Three years ago, Janet Iraola was a single mother struggling to pay her bills. Today, Iraola, 36, has paid off her car loan and a few credit cards, earned a bachelor’s degree in human services, opened college savings accounts for her four children, and started putting away money for a house.
Iraola was able to achieve these goals through Crittenton Women’s Union , a Boston nonprofit that helps low-income women gain financial independence, partly by collecting reams of data about their debt, credit scores, savings accounts, salaries, and grade-point averages. The women’s progress is compiled into aggregate reports, which case workers analyze to find patterns of success and failure. The results are shared with them as a group.