FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2012
Contact: Julian Teixeira, Ash Kosiewicz
(202) 776-1812, (202) 425-1303
Program to enhance access to financial knowledge and vital banking services for Latinos
Washington, D.C.—In order to manage their finances successfully, families need not only access to banking services but the information and education to understand them. Latinos are one of the most un- and underbanked communities in the nation, often experiencing barriers to a range of financial services—from something as basic as opening a checking account to understanding how to apply for a home mortgage. To help bridge this gap, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) are joining together to launch the Effective Money Management program to provide one-on-one financial coaching and information about banking products to qualified low- and moderate-income individuals in the Washington, D.C. area.
“Latino families have been disproportionately affected by the economic downturn, which has depleted their savings and knocked them out of the banking system,” said Lot Diaz, Vice President of Housing and Community Development at NCLR. “One of the first steps toward recovery is to become financially stable by reducing debt levels and building a cash reserve. However, many in our community can’t do this because it requires not only financial tools but education and guidance. We created the Effective Money Management program to help Hispanic families access the proper tools to promote financial decisions that not only build wealth but improve their lives overall.”
Participants in the Effective Money Management program will enroll in a five-week course and meet one-on-one with financial coaches provided through LEDC. The course and coaching will focus on increasing knowledge and developing skills in budgeting, banking services, establishing and maintaining credit, savings, insurance, and protecting one’s assets. Counselors will work with participants to assess their current financial situations, help tailor a financial action plan to both short- and long-term financial goals, and track progress over a 12-month period.
“We are very excited to partner with NCLR on the Effective Money Management program,” said Manny Hidalgo, LEDC Executive Director. “Participants in our programs will greatly benefit from this initiative given that many lack access to basic banking services and the knowledge of how to build emergency savings. We believe that the program is an important step in helping Washington, D.C.–area Latino families better manage their money, a critical step on the road to achieving financial independence.”