Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp has teamed up with NextJob, a nationwide re-employment solutions company, to offer a program that gives unemployed mortgage borrowers job search assistance, including one-on-one dedicated coaching, weekly webinars and online job search software.
The program, which is fully paid for by Fifth Third, was piloted last year with unemployed Fifth Third customers who were in serious risk of default on their mortgages. On average, the individuals had been out of work for 22 months. In the pilot, nearly 40% were fully employed after six months and, as a result, the pilot was expanded.
‘Up to half of mortgage delinquencies are due to job loss,’ says Steven Alonso, executive vice president and head of the consumer bank at Fifth Third. ‘With NextJob, we immediately recognized an opportunity to go the extra mile to assist our customers. This is specific, one-on-one training that helps people identify their transferable skills and re-gain the financial stability of a new job.’