. Bill HR1325, by Congresswoman Shelia Jackson-Lee which directly cites the work of both the Council and Operation HOPE and House Resolution 65 by Congresswoman Diane E. Watson strive to bring financial literacy into the lives of more Americans and to make it a legislative priority.

Established after the worst urban riot in U.S. history, HOPE continues its mission to be the leader converting check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners and dreamers into viable business owners, HOPE assists the underserved increase their net worth while working towards Operation HOPE's "silver rights" mission to eradicate poverty and promote prosperity.

For a complete list of HOPE Partners log onto www.operationhope.org.


About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Operation HOPE is America's leading nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. With more than 400 private sector partners, 1500 nonprofit organizations and schools, and 100 government partners in 69 major U.S. cities as well as South Africa, HOPE has raised more than $500 million in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders. Through international initiatives and its three principal programs, Banking on Our Future (teaching school children about money), HOPE Coalition America (Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, 1-888-388-HOPE, financial emergency preparedness and disaster relief), and Walk-In HOPE Centers (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), Operation HOPE has delivered services to more than one million low-wealth individuals and assumed the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. To learn more about HOPE, visit
www.operationhope.org. or read our blog at www.operationhope.org/blog.

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