LGBTQ Folks Face Major Financial Challenges. Here Are Some Things We Can Do to Change That

We received some interesting data this week on the spending habits of LGBTQ folks, and we wanted to share it, especially given that it's Pride Month. Rather than the typical interviews you see in this section, we'll be sharing the data This data shows a need for financial services that are created by and for LGBTQ folks, and highlight the importance of inclusion when it comes to our financial conversations. We hope it gives you some food for thought, and that we’ll be able to discuss further in depth in our Facebook group

Some background on the data: Experian, the consumer credit reporting agency, commissioned a survey of roughly 500 LGBTQ adults in the United States. Their responses were recorded in May 2018. 

Interesting findings: More LGBTQ folks than those in the general population struggle with savings (44% vs. 38%). One-third of those surveyed said they have spending habits they want to change.

What makes sense: LGBTQ folks, like most Americans, have concerns about student loan debt. Similarly, they are concerned about saving for retirement. 

What concerns us: According to the survey, “62% of respondents said they’ve experienced financial challenges due to their sexual orientation.” 

That number is high. There are a number of issues LGBTQ folks face that their straight peers don’t have to deal with. For most LGBTQ couples, marriage was unattainable until recently. That had financial ramifications like increasing health insurance costs or reducing the number of tax credits available. 

There is still no federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, which adds to these issues.

Some resources for those looking for more: The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is a great place to find LGBTQ businesses to support. If you own a business and identify as a member of the community, you should register here to receive special support. GuideVine has a list of financial planners who cater specifically to LGBTQ clients. If you live in New York, here is a list of city resources. Point Foundation helps connect LGBTQ folks with scholarships, which can help to defray costs of higher education. Nerdwallet has a guide to paying for transgender surgeries.