SAN FRANCISCO — Providian Financial Corp. will donate $11 million over three years to help people with low incomes improve their “financial fitness,” according to Katharine Bogleshields, its vice president for community development.

The money is to be administered through the nonprofit Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. in cities where Providian has a corporate presence, such as Salt Lake City; Manchester, N.H.; Austin, Tex.; and Oakland, Calif. The program is to allocate $10 million to low-income mortgages and $1 million to educational programs and operating aid for community organizations that promote savings.

Ms. Bogleshields said the donation had been planned since 1998 and was not part of Providian’s settlement with federal or state authorities of complaints about its credit card lending practices.

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