NCLR and YWCA El Paso Launch the ‘Effective Money Management’ Program
September 07 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Program to enhance access to financial knowledge and vital banking services for Latinos
EL PASO—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 under-banked communities in the nation, often experiencing barriers to the 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 YWCA El Paso del Norte Region 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 El Paso region.
“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 money management courses and meet one-on-one with financial coaches provided through the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region. 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 be partnering with NCLR on the Effective Money Management program,” said Sandra Braham, CEO of the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region. “Our clients will greatly benefit from this program given our community’s limited access to basic banking services and knowledge of how to build emergency savings. We believe that the program is an important step in helping El Paso Latino families better manage their money, putting them on the right path to improve their financial situation.”
A recent NCLR survey of Hispanics in California shows that 21 percent of Latinos are unbanked—mirroring national 2009 FDIC data, which reported 19.3 percent of all Latinos as unbanked. Those who do not have a bank account, or those who are not effectively using their current accounts, typically rely on costly alternative financial services such as check cashing stores. Individuals with less access to traditional financial products can spend an average of $700 annually on transaction services charges.
“The data clearly show the need for this program,” said Diaz. “If we can get Latino families into the banking system, they can avoid costly fees associated with nontraditional financial institutions and begin saving regularly, both of which are critical steps toward building a more stable financial future.”
The YWCA El Paso del Norte Region is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. For more information, go to www.ywcaelpaso.org.
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Latinos. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Issues: Wealth-Building, Financial Counseling, Financial Services
Geography:California, Far West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Texas