'Get Checking' Moves Scofflaws Into theMainstream

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CHICAGO - (10/15/04) -- Several area credit unions havejoined with Family Credit Counseling Service to offer freeeducational classes for the unbanked or people who trouble managingtheir own finances. The credit counseling group's 'Get Checking'program helps train unbanked consumers in managing bank/creditunion accounts, while offering them the chance to open an accountdespite past financial misdeeds. Once a consumer completes theprogram, passes and exam, and pays any restitution they owe, theybecome eligible to open an account with any of the participatingfinancial institutions. Among the participants in the Chicago areaare Citizens Equity First CU (CEFCU) and Members AllianceCU.

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