Innovations in Personal Finance for the Unbanked: Northeast Community Federal Credit Union, Tenderloin Branch
In the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, a community with a dearth of affordable regulated financial institutions, the Northeast Community Federal Credit Union (NCFCU) offers basic banking and transaction services to low-income and homeless populations. Its goal is to expand financial services to more residents, provide an alternative to fringe banking institutions, and help members begin to build their assets.
An important component of NCFCU's business model is financial education and one-on-one financial counseling. For example, as part of the Grace Loan application, members receive extensive one-on-one counseling to help them establish financial goals and develop budgeting and money management skills. Now that it has achieved its goal of bringing basic banking into the community, NCFCU wants to expand its hours of operation; start offering basic checking, debit card, and ATM services; and increase the economic and financial literacy of its members.
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