WASHINGTON, D.C. (12/9/13)--Through "The Next Economy" project, National Journal and The Atlantic are profiling innovative programs that build and support a strong middle class. As the year closes, the publications are focusing on the best of the year, and that includes the work done by Latino Community CU (LCCU) in Durham, N.C.
It's not enough for low-income consumers to start relationships with financial institutions by opening accounts and saving money, according to National Journal (Dec. 6). They need to establish good credit--a challenge for those with no history of any type of borrowing.
That's where a place like LCCU comes in. The $125 million-asset credit union has a mission of inclusive economic opportunity with a focus on Latino immigrants. All services are provided in both Spanish and English.
National Journal cited the credit union's lending success--it has a lower delinquency rate than the industry average. Members with no credit history can obtain loans at no extra cost, and many members previously were unbanked.
Other asset-building programs cited in the "Next Economy" are a San Francisco lending circle, an identification card that doubles as a prepaid debit card, online low-interest lending, and a fund that works to prevent mortgage delinquencies or foreclosures.