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Federation, CDCUs, Launch Multi-year Campaign to Expand Service to Older Adults
(April 26, 2011 – New York, NY) The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) has received a major grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies to pilot a nationwide program that will help low-income seniors gain financial security. Eight U.S. community development credit unions (CDCUs) — credit unions with a specific mission of serving low- and moderate-income communities nationwide — will receive funding to reach out to older adults struggling with debt and limited resources. Savings programs, low-interest loans, consumer counseling and debt-reduction plans will be offered as the “Creating a Path to Economic Security” campaign goes into action. Participating CDCUs will also be partnering with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and their nationwide network of “Economic Security Service Centers,” as well as other organizations that provide one-on-one counseling to help seniors regain their economic footing.
“Many older Americans who are struggling do not believe it’s possible to gain a measure of financial well being at their age,” explained Federation Senior Program Officer Melanie Stern, who leads the Federation program. “Some have been battered by debt, while others have been pummeled by rising prices, or preyed upon by so-called “payday” lenders and unscrupulous debt consolidation scammers. Our emphasis on economic security, offered at the local level by well-established, Federally-regulated, and consumer-friendly credit unions, could be a real ray of hope,” she explained.
Credit unions are not-for-profit banking institutions owned by their members — their depositors — that can make available consumer-friendly rates and services not feasible at for-profit financial institutions. The Atlantic Philanthropies is a foundation that works to put in place policies and programs that will create long-term benefits for disadvantaged populations.
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