LOS ANGELES (7/8/14)--Jennifer Calonia, editorial manager for GOBankingRates.com, recently shared the financial challenges she faced as a first-generation American--information credit unions can use to meet the financial needs of their memberships, especially financial education.
Calonia did not have a 529 savings plan to fund her tuition. Her parents worked hard and provided a safe, loving environment, but they didn't have the resources their daughter's college education. Nor did they know the ins-and-outs of where to find financial aid.
At the same time, Calonia's budget for the trip to the Philippines was so tight that she could only afford to bring $50 in spending money for the entire trip. She was $25,000 deep in student loan debt, had $2,000 in credit card debt and couldn't even afford a car. "It was at that moment that I learned how disconnected the foreign perception of the American dream can be to the cost-of-living realities Americans face daily," she wrote.