Top Financial Resources for the LGBTQ+ Financial Community

Quick Answer

Despite progress, the LGBTQ+ community still faces high levels of discrimination, money struggles and financial inequity. The resources below help fill in the gaps and offer the community ways to reduce costs, get support from culturally competent experts and access important services.

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After the tumultuous pandemic years, coupled with inflation and rising costs of housing and living, many Americans are feeling the financial strain. For marginalized populations, such as the LGBTQ+ community, the financial challenges are often even greater—especially since legal protections are still considered inadequate.

A 2022 survey by US Bank found that while the LGBTQ+ community has made major strides in recent decades, past and current income disparities and discrimination continue to hamper efforts to achieve financial equity. The survey found that LGBTQ+ adults on average still earn only 90 cents on the dollar compared with the general population. This wage gap increases when you add in factors such as being a person of color or transgender. In fact, the survey found that the largest wage gap is for transgender women, who earn only 60 cents on the dollar.

The survey also revealed that ongoing stigma and both legal and illegal discrimination still lead to higher rates of homelessness, housing instability and poverty in the LGBTQ+ community compared to the general population. Again, being a person of color and/or transgender means even greater gaps in equity.

Many organizations, resources and tools exist to help address these gaps. From affirming banks and family-building grants to free educational resources, below are some of the best financial resources to help LGBTQ+ people manage their money and achieve life goals.

Banks That Are Allies to the LGBTQ+ Community

Many financial institutions have made efforts to become more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community, but a few go above and beyond. For investment and insurance companies, Prudential and MassMutual both have a long record of supporting the community. When it comes to bank accounts and credit cards, these are some options that stand out:

  • Citi: To affirm the identities of their transgender and nonbinary customers, our partner Citi offers an easy process to use their name of choice on account profiles and credit cards. The bank understands that having to use an old legal name can be uncomfortable or distressing, so having this solution is a major act of solidarity for the trans and nonbinary community. Citi works with MasterCard's True Name initiative, which will be available at more banking partners in the future.
  • Wells Fargo: This major bank offers card designs with Pride-themed images and has a guide on their website about the ways it helps LGBTQ+ customers reach their financial goals. Wells Fargo also offers financial training for LGBTQ+-owned businesses, has many financial advisors who specialize in working with the LGBTQ+ community, promotes LGBTQ+ hiring efforts and donates to relevant nonprofits.
  • Superbia Credit Union: This credit union was created specifically to not just serve but advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S. While the website says it's not yet operational, you can sign up to join once it receives regulatory approval to get started. Their focus is on discrimination-free banking, being completely inclusive and addressing the economic inequities faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Once operational, Superbia will offer checking and savings accounts, credit cards, life insurance and health insurance.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for LGBTQ+ Students

Even for those not in the LGBTQ+ community, obtaining a higher education often comes with a steep price tag and burdensome debt. Some organizations offer financial aid specifically for the LGBTQ+ community to help overcome financial barriers.

Certain scholarships are restricted to students in certain regions. For example, PFund offers scholarships for LGBTQ+ students in the upper Midwest, Pride Foundation has scholarships only for students from certain Northwest states and Live Out Loud's scholarships are for students in the tri-state area. Here are some opportunities that are available nationally:

  • Point Foundation: Launched in 2001, this organization provides annual scholarship and accompanying mentorship opportunities to those in the LGBTQ+ community who need help paying for their higher education. Point also offers programs, conferences and internships to train and support LGBTQ+ youth in leadership development.
  • Human Rights Campaign database: The Human Rights Campaign, one of the leading LGBTQ+ nonprofits in the country, has an extensive online database of scholarships, fellowships and grants for LGBTQ+ students. Their database has opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students, along with allies.
  • Stonewall Community Foundation: This nonprofit partners with donors to create scholarships for LGBTQ+ students, some in New York City, but others nationwide. Their website's scholarship page lists the current available scholarship programs to help the community access higher education.
  • This scholarship database has a list of, at publication, 49 scholarships for LGBTQ+ students. Some are small, at $500, but others are for much larger amounts—and when it comes to paying for school, every little bit helps!

