New York, NY – (May 5, 2015) – The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) and Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners (NTFP) are pleased to announce the launch of Pathways to Financial Empowerment, a new initiative to support financial counseling in credit unions serving low-income consumers. MetLife Foundation is the lead sponsor of the initiative, supported also by a seed grant from NYSE Euronext Foundation.
The Federation is an association of credit unions with a mission of helping low-income consumers achieve financial security. NTFP is one of the nation’s leading providers of financial services and products with a mission to empower low-income individuals to become productive participants in the U.S. financial system while achieving their financial goals. Through the Pathways to Financial Empowerment Initiative, the Federation and NTFP will identify five credit unions to participate in a pilot to provide one-on-one financial counseling, integrated with product delivery and supported by an outcome tracking platform. The financial counseling model used in the Initiative will draw upon NTFP’s expertise in counseling and their success in banking the underbanked, reducing member debt and improving credit scores.
Participating credit unions will be eligible for $20,000 in grants to pilot the Initiative in their communities.
“The Federation is grateful for the support from MetLife Foundation to expand one-on-one financial counseling among low-income consumers. Financial counseling is a proven method for increasing the financial stability of low-income consumers who may be dealing with uneven cash flows and challenged or no credit history. This pilot will help us determine how best to deliver and track counseling outcomes through a diverse pool of participating credit unions,” says Federation President and CEO Cathie Mahon.
Justine Zinkin, CEO of NTFP says, “I am thrilled that Neighborhood Trust is joining together with the Federation to work on this exciting project. Together we will exhibit one more way to make CDCUs even more responsive to their members’ and communities’ needs and generate a data set that demonstrates the case for integrated financial counseling as smart credit union economics.”
Dennis White, President and CEO, MetLife Foundation adds, “We believe this project’s focus on ensuring that low-income consumers get actionable, smart financial advice from a trusted source is an essential ingredient in improving their financial health.”
Click here for the Pathways to Financial Empowerment Initiative Request for Proposals. Click here to register for an informational webinar on the initiative and the RFP process which will be held on May 14, 2015. Proposals are due June 12, 2015. Credit unions interested in the Initiative are encouraged to register for the May 14 webinar, which will include the results of a survey on the financial counseling offered by credit unions. Direct questions regarding Pathways to Financial Empowerment to Ann Solomon, Federation Strategic Initiatives Manager, at [email protected].
About Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners
Founded in 1994 in response to the financial disenfranchisement of the predominantly Latino communities in upper Manhattan, today Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners is New York City’s premier provider and thought leader in the financial empowerment field. Neighborhood Trust’s mission is to empower low-income individuals to become productive participants in the U.S. financial system and achieve their financial goals. Neighborhood Trust bundles transparent, low-fee, productive banking products with expert financial counseling into one service and integrates this approach into poverty-fighting initiatives at partner nonprofits, government agencies, credit unions and employers. These delivery channels ensure that Neighborhood Trust’s services are trusted, relevant, and actionable. Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners works closely with its sister organization: Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union, a federally regulated credit union which offers a full suite of financial products and services. Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union is an $8 million institution with 4,000 members, the vast majority of whom are Latino immigrants who were unbanked before becoming members. To learn more about Neighborhood Trust visit neighborhoodtrust.org.
About the Federation
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions is a certified CDFI Intermediary representing community development credit unions (CDCUs). The Federation’s member CDCUs provide credit, savings, transaction services and financial education to more than 4 million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US, and hold over $32 billion in community-controlled assets. Founded in 1974, the Federation is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Madison, WI. We offer a wide range of advocacy, educational, training, investment, marketing, and outreach programs to support and assist CDCUs. For more information about the Federation and its programs, please visit cdcu.coop.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2014, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $650 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. For more information, please visit metlife.com/metlife-foundation/index.html