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Security One FCU Reaching Hispanics through Financial Literacy
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:10 AM

Financial literacy is one of the most critical services that your credit union can provide members, particularly the Hispanic community in your area. Many Hispanics in the U.S. today are underserved, turning to friends and family for loans, or worse to expensive check-cashing or payday loan establishments, Anna Pena tells Coopera Blog readers. With one out of two U.S. Hispanics being unbanked or underserved, she says credit unions have a tremendous opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Hispanic members.

Arlington-based Security One FCU believes financial literacy efforts need to focus on the whole family’s financial needs. This begins by teaching children about saving and the advantages of holding a youth account and goes all the way through to helping parents understand how to improve credit scores or secure loans. The credit union also works with small businesses, educating them on the importance of budgeting expenses, filing taxes and preparing for audits.

Security One FCU last month received the Texas Credit Union League’s Juntos Avanzamos designation for its exceptional service to Hispanic families.

Business Development Coordinator Danny Garcia said, “At Security One, we are focused on growing the Hispanic community’s ability to be more financially independent. Through our assistance and guidance, individuals are able to better themselves financially, which makes the whole community stronger. We take a holistic approach, networking and partnering with schools and universities, churches, as well as community organizations, like libraries, medical centers and government agencies, to promote financial literacy and the credit union difference.”

Some of the events Garcia and the team at Security One FCU have participated in include:

  • a bilingual presentation on the financial system to nearly 50 Hispanic church members
  • a presentation on the importance of saving to 20 middle and high school students
  • partnering with the local Head Start program to share information on basic budgeting
  • sessions on how to build credit and secure auto financing

Garcia and the Security One FCU team is also working closely with local groups to host an upcoming four-day mobile event to help Hispanics secure the identification documents they need for financial services, like checking and savings accounts, as well as auto, home and business loans and Security One’s “Faith” accounts.

“It can take a month or more for Hispanics to get an appointment at the Mexican consulate for a Matricula card,” said Garcia. “Through the mobile event, we help 200 to 300 people per day signed up for Matricula ID cards each day. That’s the kind of effort that makes a real difference.”