Real Estate Professionals in the LGBTQ+ Community

While most forms of housing discrimination are still illegal, it's sadly common to hear anecdotes of LGBTQ+ homebuyers experiencing it at some point in the process. In the aforementioned US Bank survey, just over half of respondents reported having a difficult time getting a mortgage, and 73% felt discriminated against by lenders for being LGBTQ+.

One way to help reduce this risk is to use a real estate agent who is in the community themselves. Both the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance and NAGLREP are associations for LGBTQ+ real estate professionals, so consider finding a member in your area to work with (their sites have directories). They'll be able to help you navigate the process and make sure you only work with related businesses that are LGBTQ+-friendly—and they'll have your back if you face any issues. You can also report discrimination in the homebuying or mortgage process to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

If you can't find a local real estate professional through those resources mentioned above, another option is to see if your area has an LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce, since businesses that join do so because they're either in the community or affirming allies.

Family-Building Assistance for LGBTQ+ Couples and Members

When same-sex couples want to start a family, the options are vast, including adoption, surrogacy and assisted reproduction treatments—but they are all extremely expensive. While some employers offer benefits that can assist with costs, health insurance plans rarely cover anything, and others require an infertility diagnosis or other requirements that can hamper funding. But there are some resources that offer financial help, plus services that reduce the cost.

  • LGBTQ+ family-building grants: The Family Equality Council has a long list of grants for LGBTQ+ people who need financial assistance for various forms of family-building (it notes which require an infertility diagnosis and which don't). Gay Parents to Be also has a list of grants and charities that offer financial support for family-building with no repayment required.
  • Gay Parenting Assistance Program: Created by nonprofit organization Men Having Babies, this program facilitates significant financial support to gay men struggling with the costs of becoming a parent. Some applicants are selected to receive free or discounted services for IVF, surrogacy, egg donation or other related services, and a select number will get cash grants.
  • Mate Fertility: This startup company manages a network of fertility clinics and serves as a one-stop shop for family-building. They say their services are 30% more affordable than other options out there, and they have financing partners with negotiated rates for clients who need to borrow to pay for services. They're explicitly LGBTQ-friendly, with services including assisted reproduction, donor/surrogacy and fertility preservation.

Other LGBTQ+ Financial Resources

Beyond the resources we've already mentioned, make sure to consider these additional ways to get financial help or information.

  • LGBTQ+-friendly financial planners: If you need help conquering debt, setting up a budget or investing for the future, consider hiring a financial planner who's either in the LGBTQ+ community or an ally who's intimately familiar with the population's challenges. Some financial management companies work with the general population but have expertise working with the LGBTQ+ community, such as Christopher Street Financial in New York and Abacus in California. If you don't know of a savvy planner in your area, MassMutual has a network of LGBTQ-competent financial professionals. There are also some speciality experts out there, like The Trans Capitalist, who offers workbooks, online workshops and personalized financial counseling for the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Nonprofits: Some nonprofits offer various forms of free support to community members. For example, Point of Pride serves the transgender community and provides free chest binders and femme shapewear, along with grants that give applicants a chance to receive funds to pay for gender-affirming surgery, hormone replacement therapy and electrolysis. Additionally, SAGE is a nonprofit and advocacy organization for LGBTQ+ elders, with resources for all aspects of life. One is their SAGECent s program, a free online platform to help improve financial literacy and stability. There are also some organizations that assist LGBTQ+ youth facing homelessness and/or job insecurity, including Sherlock's Homes Foundation and The Ali Forney Center.
  • Podcasts: If you absorb information best via audio, there are also plenty of podcasts run by LGBTQ+ financial experts that provide advice, resources and relatability. Some include Bad With Money, Nancy, Keep Finance Queerd and Queer Money Podcast.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Despite the discrimination and financial challenges that continue to affect the LGBTQ+ community, there are things within your control that can help you reach your goals. Getting on a budget, regularly checking your credit score, creating an emergency fund and keeping debt under control can go a long way to alleviate financial stress. When these actions aren't enough, the resources shared here can help you move forward with support and gain financial stability.