What Four CUs Are Doing

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Staff At Mexican Consulate

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.-Arrowhead CU staff has been on hand at the same time every week at the Mexican Consulate in San Bernardino to provide information about opening an account at the credit union.

Several years ago, Arrowhead established a branch in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood of San Bernardino, which was previously without a financial institution for 10 years, giving it a foothold in reaching the market.

Financial Educator Is Tapped

LOMPOC, Calif.-CoastHills FCU's efforts centered on the large population of immigrants from indigenous communities in the Mixteca region of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, who work in Santa Maria, Calif. for a portion of each year. The credit union engaged a financial educator from Oaxaca, who is able to speak Mixtec, Spanish, and English. She oversees an after-hours off-site office in a community center, where immigrants can take computer-based financial literacy courses, contact family members via the Internet, and learn of the services available to them at Coast Hills CU, the league reported.

Reaching Hometown Associations

EL MONTE, Calif.-Staff at SCE FCU have taught financial literacy at a community center in Los Angeles to residents who were already attending English classes there. They have also reached out to hometown associations-mutual assistance groups run by and for people who come to the United States from the same town in their native country, to provide them aid and support-to teach new Americans the basics of personal finance.

They have established a bilingual, English-Spanish call center, and are offering small loans to these new members, to assist them in establishing credit.

More Bilingual Staff Are Hired

LOS ANGELES-Water and Power Community CU hired more bilingual member service representatives and modified the hours at some of its branches to better accommodate Latino and low-income members, and will open a small branch south of downtown Los Angeles in a community center run by El Rescate, a private support organization that primarily serves the large immigrant community from El Salvador.

Water and Power CU is also offering loans for computers, to not only help people establish credit, but to provide something that will benefit their entire family.

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